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Soprano Elizabeth Futral was raised in North Carolina and Louisiana, where she heard everything from classical music to gospel and bluegrass as a young woman. Her father was a minister, and her vocal talents were first developed in a church choir. Futral attended Samford University and then studied voice at Indiana University's graduate program, where she worked with Virginia Zeani. She has frequently appeared with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, performing roles in L'elisir d'amore, Le nozze di Figaro, and Handel's Partenope there. She made her debut at the New York City Opera in Lakmé in 1994 and at the Met in Lucia di Lammermoor in 1999 in performances that were critically praised, and she has been acclaimed for her unusual versatility, with performances and recordings of works ranging from Baroque opera to contemporary music. She created the role of Stella in André Previn' s adaptation of A Streetcar Named Desire at the San Francisco Opera in 1998. Other worls premieres in which she was featured include Tan Dun's The First Emperor at the Metropolitan Opera in 2006 and Previn's Brief Encounter at the Houston Grand Opera in 2009. In 2003 Futral was featured on the Great Operatic Arias disc released as part of the Chandos label's Opera in English series, having already appeared on the recording of Lucia of Lammermoor in the same series. Futral has also recorded for the Opera Rara label. Her other recordings include Pacini's Carlo di Borgogna, Rossini's Zelmira and Otello, Meyerbeer's L'Etoile du Nord, Weisgall's Six Characters in Search of an Author, Floyd's Of Mice and Men, Glass' Hydrogen Jukebox, and Ricky Ian Gordon's Orpheus and Eurydice.