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Last modified: Monday, July 7, 2003

Soprano Elizabeth Futral to sing at IU's Summer Music Festival

A young and famous graduate of the Indiana University School of Music with a captivating stage presence and movie-star looks will return to Bloomington this month for a performance.

No, Joshua Bell isn't giving an encore.

Elizabeth Futral, one of the premier sopranos of her generation, will showcase her own burgeoning talent on July 17 at 8 p.m. at the School of Music's Auer Hall. Her performance is part of the school's annual Summer Music Festival.

Since graduating from the School of Music in 1988 with a master of music degree, Futral has gone on to perform at several of the world's leading opera houses. She scored major triumphs at the San Francisco Opera, where she created the role of Stella in the world premiere of Andre Previn's A Streetcar Named Desire, and with her debut at the Los Angeles Opera as Cleopatra in George Frideric Handel's Giulio Cesare.

Most recently, she opened the 2002-03 Washington Opera season in the title role of Gaetano Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. She will open Miami Opera House in 2005 in an adaptation, written specifically for her, of Anna Karenina.

Futral has worked in concert with some of today's great conductors, including Michael Tilson Thomas, director of the San Francisco Symphony, and Sir Colin Davis, principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.

At IU, Futral studied with Distinguished Professor of Voice and legendary soprano Virginia Zeani. A North Carolina native, Futral credits her education at IU and the competitiveness of the School of Music with helping to advance her singing career. "(At IU) I learned a lot about the opera world and what the business might be like when I got out," she said in an interview with USOperaWeb, an online opera magazine.

For her Bloomington appearance, Futral will showcase parts of her diverse repertoire, including music by Claude Debussy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Hugo Wolf. She will also perform selections from Giulio Cesare and Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata as well as songs written by composer Joseph Thalken on the poems of E.E. Cummings. Futral will be accompanied on piano by William Billingham.

General admission tickets for the performance are available for $20 ($10 for IU students) at the Musical Arts Center box office, TicketMaster at 812-333-9955, or online at http://www.music.indiana.edu/publicity/summer_fest/tickets.shtml.

For a complete listing of the School of Music's Summer Music Festival events, visit http://www.music.indiana.edu/publicity/summer_fest/.