Acclaimed soprano Emily Pulley’s radiant voice and electrifying acting have won her both national and international acclaim on the operatic stages. With Glimmerglass Opera, “she shone as Minnie, the pistol-packing, soft-hearted heroine of La fanciulla del West, capturing the crowd with burnished sound and straightforward, unaffected acting.” New York Magazine proclaimed, “Emily Pulley explores most every facet of this volatile character with a useful soprano that can deliver a power punch as well as a caressing phrase, and she gives a compelling performance.” As the Governess in The Turn of the Screw with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera News exclaimed, “Emily Pulley was outstanding as the embattled Governess. The role fits Pulley’s voice like a glove, and she captured the psychological complexity and heartbroken innocence of one of Britten’s great tragic characters.”
Recent engagements include her role début as Georgetta in Il tabarro for Opera Theatre of St. Louis; a return to Central City Opera as Julie in Showboat, a role she also covered at San Francisco Opera; the tile roles in Nora, In the Great Outdoors and Alice in the Time of Jabberwock, in a double-bill with UrbanArias in Virginia; the role of Minnie in La fanciulla del West with Eugene Opera; a double-bill of Amahl and the Night Visitors and The Christmas Rose with Musica Sacra Atlanta; and returned to the Metropolitan Opera for their production of Shostakovich’s The Nose. Last season she reprised the role of Bea in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers for Urban Arias in Virginia and for Des Moines Metro Opera; and sang the Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd with Madison Opera. This season, she performs as Mrs. P in The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Despina in Cosi fan tutte at the Nashville Opera, Peregrina in Via Lactea with OperaBend, and reprise the role of Beggar Woman in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera.
Ms. Pulley made recent role débuts in the roles of Leonora in Fidelio with Dayton Opera and Desdemona in Otello with Arizona Opera. Engagements from recent seasons also include Marguerite in Faust at the Arizona Opera and New Orleans Opera, Bea in Jake Heggie’s Three Decembers with Fort Worth Opera, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow at Kentucky Opera, a John Cage anniversary event with the Center for Contemporary Opera in New York, Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus with Virginia Opera, and Minnie in La fanciulla del West with Mobile Opera.
Previous performances include Carmina Burana and Nedda in Pagliacci at Portland Opera and The Atlanta Opera, the title roles in Susanna and Vanessa, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Beatrice in Heggie’s Three Decembers for Central City Opera, Agathe in Der Freischütz with Opera Boston, the title role of Susannah at the Wexford Festival in Ireland, Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites with Austin Lyric Opera, and Sarah in Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair for Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She also made her début at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Mimì in La bohème.
A frequent presence at the Metropolitan Opera, Ms. Pulley’s roles in the legendary house included Marguerite in Faust, Nedda in Pagliacci, Blanche in Dialogues des Carmélites, Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, Musetta in La bohème, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Thérèse in Les mamelles de Tirésias, and Erste Dame in a new production of Die Zauberflöte directed by Julie Taymor.
A champion of contemporary repertoire, she created the role of Lysia in the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s new opera, Lysistrata, in her Houston Grand Opera début, which she then reprised for New York City Opera. She made her New York City Opera début as Lavinia Mannon in Mourning Becomes Electra for which she won the New York City Opera Richard F. Gold Début Artist Award.
In concert, most recent engagements include Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 at the Chautauqua Institution, First Lady in Bernstein’s A White House Cantata with New York City’s Collegiate Chorale, and the love duet from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet with the Pacific Symphony.
A native of Texas, Ms. Pulley received the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from Central City Opera and the Jacobson Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. She is the 2006 recipient of New York City Opera’s Christopher Keene Award, recognizing an artist’s performance in new or unusual repertoire.