The soprano Elisabete Matos, decorated with the Order of the Infant Don Henrique, the highest decoration possible as a Portuguese public figure, by the President of the Portuguese Republic himself, has sung in the most prestigious opera houses in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, Berlin and Vienna Opera and with the best batons of the music scene, such as Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon or Daniel Oren, always singing lead roles and sharing stage with professionals of the stature by Plácido Domingo or José Carreras.
Matos was born in Braga, Portugal, where she studied singing and violin at the local conservatory. Later, she moved to Madrid, Spain, where she finished her studies at the Madrid School of Singing with a scholarship from the Gulbenkian Foundation.
Ms. Matos has sung Donna Elvira from Don Giovanni at the Hamburg Staatsoper, Lisbon’s Teatro de São Carlos, Las Palmas and Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria; Chimène in Jules Massenet’s Le Cid at the Maestranza de Sevilla and Washington Opera; Alice Ford (Falstaff) at the Hamburg Staatsoper; the leading role in Antón García Abril’s Divinas Palabras at the reopening of Madrid’s Teatro Real, next to Placido Domingo; Dolly alongside José Carreras on a new production of Wolf-Ferrari’s Sly with the Washington Opera, Nice and Tokio, a role she would also perform with Mr. Domingo at Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera; the title role in Margarita la Tornera in Madrid’s Teatro Real, once more with Mr. Domingo; Elsa inLohengrin on her debut with the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona; Mimì inLa Bohème in Lisbon’s Teatro de São Carlos and Oporto; La Voix Humaine in Seville’s Maestranza;Zazà in Turin’s Teatro Regio and Opéra de Nice; Elisabetta in a new production of Don Carlo in Madrid’s Teatro Real, Sao Carlos de Lisbon and Palermo, Simon Boccanegra at the Teatro Massimo Bellini, in Catania and Teatro Real de Madrid; Freia in Rheingold in Turin, Festival de las Palmas, Opera di Roma and Liceu; the title role in Suor Angelica at Valencia’s Palau de les Arts; the leading female rol inTosca in New York Metropolitan, Cyprus (with the Arena di Verona), Venice’s La Fenice, Oporto, Bellini di Catania, Messina, Tokio, Sao Carlos de Lisboa, Korea, Palermo, Maestranza de Sevilla and at Macerata’s Festival, La Vida Breve in Lisbon’s Teatro de São Carlos; Lisa, from Battaglia di Legnano in Massimo Bellini de Catania; Sieglinde in Die Walküre at the Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon and Liceu in Barcelona; Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer at Naples’ Teatro de San Carlo, Maestranza de Sevilla, Los Angeles Opera and Teatro Real de Madrid; Katia Kabanova and Els Pirineus at Barcelona’s Liceu; Madame Lidoine in Les Dialogues des Carmelites in her debut at Milan’s La Scala (conducted by Riccardo Muti); the title role of Tomás Bretón La Dolores in Madrid’s Teatro Real; Gutrune in Götterdämmerung at Barcelona’s Liceu and at Palau de les Arts de Valencia (conducted by Zubin Metha); Rosa inGaudí at Barcelona’s Liceu; Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera in Naples and Bari; Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana in Naples and Lisbon; Nabucco’s Abigaille in Toulon and Vienna; the title role in Norma at the Merida’s Classical Festival and in Jerez de la Frontera; Elisabeth inTannhäuser at Barcelona’s Liceu, the title role in Ifigénie en Tauride at Teatro Campoamor de Oviedo and Liceu de Barcelona, Le Roi Arthur (Geniève) en la Opéra National du Rhin , Gioconda in Tokio, Santiago de Chile and in Rome,Turandot at Beijing, Antwerp, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Santiago de Chile, Berlin, Toulouse, Berlin, and Palau de les Arts (conducted by Lorin Maazel), Brunhilde (Walküre) in Campoamor de Oviedo,Les Troyens (Casandra) also in Palau de les Arts de Valencia (conducted by Valery Gergiev), Irene, from Wagner’s Rienzi at New York, Boston and Liceu de Barcelona, Minnie (La Fanciulla del West) in Lucca with Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and in Metropolitan, Isolda (Tristan and Isolda) at Campoamor de Oviedo, Nabuco‘s Abigail at Lisboa (Sao Carlos) and Lady Macbeth at Opera National du Rhin.
Ms. Matos is also a frequent guest of various concert halls. Her concert repertory goes from Bach to contemporary music, including lieder and symphony. She was invited to perform Beethoven’s 9th Symphony in Cagliari (conducted by Lorin Maazel) and Madrid (conducted by López Cobos), Manuel de Falla’s El Sombrero de Tres Picos with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Baremboim, Wagner’s Wesendonk Lieder and a concert complete with Mozart arias with the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra. She’s also a frequent guest of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and the Teatro de São Carlos, both in Lisbon, where she starred next to José Cura on a gala performance.
Her recordings include von Suppé’s Requiem with the Gulbenkian Foundation Chorus and Orchestra conducted by Michel Corboz (Virgin Classics), as well as the title role in La Dolores for Decca (with Placido Domingo), for which she was awarded a Grammy in 2000. Ms. Matos has also recorded the title role in Chapí’s Margarita la Tornera, also with Placido Domingo (RTVE label), and El Sombrero de Tres Picos with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Baremboim and Les Troyens conducted by Valeri Gergiev. In March 2001, she was one of the singers chosen by conductor Zubin Mehta to perform at the concert given on the 100th anniversary of Verdi’s passing away.
Elisabete Matos received the medal of “Oficial da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique” from the old President of the Portuguese Republic, Dr. Jorge Sampaio and with the one of “Grande-Oficial da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique” from President of the Portuguese Republic Professor Aníbal Cavaco Silva. She was also awarded with the Artistic Merit Gold Medal of the City of Guimarães from the Lord Mayor, António Magalhães.
She won several awards in national and international competitions such as the Singing Contest Luisa Todi, the Belvedere in Vienna, among others. He also received the final award of course Lola Rodriguez Aragon, the Lyons Award Italian Lyrical, the Femina Prize in 2012 and the Voice of the Year award in 2012.
She also received the Medal of Artistic Merit from Portuguese Ministry of Culture.