Elise Caluwaerts

Elise Caluwaerts

Lyric Coloratura Soprano

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2017Mozart: Don GiovanniDonna Elvira
2015Weill: Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt MahagonnyJenny Smith
2015Mozart: Die ZauberflöteKönigin der Nacht


Thanks to her versatility and captivating personality, coloratura soprano Elise Caluwaerts has grown into a renowned soloist both in Belgium and abroad. Elise Caluwaerts began her singing career as a baroque singer, and later expanded her repertoire to the romantic and contemporary genre. Her love for challenging repertoire – ranging from opera to multidisciplinary projects – led to various creations and remarkable collaborations with internationally renowned composers and ensembles. During the Sydney Festival 2016, she sang the role of Lei in Pascal Dusapin’s chamber opera Passion. Furthermore, she was invited by the St Petersburg Symphony Orchestra for a CD recording with spectacular coloratura repertoire.

"Belgian coloratura soprano Elise Caluwaerts impressed with her supple sense of line and strength, displaying a soaring, pure-toned top register and richly coloured lower register." (The Australian, reviewing Passion at the Sydney Festival 2016)

After the world creation of Rea in the multimedia opera Romulus in December 2015 with Orchestre Musiques des Lumieres in Switzerland, she was quoted as « the revelation of the production, with her powerful and transparent soprano ». She will also feature the multidisciplinary project io sono Rocco during the Kunstenfestivaldesarts in Brussels. Together with pianist Kim Van den Brempt, she will bring to the stage a variety of recitals with the romantic Lied repertoire, ranging from bel canto to late romanticism.

Future engagements are ao Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni, Mozart) in Shanghai, Medea (Medea, Dusapin) in New York and 4 Letzte Lieder with deFilharmonie (Antwerp)


Elise Caluwaerts simultaneously studied at the conservatories of Antwerp with Lucienne Van Deyck (classical singing) and Brussels (early music), followed by the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where she graduated Cum Laude in 2006 with Diane Forlano. She took master classes with Peter Kooij, Elly Ameling, David Wilson Johnson, Jozef De Beenhouwer and Gemma Visser. Franco Farina is her present coach.

As an opera soloist, Elise sang the role of Jenny in Kurt Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Volkstheater Rostock), Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas, Angelica in Orlando Furioso, Ariel in The Tempest, the leading role in Venus and Adonis and Arianna in Drift (an adaptation of Monteverdi’s L’Arianna). For many years, she had a close cooperation with director Wouter Van Looy in different international scenic projects for Music Theatre Transparant, including the applauded production The Queen without Country at the Oerol Festival in 2015. In concert productions, she has worked with conductors such as Lawrence Foster, Philippe Herreweghe, Jordi Savall, Reinbert De Leeuw, Emmanuelle Haim, Fernando Lozano, Facundo Agudin, Gabriel Garrido and Robin Engels and with ensembles such as Collegium Vocale, Oxalys, Ictus, Ensemble Phoenix Munich and Musiques Nouvelles.

Elise has a special interest in contemporary and multidisciplinary projects and has interpreted various extreme compositions such as Know what is above you by Steve Reich and Louis Andriessen's De Staat. She sang the world premieres of operas by Wim Hendrickx (Zurich) and Nicholas Lens (Beijing). In 2015 she sang one of the leading roles in Elle est Moi und Töte Mich, specifically written for her voice by Joris Blanckaert. As an actress and singer, she appeared in art films by Hans Op de Beeck and Gabriela Hernandez and in various performances with designer Kim Stumpf during Paris Fashion week in 2011 and with video artist collective Glowing Bulbs during Aurora 2015 in Dallas.

Rooted in her passion for the song repertoire, Elise forms a much sought duo with pianist Kim Van den Brempt for over ten years, culminating in 2014 with the release of their first album Nightfall, with works by Strauss, Berg and Eisler.


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CV & Repertoire

Musical Work Role Jump-in ready? Company Year
Mozart: Don Giovanni Donna Elvira Immediately Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (Shanghai) 2017
Weill: Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny Jenny Smith Immediately Volkstheater Rostock Und Norddeutsche Philharmonie 2015
Mozart: Die Zauberflöte Königin der Nacht Immediately Opéra Royal de Wallonie 2015