Hailed by Musical America for “her voice pure and ethereal, her expression embracing and heartfelt”, Elissa Johnston has appeared in a wide range of repertory. Her orchestral engagements include appearances with the Atlanta Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, Fort Worth Symphony, Oregon Bach Festival, San Francisco Contemporary Players and the Pasadena Symphony. Elissa’s performances in the 2010/11 season include Haydn’s Creation with The Los Angeles Master Chorale, Barber’s Knoxville, Summer of 1916 with Jacaranda Music, Bach Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah with the Telemann Chamber Orchestra in concerts in Tokyo and Osaka, the American premiere of Him Sophy’s The Fall of Angkor with Southwest Chamber Music, Schubert’s Shepherd on the Rock and Britten’s The Poet’s Echo with Dilijan Music, David Lang’s Little Match Girl Passion with Jacaranda Music and Schumann songs with Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra on their West Side Connections concert series at the Broad Stage. Recent highlights include Messiaen’s Harawi with pianist Vicki Ray at Jacaranda Music and Pianospheres, Bach’s B Minor Mass with Helmuth Rilling at the USC Thornton School of Music’s 125th Anniversary celebration, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra Baroque Conversations concerts led by Monica Huggett, music of Couperín with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Chamber Music Society led by Thomas Adès, and Brahms Requiem with the Los Angeles Master Chorale. Other recent appearances include Handel’s Radamisto with Musica Angelica, Bach solo cantatas 184 and 202 with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Berg’s Lyric Suite with the Denali String Quartet. Elissa appeared in the acclaimed world premiere of SPIRAL XII by Chinary Ung with the Los Angeles Master Chorale at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Previously she sang the world premiere of Aura by Mr. Ung with Grammy Award winning Southwest Chamber Music. She subsequently recorded Aura with SWCM and toured with the ensemble in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Elissa has performed numerous times with the L.A. Philharmonic’s New Music Group, both in Los Angeles and at the Ojai Festival, with conductors Tan Dun, David Zinman, Daniel Harding and Steven Stucky. She made her Lincoln Center debut singing Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes with the New York City Ballet and was subsequently invited back to premiere Morgen!, a set of 10 orchestral songs by Richard Strauss choreographed by Peter Martins. Elissa also appeared in the New York Philharmonic’s Copland Festival and Lincoln Center’s Stravinsky Festival. Her recital appearances include programs at the Aldeburgh Festival in England and at the Aspen Festival’s Winter Music Series with composer Ricky Ian Gordon. Elissa can also be heard on dozens of film soundtracks. She is the featured vocal soloist in Serenata Schizophrana by Danny Elfman which was released on the Sony Classical label and featured on the IMAX release Deep Sea 3D.