Obituary: Soprano Elinor Ross Dies at 88

By Logan Martell
(Credit: Scobar123)

On March 6, soprano Elinor Ross passed away. Known for her vocal warmth and dramatic authenticity, Ross interpreted many roles in the classic Italian repertoire.

Born August 1, 1926, in Tampa Florida, Ross began her education at Syracuse University before moving to New York. Under the tutelage of William Herman, she studied alongside figures such as Roberta Peters, Nedda Casei, and Elaine Malbin.

Her professional debut came in 1958, performing as Leonora in “Il Trovatore” with Cincinnati Opera alongside Jussi Bjorling, Giulietta Simionato, and Ettore Bastianini. Ross would go on to perform in Europe’s leading opera houses, such as La Scala, La Fenice, the Arena di Verona, the Vienna Staatsoper, and the Berlin Staatsoper.

Her Metropolitan Opera debut came in 1970, when she filled in for Birgit Nilsson in the title role of “Turandot.” Her final performance at the Metropolitan was on November 24, 1979, in the title role of “Aida,” conducted by James Conlon.

After being diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, the loss of mobility in her face prevented Ross from singing as she used to; she later underwent a corrective procedure and, in 1996, sang at a gala concert with the Giulio Gari Foundation.

Here she is in the second act of Puccini’s “Turandot.”