The New York Times has published an extensive article about soprano Elizabeth Futral, a Metropolitan Opera regular who, along with former Opera Roanoke artistic director Steven White, keeps a residence in Franklin County.
Cooperstown, N.Y., where the American soprano Elizabeth Futral recently began a 13-performance run in “The Music Man” at the Glimmerglass Festival, is 139 miles from Manhattan, where she will perform Kaija Saariaho’s operatic monodrama “Émilie” beginning on Thursday evening as part of the Lincoln Center Festival. Yet her physical commute this weekend will be negligible compared to the psychic distance between Marian the Librarian and Émilie du Châtelet.
Ms. Futral bridges it easily, perhaps because she embodies a bit of both women: the forthright Marian Paroo and the brilliant Émilie, a pioneering 18th-century physicist, mathematician and thinker whose brief, turbulent life included extended affairs with Voltaire. Ms. Futral is the most gracious of magnolias, with just enough steel in mind, will and spirit to have propelled her to the top of her profession and kept her there for some two decades. Her luscious, pliant voice has allowed her — at 48, an age at which many lyric coloratura sopranos begin winding down — to take cannily calculated steps outside her comfort zone.