About Emily Pogorelc

“lively, incisive soprano”

New York Times

23-year-old American soprano Emily Pogorelc, a recent graduate of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, is a newcomer to watch, noted for her “big, soaring voice with wonderfully agile coloratura and zinging high notes” from Chicago on the Aisle. In her 2020/21 season, Ms. Pogorelc joins the ensemble of the Bayerische Staatsoper.

Photo by Simon Pauly

In her first season in Munich, Ms. Pogorelc will perform as Die Zaunschlüpfer in Walter Braufel’s Die Vögel, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Marzelline in Fidelio, Suor Genoveva in Suor Angelica and Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. Elsewhere, she will sing Servilia in La clemenza di Tito with Bergen National Opera in Norway.

A former member of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, Ms. Pogorelc was seen as Masha in Tchaikovsky’s Queen of Spades, Noémie in Massenet’s Cendrillon and die Schleppträgerin in Strauss’s Elektra, and covered Ilia in Mozart’s Idomeneo, Dalinda in Handel’s Ariodante, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Waldvogel in Wagner’s Siegfried and Woglinde in both Wagner’s Das Rheingold and Götterdämmerung. She also performed in scenes from Donizetti’s La fille du régiment and Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, in partnership with the Ryan Center. Following her time in Chicago, she was scheduled to sing in recital with Chamber Music at Bethany and to cover Morgana in Handel’s Alcina at the Glyndebourne Festival, unfortunately, both cancelled due to COVID-19. 

Before joining the Ryan Center, Ms. Pogorelc made her Washington National Opera and Kennedy Center debut, portraying Cunégonde in Francesca Zambello’s production of Bernstein’s Candide.

The Glimmerglass Festival served as Ms. Pogorelc’s artistic home for two summers as a young artist. In 2017, Ms Pogorelc starred as Romilda in Handel’s Xerxes alongside countertenor John Holiday, and covered Laurey in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! She also performed as Johanna Barker in Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and Berenice in Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro in the 2016 festival season.

Off the operatic stage, Ms. Pogorelc has performed with Madison Symphony Orchestra as Mater Gloriosa in Mahler 8/ “Symphony of a Thousand” as well as their holiday season concert, soprano soloist in Mozart’s Requiem with the New Jersey Symphony, soprano soloist in Faure’s Requiem at Fox Valley Orchestra, soprano soloist in Richard Hynson’s Evensong with the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee, and was also a soloist for Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, traveling to perform at Carnegie Hall under the baton of Ludovic Morlot. 

Passionate about performing new works, Ms. Pogorelc sang in the New York premiere of Charlie Parker’s Yardbird as Chan Parker, Charlie’s fourth and final wife. The collaboration between Opera Philadelphia and the Apollo Theatre was especially significant as it was the first opera performed at the historic Apollo Theatre in Harlem. Additionally, it w broadcast on New York City’s classical music station, 105.9 WQXR (distributed nationally by the WFMT Radio Network). In addition to Yardbird, Emily was a part of Opera Philadelphia’s second Double Exposure performance, singing the title role in David Hertzberg’s The Rose Elf. As a part of Opera Philadelphia’s composer-in-residence program, Emily performed in a live-streamed masterclass with Dawn Upshaw, singing an aria from Missy Mazzoli and Royce Vavrick’s opera, Breaking The Waves.

Most Promising Talent Award

2018-20 ENSEMBLE MEMBER

2020 Luminarts Fellow

Ms Pogorelc is a recent graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, under the tutelage of Mikael Eliasen and Julia Faulkner. During her studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, Pogorelc Lisette in Puccini’s La Rondine, Lucia in Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia, Le Feu in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, and Musetta in Puccini’s La bohéme. She also has participated in residencies at Aix-en-Provence Festival (Mozart Académie) and the Britten–Pears Young Artist Programme at Snape Maltings, in conjunction with the Aldeburgh Festival (Singing Britten Residency).

Committed to the tradition of art song, Ms. Pogorelc performed at the Chicago Cultural Center with pianist, Madeline Slettedahl and cellist, Sonia Mantell in conjunction with Musicians Club of Women in their 2019-20 recital series. She has performed in recital at Curtis Institute of Music, Chamber Music at Bethany, Chautauqua Institution and was selected as a competitor at the 2019 Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition with pianist, Chris Reynolds. She also has appeared in recital on the WFMT Ryan Opera Center recital series.

“Soprano Emily Pogorelc‘s instrument seemed to grow more penetrating as it ascended into the upper extension, while never losing beauty of tone; and the coloratura was both legato and precisely articulated, with phrase lengths that made me sympathetically gasp for air… Pogorelc is demonstrating mastery of her instrument and maturity in her stagecraft that belie her youth.”

Oliver Camacho, Vocal Arts Chicago

At the inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup, Ms. Pogorelc was the youngest finalist and the recipient of The Ginette Theano Prize for Most Promising Talent. The competition was featured as part of the Sky Arts series, broadcast all over Europe and in the United States on Medici. In her 2019-20 season, Ms. Pogorelc was a semi-finalist in The 2019 Queen Sonja International Music Competition, receiving the honor of performing for Queen Sonja of Norway. She also was awarded the Lynne Cooper Harvey Foundation Award from the Musicians Club of Women and the 2020 Luminarts Classical Voice Fellowship.

Previously, Ms. Pogorelc received first prize in The Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento Vocal Competition, first place in the Hal Leonard Art Song Competition, a grant from the Gerda Lissner/Liederkranz Foundation’s Lieder/Art Song competition, and an Emerging Artist Award from Opera Index. In the 2017 competition, she took second place in the Upper-Midwest Region of the Metropolitan National Opera Council Auditions. She has also won first place in numerous competitions, including Classical Singer Magazine Competition, The Schmidt Competition, The American Prize, and Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Art Song Festival. She is the 2014 Gold Award winner in the Classical Voice division at NFAA YoungArts and in June 2014, she was featured on National Public Radio’s, From the Top. 

Ms. Pogorelc is a proud native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.