One of today’s most sought-after lyric coloratura sopranos, Erin Morley has been praised for the ‘silken clarity of her voice and the needlepoint precision of her coloratura’ (New York Times). A recipient of the Beverly Sills Award and a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program her performances have garnered huge critical acclaim worldwide and she regularly appears on the greatest opera stages such Wiener Staatsoper, Bayerische Staatsoper, Opéra National de Paris, Glyndebourne Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Los Angeles Opera and of course, Metropolitan Opera where she has now sung more than 100 performances and has been featured in five “Live in HD” broadcasts.
During the 2021/22 season Morley makes a number of exciting debuts: the title role in Matthew Aucoin’s Eurydice which premieres at the Metropolitan Opera; her Teatro alla Scala debut with one of her signature roles, Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos; a role and company debut as Isabelle Robert le Diable under the baton of Marc Minkowski at the Opéra National de Bordeaux, which is also set for a CD release; her first appearance at Staatsoper Berlin as Gilda Rigoletto, which she also performs at the Metropolitan Opera; a highly anticipated debut in one of the most iconic coloratura roles, Lakmé with Washington Concert Opera; and a return to Glyndebourne Festival with another new role: Norina Don Pasquale.
Highlights from last season include Tytania A Midsummer Night's Dream in Santa Fe; Sophie Der Rosenkavalier at the Wiener Staatsoper and a show-stopping appearance during the Met Stars at Home Gala where she delighted the audiences by accompanying herself at the piano and singing an extraordinary rendition of “Chacun le sait, chacun le dit” from La Fille du Régiment. On the concert platform Morley joined Christian Thielemann and Staatskapelle Dresden on tour with a programme of Strauss’ Brentano Lieder during which she have the world premiere of a newly discovered orchestral song by Richard Strauss.
Further recent performances include Tytania in a new production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Wiener Staatsoper; Gilda Rigoletto at Bayerische Staatsoper; Konstanze Die Entführung aus dem Serail; Sophie Der Rosenkavalier at Opera de Paris; Gilda Rigoletto, Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos and Sophie at Wiener Staatsoper; Fiakermilli Arabella and Gilda at Bayerische Staatsoper; Lucia di Lammermoor in Nancy; Queen of the Night Die Zauberflöte, Roxana Krol Roger, Mme Silberklang Der Schauspieldirektor and Stravinsky’s The Nightingale all at Santa Fe Opera; Zerbinetta at Glyndebourne; and Sandrina La Finta Giardiniera in Lille and Dijon with Emmanuelle Haïm. Cunegonde in Candide, another role that Morley has made her own, has been performed in stellar company at LA Opera with James Conlon and actors Kelsey Grammer and Christine Ebersole; with Yannick Nézet-Séguin and Phildalephia Orchestra with Alek Shrader, Bradley Cooper and Carey Mulligan; and at the Carnegie Hall Centenary with John Lithgow. Morley was also invited to perform Gilda Rigoletto with Semperoper Dresden, Sophie in Massenet’s Werther with the Metropolitan Opera, Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos with the Bayerische Staatsoper at the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and Handel’s Il delirio amoroso with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Emmanuelle Haïm.
The breakthrough moment in Morley’s career came when she stepped in at the last-minute to sing Sophie in an entire run of Der Rosenkavalier at the Metropolitan Opera during the 2013-2014 season, which was hailed by critics as “a major success”. Since then, Met audiences have also seen her as Sophie in Robert Carsen’s new production of Der Rosenkavalier; as Olympia Les Contes d’Hoffmann; as Constance Les Dialogues des Carmélites; and as Pamina Die Zauberflöte, among others.
Equally at home on the concert platform, Morley has performed with leading orchestras such as Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra. She has appeared on tour with Harry Bicket and The English Concert, Louis Langrée and the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and with the Met Chamber Ensemble in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
A dedicated recitalist, her appearances include recitals with pianist Vlad Iftinca (Salt Lake City’s Virtuoso Series, Carnegie’s Weill Hall, and Festival du Lied in Fribourg, Switzerland), and with pianist Ken Noda (at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Brigham Young University, and the Alice Tully Hall Vocal Arts Honors Recital). Morley also appeared in the famous televised New Year’s Eve concerts with the Staatskapelle Dresden and Christian Thielemann, performing Princess Mi in Léhar’s Das Land des Lächelns.
Her many recordings include Sophie in the Met’s GRAMMY-nominated Der Rosenkavalier on DVD/Blu-Ray for the Decca label; Sandrina La Finta Giardiniera with Emmanuelle Haïm in Opéra de Lille’s production for the Erato label; Woglinde Götterdämmerung in the Metropolitan Opera’s GRAMMY-award winning Lepage Ring Cycle for Deutsche Grammophon; Marguerite de Valois Les Huguenots, live from Bard SummerScape for the American Symphony Orchestra; Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3 “Espansiva” with Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic for Da Capo Records; and Sylvie in Gounod’s opéra-comique La Colombe with Sir Mark Elder and The Hallé Orchestra for the Opera Rara label.
Morley spent her early years studying violin and piano, and frequently collaborated with her violinist mother. An undergraduate of the Eastman School of Music, she went on to earn her Master of Music voice degree from The Juilliard School and her Artist Diploma from the Juilliard Opera Center in 2007, where she received the Florence & Paul DeRosa Prize. Morley also trained at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist, the Ravinia Festival Steans Institute, and the Wolf Trap Opera Company as a Filene Young Artist. She won 1st Prize in the Jessie Kneisel Lieder Competition in 2002, 1st Place in the Licia Albanese – Puccini Foundation Competition in 2006, 3rd Place in London’s Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in 2009, and received the Richard Tucker Career Grant in 2013.
Washington Classical Review, May 2022
"Every moment she sang, onstage and from the wings, her voice shimmered with radiance and delicacy."
New York Classical Review, April 2018
“Erin Morley is in a class of her own among coloratura sopranos, singing even the most dazzlingly difficult material with beauty and musical sense . . . The aria “Glitter and Be Gay” brought the show to a halt, as it should—she reveled in her warm-toned middle voice, milking the lament for all it was worth before vaulting through the sparkling coloratura with blinding brilliance.”
Platea Magazine, November 2019
“Rounding out a very careful third protagonist, the American soprano Erin Morley sang a textbook Gilda. Clear sound and extraordinary musicality, her interpretation admires the combination of security, style and containment, achieving a very natural and precise belcanto expressiveness. Her voice, perfectly blended with that of Tézier, offered some of the best moments of the evening, crisp and never overstressed. Her candid portrait of Gilda’s character managed to take the role far beyond what Schilling’s own production seemed to conceive beforehand."