Opera Singer. A dramatic soprano, she is perhaps best remembered for portraying the title Ethopian Princess of Verdi's "Aida" more than 500 times. Raised in Los Angeles from a young age, she was educated at Los Angeles City College and at UCLA. In the early 1960s, Ella made her professional debut in an Israeli production of "Aida" and over the next decades sang with the Los Angeles Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Seattle Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Munich Opera, the Royal Opera Covent Garden, and other major companies, her roles including, in addition to her signature piece, the title lead of Puccini's "Tosca", Leonora from Verdi's "Il Trovatore", Titania of Weber's "Oberon", and the Empress in Richard Strauss' "Die Frau ohne Schatten", as well as the soprano part in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. After leaving the stage, she worked to provide opportunities for young artists, in 2000 founding Opera Pasadena, a company with the top fee for a leading role set at $50 but where ticket prices were kept low and at which experience could be gained, then in 2008 helping to start the Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera, another developmental ensemble. At her death a number of her live performances were preserved.
Bio by: Bob Hufford