American soprano Ellie Dehn has been praised by critics as “a revelation” (Chicago Sun-Times), acclaimed for her “great stage presence and a voice combining metallic clarity and sensual richness” (Wall Street Journal).
Ms. Dehn performed the title role in Strauss’ Arabella and the title role in Massenet’s Manon with the San Francisco Opera. She made her company debut at Royal Opera House Covent Garden as the Countess in Sir David McVicar’s production of Le nozze di Figaro, conducted by Ivor Bolton, which was broadcasted live to movie theaters around the world.
Ellie made her Metropolitan Opera in the Parks debut as Marguerite in Faust in 2007 and subsequent stage debut as Mrs. Naidoo in Philip Glass’ Satyagraha the next season, followed by successful returns as Musetta in Franco Zeferelli’s iconic production of La bohème and as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni. She remains on the Metropolitan Opera roster. Other debuts include: her Teatro alla Scala debut as Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann and successful return there as Musetta in La bohème. She has made multiple other appearances at San Francisco Opera including all three Mozart/Da Ponte heroines: the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte, as well as Musetta in La bohème and Micaela in Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen; her debut at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera as Helena in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and returned there as Musetta. In the 2021-2022 season, she traveled to Japan and performed Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with the Seiji Ozawa Music Festival.
Other successes include her role debut in the title role of Rusalka with Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Alice Ford in Falstaff with San Diego Opera, Donna Anna with the Ravinia Festival, Bayerische Staatsoper, Michigan Opera Theater, Opera Colorado, and San Diego Opera; Donna Elvira with the Spoleto Festival USA and at Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Fiordiligi with the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, and her debut in the title role of Weber’s Euryanthe at the Bard SummerScape Festival with the American Symphony Orchestra. She has put her stamp on the role of Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro with multiple companies (Houston Grand Opera, Tulsa Opera, Opera Colorado and Opera Pacific.). Dehn also received highest acclaim for her portrayal of Violetta Valery in La Traviata at Central City Opera. Her first Italian house debuts with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Teatro Comunale di Bologna as Anne Trulove in new productions of The Rake’s Progress were both under the baton of Daniele Gatti and launched many returns to the country. Other company debuts include: performances as Mimì at both San Diego Opera and Arizona Opera. Rosaura in the world premiere of Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream at Santa Fe Opera, Agathe in Der Freischütz at Le Grand Théâtre de Genève, Madame Cortese in Il viaggio a Reims at Bilbao Opera and the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, and Freia in Das Rheingold at Los Angeles Opera. Ms. Dehn received critical acclaim for her performances as Juliette in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette at Minnesota Opera, and returned as Mimi La bohème and also to debut the role of Lady Billows in Albert Herring in a filmed version produced by them during the pandemic.
Highlights of orchestral engagements include performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jaap Van Zweden to conclude the Music Director’s farewell season with the company. At Carnegie Hall, she has performed Mozart’s Mass in C minor, Bach’s Magnificat, Vivaldi’s Gloria, and Haydn’s Harmoniemesse. She joined the acclaimed International Contemporary Ensemble for the New York premiere of Messiaen’s Chants de terre et de ciel at the Mostly Mozart Festival, joined Eve Queler and the Opera Orchestra of New York as Inez in Meyerbeer’s L’Africaine. She also debuted the role of Jemmy in Guillaume Tell at Carnegie Hall with OONY at Carnegie Hall and repeated the role under Antonio Pappano with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia the following season. She debuted the role of Avis in Dame Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers with the American Symphony Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall. Ms. Dehn has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra on several occasions, most recently as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3. Other concert debuts with the St. Louis Symphony for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Music Director Stéphane Denève, the San Antonio Symphony for Mozart’s Requiem, the Sacramento Philharmonic for a concert of Mozart arias, and the North Carolina Symphony for Handel’s Messiah. On the concert stage, she joined the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as the soprano soloist in Kristopher Jon Anthony’s Requiem, When We No Longer Touch, commemorating the organization’s 40th anniversary, performed Mozart’s Davide Penitente with San Diego’s Mainly Mozart, and sang Mimì with the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. She has been a featured soloist with the Cincinnati May Festival, performing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Haydn’s The Seasons, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8. Additionally, she has performed Hadyn’s Creation with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at St. Thomas Church in New York, Handel’s Messiah with New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Florida Orchestra. She also performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional in Mexico City and with the Milwaukee Symphony..
Ms. Dehn’s discography includes Ravel: Intimate Masterpieces, released on the Oberlin Music label and distributed by Naxos America. She also headlines live recordings of Saint-Saëns’ Henry VIII and Weber’s Euryanthe at the Bard SummerScape Festival and has a recent release on the BMOP Sound label from a live performance as Catherine of Aragon from Henry VIII with Odyssey Opera.
Ellie Dehn is thrilled to join the Voice Faculty at the University of Minnesota. She believes that her responsibility as a voice teacher is not only to teach a solid fundamental technique, but to help her students to gain independence and full ownership of their own, unique instruments and artistry. Her students will learn that they are both instrument and performer combined. She encourages the philosophy of singing as one speaks: “Si Parla, Si Canta”. We must constantly practice to free ourselves from our own obstacles and sing with clear minds, clear vowels, and clear intentionality. After many years of performing leading roles at a top international level, she knows better than anyone that singers perform their best when they feel safe, supported, and celebrated.
- BM: Vocal Performance, Oberlin Conservatory of Music
- Artist Diploma: Vocal Performance, The Academy of Vocal Arts