Contralto Elizabeth Pétillot enjoys a versatile career as an engaging soloist, chorister, educator and choral conductor. Her repertoire includes operatic roles such as Carmen, and Mamma Lucia (Cavalleria Rusticana), symphonic works such as Handel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Mahler’s 2nd symphony and the Alto Rhapsody by Brahms. A champion of new music, Elizabeth has worked closely with many renowned composers including Libby Larsen, Michael Colgrass, Dan Welcher, and Robert Kyr, on their chamber, operatic and oratorio works. She has recorded and performed under the direction of Helmuth Rilling, Craig Hella Johnson, Paul Hillier and Peter Phillips. Elizabeth has had the honor of recording two recent CD projects with Craig Hella Johnson and Conspirare, including the 2014 Grammy®-winning album for best choral performance, The Sacred Spirit of Russia, and the 2015 Grammy®-nominated The Poet Sings: Pablo Neruda. She also released an album of contemporary American chamber music with her ensemble The Chiaroscuro Trio entitled New People (Albany Records, 2013).
Before moving to France in 2014 Elizabeth taught classical voice and directed the university women’s chorus at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She is currently professor of voice at the école municipal de musique de St. Ciers-sur-Gironde in Bordeaux, France and she also directs multiple amateur mixed choirs in the region. Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from Indiana University Bloomington and both her Master’s and Doctoral degrees, also in vocal performance, from the University of Texas at Austin. In addition to her life as a performer, Elizabeth is a dedicated scholar and is currently writing about the history and modern notion of the contralto voice. Elizabeth speaks English, French and Italian fluently and is happy to be discovering life in the Southwest of France with her husband and son.