Elizabeth Cragg
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Magnificat Esurientes
Composer: John Rutter Other Artists: St Albans Cathedral Choirs, Andrew Lucas, Ensemble DeChorum
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Regina Coeli
Composer: Mozart Other Artist: St Albans Choir/Andrew Lucas Credit: Naxon 2013
1:01
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Elizabeth Cragg studied at Royal Holloway College and at the Royal College of Music where she won a number of singing prizes.

Recent engagements include Naiad Ariadne auf Naxos (Scottish Opera and Opera Holland Park)‚ Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail (West Green House)‚ Johanna Sweeney Todd (Theatre Royal de la Monnaie)‚ Sophie Der Rosenkavalier and Amanda Le Grand Macabre (Aalto-Theater‚ Essen)‚ Mrs Julian Owen Wingrave (Théâtre du Capitole‚ Toulouse)‚ a recital of Handel arias and duets in the London Handel Festival at the Wigmore Hall‚ Minerva The Return of Ulysses (Iford Festival‚ conducted by Christian Curnyn). Current Concerts include Bach’s St Matthew Passion (London Handel Festival)‚ B Minor Mass and C Minor Mass (St Albans Bach Choir)‚ Mozart’s Requiem (Southampton Guildhall)‚ Carmina Burana (The Anvil‚ Basingstoke)‚ Monteverdi’s Vespers (Armonico Consort)‚ Mozart’s Women with Ex Cathedra and the CBSO and Handel’s Messiah in Tokyo.

Further operatic engagements include Flowermaiden Parsifal (Royal Opera House‚ Covent Garden and with Sir Mark Elder/The Hallé at the BBC Proms)‚ First Niece Peter Grimes (Sir Simon Rattle/Berlin Philharmonic‚ Salzburg Easter Festival and in Berlin)‚ 2nd Niece Peter Grimes (Vladimir Jurowski/the LPO)‚ Ninette L’Amour des Trois Oranges (with Tomáš Netopil) and Clorinda Il Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda (both Netherlands Opera)‚ Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos (Garsington Opera)‚ Angelica in Steffani’s Orlando Generoso (Barber Opera‚ Birmingham)‚ Fauno in Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba (Buxton Festival) and Belinda Dido and Aeneas (Akademie für Alte Musik‚ Berlin and Brussels). She created the roles of Swan in Jonathan Dove’s Swanhunter (Opera North)‚ Mrs Green Down by the Greenwood Side by Birtwistle (Brighton Festival)‚ the Angel in Dove’s chamber opera Seven Angels and Dorella in Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot (Chelsea Opera Group at Cadogan Hall).

Elizabeth has sung with many of Europe’s leading conductors‚ including Sir Simon Rattle‚ Sir Mark Elder‚ Vladimir Jurowski‚ Sir Neville Marriner‚ Sir Roger Norrington and Trevor Pinnock. Notable concert and oratorio appearances include Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with The Sixteen and The Bach Choir‚ Messiah with The Sixteen and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra‚ Bach’s Magnificat with the Royal Northern Sinfonia‚ Haydn The Creation at the Three Choirs Festival‚ Mozart Concert Arias with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra‚ Handel’s Dixit Dominus and St Matthew Passion with The English Concert‚ Bach Cantatas with The Hanover Band and Dido and Aeneas with the OAE at the BBC Proms‚ New Years’ Concerts with the Halle Orchestra and the Royal Northern Sinfonia; Purcell’s King Arthur (Brussels‚ Amsterdam‚ Bruges and Antwerp)‚ Bach’s St Matthew Passion (Tilford Bach Festival and St John’s Smith Square) and Bach’s St John Passion (Washington National Cathedral).

Recordings include Rutter Magnificat and Mozart Regina Coeli (Naxos).

Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Opera Holland Park

'... with mesmerizingly sung and choreographed support from the Naiad‚ Dryad and Echo of Elizabeth Cragg‚ Laura Zigmantaite and Lucy Hall‚ modeling stunning gowns created by McDonald.'

Opera Magazine (October 2018)

'Her three companions‚ Naiad‚ Dryad and Echo (a sumptuously voiced trio of Elizabeth Cragg‚ Laura Zigmantaite and Lucy Hall) comment like a Greek chorus.'

Bachtrack (July 2018)

'...with superb support from her three graces‚ Echo‚ Naiad and Dryad‚ beautifully directed and dressed as though for a Vogue fashion shoot‚ and magically sung by Lucy Hall‚ Elizabeth Cragg and Laura Zigmantaite.'

Classical Source (July 2018)

'The evening is conducted well by Brad Cohen‚ while Naiad‚ Dryad and Echo are superbly sung by Elizabeth Cragg‚ Laura Zigmantaite and Lucy Hall respectively. Their beautiful dresses are each made up of a different combination of black and white‚ and their stiff trains rise to depict the sails on Bacchus’ ship.'

MusicOMH (July 2018)

'Elizabeth Cragg‚ Laura Zigmantaite and Lucy Hall as Naiad‚ Dryad and Echo formed a finely expressive trio‚ and they had a stronger dramatic presence than in some productions‚ here as elegantly clad bridesmaids.'

Planet Hugill (July 2018)

'Three nymphs (Naiad‚ Dryad and Echo) are formed by the superbly chosen trio of Elizabeth Cragg‚ Laura Zigmantaite and Lucy Hall.'

Seen & Heard International (July 2018)

'McDonald the designer moves from the three caravans parked outside the back of Holland House ... to three exquisite costumes to match the tonal loveliness of the nymphs on Naxos (Elizabeth Cragg‚ Laura Zigmantaite and Lucy Hall). Their dresses are suggestive of their nature-magic‚ much needed as they spread batty white wings for the arrival of the god ... the nymphs and the most sensuous of orchestras do the work of moving us.'

The Arts Desk (July 2018)

'...McDonald’s designs serve his directorial vision‚ not least with the stunning black-and-white gowns of Ariadne’s three servants (their coordinated movements and tight vocal ensemble are mesmerising).'

The Stage (July 2018)

'... melt to the ensemble beauty - not to mention the ravishing costumes – of Elizabeth Cragg‚ Laura Zigmantaite and Lucy Hall as Ariadne’s nymphs. All of them despatch their intricate Straussian material with ease.'

What’s on Stage (July 2018)

Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Scottish Opera

'Elizabeth Cragg‚ Laura Zigmantaite and Lucy Hall were the three exquisitely matched nymphs'

Opera Magazine (June 2018)

Die Entführung aus dem Serail‚ West Green House Opera

'Elizabeth Cragg played Blonde as a glamorous woman with attitude‚ expressing herself confidently ni tones of more than soubrettish substance.'

Opera Magazine (October 2017)

Bete aber auch dabei‚ A Tribute to Bach‚ Uppernote Recordings

'Very slow but so beautiful...that achingly lovely aria...Cragg is also excellent in Ich habe genug.'

BBC Radio 3 Record Review (April 2016)

St Matthew Passion‚ London Handel Festival

'Elizabeth Cragg’s vibrant tone and highly dramatic style were ideal for the soprano arias‚ and she made the most of her declarations.'

MusicOMH (April 2016)

Das Liebesverbot‚ Chelsea Opera Group‚ Cadogan Hall London

'Elizabeth Cragg’s Dorella produced fine vocalism in delineating their very different characters'

Opera Magazine (January 2016)

Beg‚ Borrow or Steal‚ London Handel Players at Warwick

The arrival of soprano Elizabeth Cragg changed the tone quickly. Singing Campra’s "Cantata Arion"‚ it helps to have a fine voice and to be able to act in telling the story of Arion’s musical contest success and his subsequent battle with the thieving‚ dastardly crew of the vessel taking him home. After the interval‚ Cragg returned to sing an exquisite Bach Aria from Cantata BWV115‚ and rounded off the evening with two Handel arias‚ Cragg’s voice carrying wonderfully above the violin and then the flute. As an encore Cragg and Cummings delighted the St Mary’s audience with what else but Handel’s "As steal’s the morn"! What a well choreographed evening

Leamington Spa Courier (November 2015)

'A large cast tackled some demanding roles with conspicuous success...sopranos Kirstin Sharpin and Elizabeth Cragg respectively seizing the opportunities granted to Isabella’s friend Mariana and her former maid Dorella'

The Guardian (October 2015)

St Matthew Passion‚ London Handel Orchestra‚ St John’s Smith Square

'How does a critic begin to describe the most perfectly performed musical experience in many years?...The nine singers’ individual yet easily melded voices provided ever-shifting vocal colour. It is difficult to single out anyone’s performance – all contributed to the creation of a highly emotional evening in which three hours passed in seemingly no time at all'

MusicOMH (June 2015)

Le grand macabre‚ Theater Essen

'In the very first scene Amanda and Amando appear as Sophie and Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier. Had it not been for Ligeti’s oblique carhorn fanfare‚ you might think you were in the wrong piece. Elizabeth Cragg and Karin Strobos sing their intimate thirds so finely tuned that immediately the magic of the good old opera time is set'

Opern Welt (April 2015)

'Elizabeth Cragg und Katrin Strobos‚ die beide himmlisch singen /// Heavenly singing from both Elizabeth Cragg and Katrin Strobos'

Concerti.de (February 2015)

'...das Liebespaar (Elizabeth Cragg als Amanda und Karin Strobos als Amando ausgesprochen schön singend) /// the lovers (Elizabeth Cragg as Amanda and Karin Strobos as Amando sing very beautifully)'

KlassikInfo.de (February 2015)

'...verdient jeder Sänger eine Erwähnung...Anrührend das Liebespaar mit Elizabeth Cragg als Amanda und Karin Strobos als Amando. Fazit: eine glänzende Ensembleleistung///...every singer deserves a mention...the touching lovers Elizabeth Cragg as Amanda and Karin Strobos as Amando . Conclusion: a brilliant ensemble performance'

OpernNetz.de (February 2015)

Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria‚ Iford Arts

'...the silvery gown (and voice) of Elizabeth Cragg’s goddess Minerva making her shimmering presence as Ulysses’s protecting shadow...Cragg was just one of a wholly impressive cast assembled by Christian Curnyn'

Opera Magazine (October 2014)

'...with reflections off the silver gown of the goddess Minerva contributing a pervading aura. Willowy Elizabeth Cragg gives her real presence'

The Guardian (July 2014)

'There are some formidable voices on display...there are no weak links in this cast‚ and it’s a pleasure to see and hear them all...Elizabeth Cragg’s striking Minerva'

The Stage (July 2014)

Arthur‚ La Monnaie

'...the orchestra’s precision‚ lush sound‚ unorthodox tempi and beautiful ornamentation make this 100-minute evening a musical treat. Four superb vocal soloists (Elizabeth Cragg‚ Reinoud van Mechelen‚ Konstantin Wolff and McFadden) add to the aural pleasure'

Financial Times (March 2014)

Peter Grimes‚ London Philharmonic Orchestra‚ Royal Festival Hall

'A fine cast was assembled...Elizabeth Cragg and Malin Christensson (Nieces) contributed keenly etched cameos'

The Sunday Times (October 2013)

Among all the other strong contributions...Malin Christensson and Elizabeth Cragg joyously sexy as her accommodating "Nieces"

Birmingham Post (September 2013)

'The quartet of women was first-rate‚ both individually and together...“Nieces” (Malin Christenssen and Elizabeth Cragg) were done up as Essex slappers...certainly made their vocal mark'

Opera Britannia (September 2013)

'Malin Christensson and Elizabeth Cragg‚ excellent in the Straussian quartet - suggested that they alone bring colour to the Borough'

The Arts Desk (September 2013)

Down by the Greenwood Side‚ Brighton Festival

'The admirably disciplined performance directed by Susannah Waters and conducted by Christopher Stark had all the required panache‚ and Elizabeth Cragg sang the mad woman’s crazy coloratura with aplomb'

The Telegraph (May 2014)

'We began out in the courtyard with a dozen spookily distraught women shuffling in blankets round gaunt trees — kindred spirits‚ no doubt‚ of the tragic Mrs Green (Elizabeth Cragg‚ excellent)‚ whose neurotic lament for the infant sons she has murdered is interwoven through the piece.'

The Sunday Times (May 2014)

Parsifal‚ Hallé Orchestra‚ BBC Prom 57‚ Royal Albert Hall

'Each of the six Flower Maidens were balanced beautifully against the female chorus in explicitly seductive strains – Elizabeth Cragg floated perfectly above her siren sisters...'

Bachtrack (August 2013)

Mozart Missa brevis K194 & 275 / Regina coeli K127 - Naxos CD

'Elizabeth Cragg takes her solo role with great skill and sensitivity'

International Record Review (May 2013)

'Both [Masses] are performed with energy‚ clarity and poise by the St Albans Cathedral Choir and the Sinfonia Verdi...The penultimate section is exquisitely lovely‚ and finely sung by Elizabeth Cragg'

BBC Music Magazine (April 2013)

'...a good period orchestra‚ and the attractively voiced soprano of Elizabeth Cragg'

Naxos (March 2013)

St. John Passion‚ Washington National Cathedral

'Elizabeth Cragg’s soprano was fresh and radiant'

Washington Post (March 2013)

The Love for Three Oranges‚ De Nederlandse Opera

'The Princesses of Orange were each remarkable...Elizabeth Cragg sang Ninette with a stunning lightness and subtlety'

Bachtrack (March 2013)

'De degelijke zangerscast kent geen uitschieters‚ of het moest de sopraan Elizabeth Cragg zijn‚ de begeerde prinses die uit haar schil kruipt /// This solid cast of singers knows no extraordinary standouts‚ except for the soprano Elizabeth Cragg‚ the desired princess who crawls out from her peel'

De Volkskrant (March 2013)

Orlando Generoso‚ Barber Opera

'...the music floweing in an inevitable sequence‚ is magnificent‚ and was powerfully conveyed by the singers...Particularly memorable was the lament ’Se t’eclissi’‚ almost a template for ’Scherza‚ infida’ from Handel’s Ariodante‚ sung by the busy lust-object Angelica (Elizabeth Cragg)'

Opera Magazine (December 2012)

'The cast of young professional singers made a well-chosen team‚ outstanding among them... Elizabeth Cragg'

Birmingham Post (October 2012)

'It was the arrival of soprano Elizabeth Cragg as imperial Angelica that lifted this music and staging to a yet higher plane. The voice is pure -- utterly scintillating at best -- and several of Steffani’s arias for her are‚ or came across as‚ like a moving plaint'

Music & Vision (September 2012)

Gloria‚ Magnificat‚ Te Deum: Rutter CD - Naxos

'Soprano Elizabeth Cragg sings with soaring sweetness at every turn'

Choral Journal (November 2012)

'The ‘Esurientes’‚ which might be the loveliest Rutter interlude of all‚ is sung gorgeously by soprano Elizabeth Cragg'

American Record Guide (September 2011)

'Soprano soloist Elizabeth Cragg is especially melting in the delicious “Esurientes” movement'

Gramophone (August 2011)

'Elizabeth Cragg the silvery voiced solo soprano‚ Tom Winpenny the organist. Very strongly recommended'

David’s Review Corner (April 2011)

Swanhunter‚ Opera North

'The Swan‚ sung with pinging accuracy by Elizabeth Cragg'

Opera Magazine (January 2010)

Ariadne auf Naxos‚ Garsington

'Elizabeth Craggs Zerbinetta was pert and pretty and confidently sailed through the pyrotechnics of her big aria.'

Opera Magazine (August 2007)

'To watch the scantily attired Elizabeth Cragg scorn the elements with her titillating roulades and dizzying high Ds was to witness heroic efforts above and beyond the call.'

Independent (July 2007)

'A sparkling turn from Elizabeth Cragg as Zerbinetta.'

Independent on Sunday (July 2007)

'Dank der überragenden Elizabeth Cragg als Zerbinetta gab es in «Ariadne von Naxos» gleich nochmals ein Koloraturfeuerwerk zu hören.'

Nueu Zërcher Zeitung (July 2007)

'Sometimes it seems that we are the playthings of the Gods. Scarcely had Elizabeth Cragg embarked upon Zerbinettas long solo Grossmächtige Prinzessin - widely regarded as the most fiendishly difficult coloratura aria ever written - than the heavens opened and wind raged. Ignoring the rain cascading onto the stage‚ the heavy surtitle banner swinging precariously above her and the plastic walls of the auditorium cracking like ogre-wielded whips all around us‚ this brilliant soprano sang on. In defiance of the elements‚ she proceeded with the flashy display of roulades‚ trills and darting melody‚ in which were confessed the saucy commedia stars wicked‚ wicked ways‚ as she pouted‚ preened and stretched languorously on her white sofa. What a marvel of control - and thoroughly deserving of the ovation she received from Monday nights first-night audience for Richard Strauss’ sublime Ariadne auf Naxos.'

Oxford Times (July 2007)

'This is the battle of the Ziegfeld Follies‚ dominated by Elizabeth Craggs pert and prettily sung Zerbinetta - part Ginger Rogers‚ part Jessica Rabbit.'

The Times (June 2007)

'But the knockout performance‚ astonishing in the circumstances‚ was Elizabeth Craggs Zerbinetta. Vocally assured and with undaunted stage presence‚ she lit up a tempestuous evening more than the fireworks with which the performance ended. Medals have been won for far less.'

The Guardian (June 2007)

'An exquisite Zerbinetta‚ Elizabeth Cragg seduced the audience with her seamless coloratura and delicate phrasing.'

Music Web (June 2007)

'Elizabeth Craggs Zerbinetta scintillates in her famous showpiece aria.'

The Stage (June 2007)

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