Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions 2019 as well as both third prize and the audience prize at the Operalia competition 2023, 25-year-old Cuban-American soprano Elena Villalón is already attracting major attention. An alumna of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, her engagements in the 2023-24 season included her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Amore in Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice, and Sheila in the world premiere of Gregory Spears’ The Righteous at the Santa Fe Opera. As an ensemble member at Oper Frankfurt, Villalón will lead a new production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro as Susanna, and make her role debut as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte. She will sing the Bach Christmas Oratorio at the Tiroler Festspiele, and Mahler's Symphony No. 2 with the Lubbock Symphony.
Recent engagements include house and role debuts at the Dallas Opera as Tina in Flight and Gretel in Hansel und Gretel; Nannetta in Falstaff in Santa Fe; as well as continued collaborations with Houston Grand Opera, where she performed Susanna, created the role of Amy in Joel Thompson's The Snowy Day, and made her role debut as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette. She also joined the English Concert and Harry Bicket in an international tour of Handel's Solomon, and sang Iole in a new production of Hercules and Atalanta in Xerxes.
In concert she has appeared with Vocal Arts DC, with Kathleen Kelly at the Kennedy Center, in Orff's Carmina Burana with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Poulenc's Gloria with the Grand Rapids Symphony, and Handel's Ode for St. Cecilia’s Day with Boston Baroque.
A native of Austin, Texas, Villalón studied at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and made her professional debut as a Gerdine Young Artist at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She recently took home several prizes in the Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, a 2022 Sara Tucker Study Grant, and the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from Houston Grand Opera.