World renowned coloratura soprano Elizabeth Futral will be recognized as Alumna of the Year during Homecoming activities at Samford University Oct. 18-20.
A 1985 Samford graduate, Futral made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in Lucia di Lammermoor in 1999. Of her performance, The New York Times reviewer wrote, "Her singing was sure, virtuoso and yet still lighted by humanity…"
"All of Samford University revels in the great success of Elizabeth Futral. Like so many, her awareness of music began in the church, and she has enhanced a God-given talent. To hear her sing is to glow with pride," said Samford president Thomas E. Corts.
Futral, who most recently opened the 2002-02 Washington Opera season as Lucia, began her career with the Lyric Opera of Chicago following graduate study at Indiana University.
Highlights of recent seasons include touring Japan with the Bayerische Staatsoper as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, singing the Brahms Requiem and Krenek's Die Nachtigall with the San Francisco Symphony, Lucia di Lammermoor with Dallas Opera, and Curley's Wife in Of Mice and Men with Houston Grand Opera. She has performed with the New York Philharmonic, the London Symphony, and was a guest artist on the 2000 New Year's Eve Gala Concert with the Berlin Philharmonic.
Futral has been featured on a Live from Lincoln Center celebration of the American musical. She has sung lead roles at the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, the Wexford Festival, San Francisco Opera, and has garnered raves at the world's greatest opera houses. The daughter of a Baptist minister, Futral grew up in Covington, La. She originally saw herself as a music educator before her Samford voice teacher Eleanor Ousley encouraged her to pursue a career in singing.
Futral will be recognized during halftime of the Samford Homecoming football game against Alcorn State Saturday afternoon (OCT. 19). Gametime is 1 p.m.