In her young career, Greek soprano Eleni Calenos has captured critics’ and audiences’ admiration for the clarity, warmth, and beauty of her lyric voice and her dignified characterizations. Of her performance as Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly, the Houston Press said, “The phenomenon was the Cio-Cio-San of Greek soprano Eleni Calenos, whose nuanced characterization was a true wonder to hear. She sailed through her dramatic arias as if buoyed by the stirring music.” Last season saw Ms. Calenos make a return to Odyssey Opera as L’Infante in Massenet’s Le Cid, Madison Opera as Mimi in La Bohème, and Palm Beach Opera as Micäela in Carmen as well as her role debuts of Desdemona in Otello with the Phoenicia Music Festival and the title role in Tosca with Loft Opera. In concert, she sang Verdi’s Requiem with the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra and Queens College, and joined the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra for Respighi’s Lauda per la Natività del Signore. The 2016–2017 season includes Mimi in La Bohème in her return to Shreveport Opera, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Queens College Choral Society, Tosca with Opera Idaho, Madama Butterfly with Annapolis Opera, and Saida in Schöner Land with the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden.
Operatic engagements from the past few seasons include the role of the Countess in Le nozze di Figaro (Tulsa Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Opera in the Heights in Houston, OSH Opera in New York, and a cover at the 2010 Glimmerglass Festival as a member of the Young American Artists Program), Liù in Turandot (Opera Company of Middlebury, Shreveport Opera, Boston Chorus Pro Musica), Antonia in Les contes d’Hoffmann (Palm Beach Opera), Micaëla in Carmen (Opera Idaho), Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly (Ash Lawn Opera, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Shreveport Opera, Mississippi Opera, and Opera Idaho), Nedda in Pagliacci (Shreveport Opera), Silvia in Mascagni’s Zanetto (Odyssey Opera), Gilda in Rigoletto (Sarasota Opera), Hanna Glawari in Die lustige Witwe (Zomeropera, Belgium), Mimi in La Bohème (Palm Beach Opera, Opera Idaho), Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Valencienne in The Merry Widow (Utah Festival Opera), Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Shreveport Opera), Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte (Barbados Music Festival), Giorgetta in Il tabarro (Harrisburg Opera Association), Medora in Il corsaro (Hellenic Music Foundation, NY), as well as Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni (Martina Arroyo Foundation). Of her performance as Donna Elvira, The New York Times said, “Eleni Calenos sang with a strong, clear soprano and was persuasive as a suffering yet haughty Donna Elvira.” Other performed roles in her repertoire include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and the title role of Suor Angelica.
As a concert soloist, Ms. Calenos recently sang the soprano solo in Brahms’s Ein Deutsches Requiem and Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with the Lancaster Symphony Orchestra and appeared at Avery Fisher Hall in Rutter’s Magnificat. Her repertoire includes Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Queens College Choral Society, NY), Nielsen’s Hymnus Amoris and the title role in Handel’s oratorio Theodora (Hudson Valley Singers and the New York Metamorphoses Orchestra), as well as Strauss’s Vier letzte Lieder (Cambridge Symphony Orchestra). She has also sung Verdi’s Requiem (Penn State University, Masterworks Chorale, Boston University Symphony, Queens College Symphony), Poulenc’s Gloria, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and participated in the Meyerbeer Retrospective concert with Maestra Eve Queler (Opera Orchestra of New York). In 2006, she made a recording of George Tsontakis’s Mirologhia, which was released on the KOCH International Classics label with the Albany Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Calenos has won numerous awards including the Gerda Lissner Foundation award (2010), the “Judges Award” from the Connecticut Opera Guild Competition (2009), the Audience Favorite award at the Irma Cooper Competition (2008), and the Schuyler Foundation “Career Bridges” Award (2006–2008), and she was a finalist of the Oratorio Society of NY Competition (2010), the Renata Tebaldi International Vocal Competition (2009), and the Concurso del Canto de Bilbao (2008). Ms. Calenos holds a Performance Certificate/Degree from the Opera Institute of Boston University, a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Queens College, City University of New York, and a Diploma in Violoncello Performance from the Municipal Conservatory of Thessaloniki, Greece.