The American soprano, Ellen Hargis, acclaimed as "a national musical treasure" by Continuo, has built a remarkable career specializing in 17th- and 18th-century music, ranging from ballads to opera and oratorio. She brings her "infinitely expressive soprano" (New York Newsday) to concerts throughout the world, appearing with many of the most renowned ensembles and conductors in the Early Music field. She has appeared with the foremost period music conductors of the world including Andrew Parrott, Gustav Leonhardt, Paul Goodwin, Monica Huggett, Jane Glover, Simon Preston, Daniel Harding, Paul Hillier, Harry Bicket, Martin Neary and Jeffrey Thomas. She appears regularly with The King's Noyse, The Newberry Consort, Theatre of Voices, Andrew Lawrence-King and The Harp Consort, and in recital with lutenist Paul O'Dette. She has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Washington Choral Arts Society, Long Beach Opera, CBC Radio Orchestra, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Teatro Lirico, Tragicomedia, Mozartean Players, Fretwork, Musica Sacra (New York City) and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and has become a frequent performer with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, Seattle Baroque and Festival Vancouver.
Ellen Hargis received critical acclaim for her debut with The New York Collegium in April 2000 followed by a succession of important debuts: with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra under Andrew Parrott, Chicago’s Music of the Baroque, the Kennedy Center performing with Norman Scribner and the Washington Choral Arts Society, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ under Daniel Harding, the inaugural season of Festival Vancouver in Monteverdi’s Orfeo and the American Bach Soloists at the Berkeley Festival. During the 2002-2003 Season she returned to Music of the Baroque under Jane Glover, to the Portland Baroque Orchestra under Paul O'Dette, and to Festival Vancouver in George Frideric Handel’s Israel in Egypt. That season also brought her New York City recital debut, the inaugural concert of the Vancouver Bach Project and her first performance with the Mark Morris Dance Company in G.F. Handel’s L’Allegro. In August 2003, she returned to Festival Vancouver as Ottavia in Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea.
During 2003-2004, Ellen Hargis appears with the Estonian Philharmonic Orchestra, in Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, and returns to Music of the Baroque under Nicholas Kraemer and Jane Glover and the American Bach Soloists. She made debuts with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago and Vancouver Cantata Singers and made her recital debut in Toronto. She will tour in Japan this spring with Paul O'Dette.
Ellen Hargis has performed at many of the world’s leading festivals including the Adelaide Festival in Australia, Utrecht Festival (Holland), Resonanzen Festival (Vienna), Tanglewood and the New Music America Festival. She has been a frequent performer at the Berkeley Festival in California and a stalwart of the Boston Early Music Festival, where she has sung Aeglé in Lully’s Thésée, the title role in Luigi Rossi's L'Orfeo and in 2003 Queen Pasiphae in Conradi’s Ariadne. Other recent opera performances have included the title role in Sartorio's Orfeo at festivals in Bremen and Dresden, the role of Iole in Cavalli's Ercole Amante in Utrecht and Dafne and Proserpina in Peri’s Euridice with Long Beach Opera.
Ellen Hargis is heard frequently on radio broadcasts and recordings. She has been featured on Christmas and Valentines Day broadcasts of MPR’s St. Paul Sunday. Her rapidly growing discography embraces repertoire from medieval to contemporary music. Recent releases include Dowland’s Seaven Teares with Paul O'Dette and The King’s Noyse and Missa Mexicana with The Harp Consort. Both have received outstanding international acclaim. Of her other recordings, A Candle in the Dark with The Newberry Consort was named “Choc du Monde” in Le Monde de la Musique. She is featured on a dozen addition Harmonia Mundi recordings including a critically acclaimed solo recital disc of music by Jacopo Peri with Paul O'Dette and Andrew Lawrence-King, and Arvo Pärt’s Berlin Mass with Theatre of Voices. She also appears on a recording of G.F. Handel solo cantatas with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra on Wild Boar, several recordings for BMG Classics, Vanguard Classics, Virgin Classics, Erato, Dorian Classics and Berlin Classics. Her recording of Tristan et Iseult with The Boston Camerata was winner of the Grand Prix du Disque in 1989.
Ellen Hargis makes her home in Chicago. She is on the vocal faculty of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and teaches numerous summer courses in early music, including the Longy International Baroque Institute in Cambridge, The Lute Society of America Seminars and the Vancouver Baroque Vocal Programme.