Tristan und Isolde (Isolde) Saffron Opera Group – September 2019

The two leads were superbly taken, by Elaine McKrill as an Isolde who in Act I captured the full range of her complex feelings towards Tristan, until with the potion they suddenly undergo their drastic simplification;

(Michael Tanner)

The standout performance came from Saffron Opera Group’s Wagner stalwart Elaine McKrill. Her Isolde was a fully-fledged assumption; imperious and enraged in Act I; intense and anxious while awaiting Tristan’s arrival in Act II; and then very feminine once he did turn up. The transfiguration of her ‘Liebestod’ was memorably delivered. That McKrill has sung Isolde in staged performances was apparent in all she did and – amongst her plethora of other fine evenings – this was the best I have heard her sing.

(Jim Pritchard – Seen and Heard International)

Parsifal (Kundry) Saffron Opera Group – September 2018

Elaine McKrill explored Kundry’s complexity with expression and fine singing, first in her relationship with Amfortas (beautifully and expressively sung by Richard Burkhard), then with Parsifal, so that we were left in a state of anticipation for their big Act II scene.

(Anthony Negus – Wagner News)

The Kundry of Elaine McKrill also proved an asset in this second act, another powerful and controlled reading. McKrill also has a voice of Wagnerian proportions (she sang Brünnhilde in the Saffron Opera Ring), though her delivery sometimes felt too controlled – good diction and excellent clarity of tone

(Gavin Dixon – The Arts Desk)

Götterdämmerung (Brünnhilde) Saffron Opera Group – September 2017

Brünnhilde, more perhaps than Siegfried, is the dramatic and emotional lynchpin of Götterdämmerung, indeed of the Ring itself, and Elaine McKrill’s experience showed as she never let the role’s emotions get out of hand or become the substitute for some cultured singing. The drama was all in the voice and when it came to the ‘Immolation Scene’ she proved herself a consummate storyteller.
Jim Pritchard:

Siegfried (Brünnhilde) Saffron Opera Group – February 2017
Elaine McKrill’s Brünnhilde was just the match for Siegfried and the warmth and fine focus of her singing expressed the ex-Godesses’ vulnerability beautifully.
(Peter Reid: Opera Magazine April 2017)

Die Walküre (Brünnhilde) Saffron Opera Group – October 2017
 Elaine McKrill, fresh from a very successful Elektra at Theater Magdeburg, gave us a beautifully clear Brünnhilde with a lovely sense of girlish joy and energy, her voice well up to the role’s stratospheric challenges, never faltering in delivery or poise. In her final scene, McKrill’s soprano still sounded as lithe and supple as her first entry; her Brünnhilde made an exciting transformation from idealistic adolescent to incipient wisdom as she marvelled at Siegmund’s strength of love.
Charlotte Valori:

Elektra (Title role) Theater Magdeburg – October 2015

Jede „Elektra“-Aufführung steht und fällt mit der Besetzung der Titelpartie. Eine der anspruchsvollsten hochdramatischen Sopranpartien. In Magdeburg hat man ja die seltene Gelegenheit, einem echten Rollendebüt beizuwohnen, nämlich der britischen Sopranistin Elaine McKrill. Wie war sie denn als Elektra? Mit eine Wort fabelhaft! Die gebürtige Britin kennt sich in dem Werk von Richard Strauss bestens aus, sie sang bereits die Marschallin im »Rosenkavalier« sie hat auch die Aufseherin in der »Elektra« gesungen. Sie kennt das Stück also sehr gut. Und jetzt hat sie sich in Magdeburg an die Titelpartie herangewagt. Sie hat das Kaliber von Stimme für die Partie, die trompetenhafte Stoßkraft, die Höhe und das Durchhaltevermögen. Ganz erstaunlich: Eine neue Hochdramatische ist auf dem Markt des Opernbusiness. Das Publikum in Magdeburg war restlos begeistert von ihr.

Each “Elektra” performance stands and falls with the occupation of the title role. One of the most demanding dramatic soprano roles. In Magdeburg one has the rare opportunity to witness a real role debut, namely the British soprano Elaine McKrill . How was she as Elektra? With one word FABULOUS! The native Briton knows the work of Richard Strauss well, she has already sung the Marschallin in ” Der Rosenkavalier ” (and) the Aufseherin in “Elektra” .  She has the calibre of voice for the game, the trumpet-like momentum, the height and the stamina. Quite astonishing: A new dramatic soprano is in the market of the opera business. The audience in Magdeburg was completely thrilled by it.

(Dieter Davd Scholz – MDR Figaro October 23rd 2015)

That this bold concept works so overwhelmingly, in addition to the Magdeburg Philharmonic – an ensemble which copes with the enormous musical requirements brilliantly and with flying colors, above all, is due to Elaine McKrill who gives her role debut in this production. In her singing between frenzied peak tones and lyrical passages we find tormenting passion, hateful revenge, affectionate sister love and longing for the brother as executor of revenge. A brilliant vocal and interpretive shaping of this role.

(Opernnetz 26.10.15 Herbert Henning)

Brünnhilde (Götterdämmerung excerpts) London Welsh Centre – December 2011

Elaine McKrill tore the place apart. The power, passion and beauty of her singing would grace any international stage, and the way she conveyed Brünnhilde’s newly-found vulnerability, her anguished inner conflict as Hagen tempted her to betray Siegfried, and her silent grief and pain when Hagen proposed “Siegfrieds Tod”, were heartbreaking.  

McKrill surpassed herself in the Immolation, especially at the lovely moment when she mimed releasing a bird into flight, just before the huge peace of “Ruhe, ruhe, du Gott!”, and in the almost cosmic power of the ending.                                                                 (Katie Barnes – Wagner News)

Ortlinde (Die Walküre) Hallé Orchestra, Bridgewater Hall – July 2011

 … a group of Valkyries of tremendous urgency. You could see Wotan in their eyes, and hear him in voices of such power that you felt like you’d been run over by a train.                         (The Independent 18 July 2011)

Isolde (Tristan und Isolde) Teatro Carlo Felice, Genoa – April 2010

For some unpublicized reason Carlo Felice scheduled an hiatus of ten days after the third of its five Tristan performances. For the reprise on April 28 much of the cast had changed, most notably the Isolde, now English soprano Elaine McKrill. Mme. McKrill, a veteran of smaller roles in prestige Ring productions, is an accomplished and experienced artist who arrived in Genoa vocally and dramatically well prepared, and definitely raring to give a fine performance. That she did.

Mme McKrill is a youthful Isolde, her wiles more innocent than knowing, her musicality more urgent than considered.  Thus she gave Mo. Gelmetti an Isolde more human than mythical – she was not the sorceress that Mo. Gelmetti might imagine if Wagner’s opera were only the Tristan tragedy. Mme McKrill’s Liebestod was understood as a hymn to femininity, her tragedy felt as the impossibility of attaining the paramount feminine ideal. Both heroes of this Tristan were victims of love, Isolde learned that love was but a myth, Tristan understood that to love he would sacrifice his life.                                               

(Opera – Michael Milenski   15 May 2010)

Marianne Leitmetzerin (Der Rosenkavalier)  ROH – December 2009

Elaine McKrill sang well as Sophie’s dotty Duenna who succumbed to the vapours at any hint of inappropriate behaviour by her charge.                                                           

(Jim Pritchard – Seen and Heard)

Ortrud (Lohengrin) – Henry Wood Hall, London, November 2009 

 the show was stolen by Elaine McKrill as Ortrud. Even while she was waiting to sing, walking to her place and laying her score on the stand, we could see that she was already in character, and her evil smile as Elsa sang was blood-chilling. With her very first lines, she made the afternoon take fire. Her first interjection in ‘Euch Lüften’ was a hiss of pure malice, and her cry of ‘Elsa!’ sounded laced with evil, even while Ortrud was pretending to be servile, before opening her voice out to make her plea sound so pathetic that she nearly convinced me of her sincerity. Then the impact of ‘Entweihte Götter!’, a sudden unleashing  of terrifying pagan power, fairly rocked the audience in their seats, before we saw the tremendous effort of changing her facial expression as Elsa reappeared. Her lower register is so wonderfully rich, which heightened the contrast with (Julie) Unwin’s high, pure tones in the duet, and the dramatic tautness between them was intense. Her reappearance in Act III at ‘Fahr heim!’ was devastating, like a whirlwind cutting across everything. What a superb singing actress she is.

(A) force of nature…who shattered us all…..
(Katie Barnes – Wagner News)

Isolde (Tristan und Isolde) Opera Dijon – June 2009

Des chanteurs, on apprécie surtout l’Isolde d’ Elaine McKrill dont la présence porte l’opéra. Ce rôle écrasant, elle l’assume avec une stabilité vocale remarquable. D’une douceur bouleversante au 1er acte lorsqu’elle raconte la rencontre avec Tristan, le personnage évolue ensuite, comme si la jeune fille abandonnait sa fragilité pour assumer pleinement son rôle de femme transfigurée par la passion.   

Amongst the singers we appreciated especially the Isolde of Elaine McKrill, whose presence literally sustains the opera.  She assumes this overwhelming role with a remarkable vocal stability. From the very moving sweetness of the first act when she tells of the meeting with Tristan, she then develops her character, as if the girl was leaving her fragility behind to assume completely her role as a woman transfigured by passion.                                     (Isabelle Sibbe –

Elaine McKrill en Isolde crépusculaire se love de manière admirable dans les volutes du chant wagnérien et offre dans le duo d’amour du second acte avec Leonid Zakhozhaev un moment de rêve éveillé d’une sensibilité à fleur de peau. Elle réussit même dans la scène finale, malgré les projecteurs qui illuminent crûment la salle, à garder l’émotion intacte. 

As a twilight Isolde, Elaine McKrill coils up admirably in swirls of Wagnerian singing and, in the love duet in  the second act with Leonid Zakhozaev, gives a moment of awakened dream,  of delicate and moving sensibility. In the final scene she manages, despite the spotlights which illuminate the audience, to sustain the emotion.                   

(Michel le Naour –

Elaine McKrill interprète le rôle titre avec subtilité et l’air final « Mild und leise » est conforté par sa musicalité.  

Elaine McKrill interprets the title role with subtlety and the final ‘Mild und leise’ is strengthened by her musicality.                        

(Joelle Farenc – ResMusica)

…l’Irlandaise campe un personnage jeune et volontaire, qui offre son lot de nuances.

 The Irish girl is portrayed as a young and strong willed character, offering many nuances.     (Yannick Millon – Altamusica)

Her portrayal was assured, angry, lustful; at times petulant and at times dignified. The (Act One) narration and curse were beautifully  delivered…McKrill’s triumphant and Madonna-like Liebestod…  

(Jorge Rodrigues – Wagner News)

Missa Solemnis (Beethoven)  North London Chorus – March 2009

The evening’s soloists gave superb performances, working closely with the choir to produce many memorable moments. Right from the Kyrie, it was clear how much preparation had gone into this concert – the Christe eleison was superb. (David Winskill – Ham and High)

Swedenborg Hall Recital – May 2008

…a wonderfully powerful technique…a strong lyrical performance…at times almost venom in her delivery (Act I Narration and Curse – Isolde)

Much tenderness…remarkable vocal fireworks… (Immolation Scene – Brünnhilde)
(Jeremy Rowe – Wagner News)

Kundry (Parsifal Act II) St Michael’s Hall, London – October 2007

Elaine McKrill…gave an impassioned account…excellent diction
(David Waters – Wagner News)

Brünnhilde (Ring Cycle) – Chemnitz, May 2007 

Elaine…dominated the stage…attacked her declamations fearlessly…superb diction       (David Waters – Wagner News)

Amelia (Un Ballo in Maschera) – Surrey Opera, February 2006

Elaine McKrill was a dignified and graceful Amelia who possessed a beautifully full soprano voice   (Elena Hill – Sevenoaks Chronicle)

Amelia played by Elaine McKrill had all the attributes of a leading lady – strength, stage presence and musicianship. It was easy to believe that both men would have fallen for her
(Kate Davies)

Brünnhilde (Die Walküre) – Oxford Philomusica, December 2005

Masterly. Elaine McKrill’s beautiful voice especially moving as she pleads with her father.(Hugh Vickers – Oxford Times)

Kundry (Parsifal) – Palace Opera, June 2005

Elaine brings deeply moving interpretations to all the roles she sings

(Michael Bousfield – Wagner News)

Brünnhilde (Die Walküre) – Mastersingers, December 2004

Elaine McKrill was simply outstanding, conveying wonderful generosity and amplitude, not just in her singing but in her portrayal of the warrior maiden who is prepared to give up everything to safeguard the Volsungs

Elaine McKrill’s Brünnhilde was fantastic
(Katie Barnes – Wagner News)

Vanda (Dvorák, UK premiere) – Bloomsbury Theatre, UCO 03.04

Elaine McKrill – terrific – sang fabulously
(Roderic Dunnett – Opera Now)

Elaine McKrill’s Vanda is a fearless and indefatigable dramatic soprano
(Hilary Finch – The Times)

Her characterisation of Vanda is strong, robust and convincing
(Stephan Long – Morning Star)

The star was the titular heroine, sung and well-acted by Royal Academy-trained soprano Elaine McKrill. Her oath to her country in Act 1 was particularly impressive. Yet she could be touching also, as in the closing scenes of the opera
(Colin Clarke – Classical Music Web)

Elaine McKrill`s Vanda combined the looks and voice of a Valkyrie
(Andrew Clark – Financial Times)

Gutrune (Götterdämmerung) – Scottish Opera 2004

A fine portrayal…. Making much of her close questioning of Siegfried about what really happened when he and Gunther went to Brunnhilde’s rock
(The Sunday Telegraph – 13 April 2003)

 Gunther takes refuge in a relationship with Gutrune, finely characterised by Elaine McKrill
(Scotland on Sunday – April 13th 2003)

 Breathtaking: Elaine McKrill as Gutrune
(Daily Mail – 11 April 2003)

 Glamourpuss Gutrune
(The Sunday Times – 13 April 2003)

Elaine McKrill – a glamorous and touching Gutrune
(The Independent – 20 August 2003)

 Peter Savidge and Elaine McKrill turned in portrayals of Gunther and Gutrune both strongly sung and considered depictions of weak and somewhat unsympathetic characters
(Alexander Campbell, Classical Source – August 03)

Manon Lescaut – Kentish Opera April 2002

As Manon Lescaut, soprano Elaine McKrill sang and acted the role with a passion and clarity of voice that could not be faulted
(Roy Atterbury – Kentish Times)

Abigaille (Nabucco) – Kentish Opera April 2000

The performances in the leading roles brought a special quality to the opening night. Soprano Elaine McKrill, in particular, generated a great sense of evil as the slave Abigaille whose desire for power blinds her to the true nature of the appalling deeds she commits. It was a dynamic portrayal, mesmeric in its intensity and faultless in its interpretation
(Roy Atterbury – Kentish Times)