Lyric Opera of Chicago

Emily Birsan

 Emily Birsan

Photo by Devon Cass.

A native of Neenah, Wisconsin, soprano Emily Birsan is a third-year Ryan Opera Center member. She was awarded first place in the 2011 Union League Civic and Arts Foundation competition and received Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions in 2008 and 2009. While studying at Lawrence University, Birsan sang the roles of Pamina/Die Zauberflöte, Mistress Ford/Die lustigen Weibervon Windsor, and Madame Goldentrill/Mozart's Der Schauspieldirektor. Her education continued at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she performed the title roles/Alcina, Thaïs, and Maria Stuarda. The soprano has participated in the Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute (Nella/Gianni Schicchi) and the Voci nel Montefeltro Academy in Italy (Nannetta/Falstaff). Birsan was a member of the 2010 James Collier Young Artist Program at Des Moines Metro Opera, covering the role of the Countess/Le nozze di Figaro. Later that year she debuted with Madison Opera as Barbarina in the same opera. Recent concert engagements include a critically-acclaimed debut at the Ravinia Festival, three appearances at the Grant Park Music Festival, and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She made her Lyric Opera debut in 2011-12 as Stella/Les contes d'Hoffmann and has since portrayed Xenia/Boris Godunov, the Trainbearer/Elektra, the Sandman/Hänsel und Gretel, and the Page/Rigoletto. This Lyric season she will appear in Parsifal and La clemenza di Tito.

Emily Birsan is sponsored by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.  

Back to The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center 


Ryan Opera Center 2013-2014 Ensemble


Sopranos Mezzo-sopranos

Emily Birsan


Tracy Cantin


Laura Wilde



J'nai Bridges


Julie Anne Miller



Tenors       Baritones    

Adam Bonanni


John Irvin




Anthony Clark Evans


Will Liverman




Bass-baritone   Apprentice Coach

Richard Ollarsaba

Richard Ollarsaba  


  Maureen Zoltek

 Maureen Zoltek