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Elizabeth McGorian

Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet

Biography

Elizabeth McGorian in action.
Elizabeth McGorian as Madame Moritz in Frankenstein, The Royal Ballet © 2016 ROH. Photograph by Bill Cooper

Elizabeth McGorian is a Principal Character Artist of The Royal Ballet. She joined the Company in 1977 and was promoted to Soloist in 1991 and Principal Character Artist in 1997. In the 2019/20 Season, along with her Royal Ballet appearances, she performs Lady of the Pearls (Death in Venice) for The Royal Opera.

McGorian was born in Zambia and studied at the Mercia Hetherington School in Zimbabwe. She joined The Royal Ballet Upper School in 1976, won gold in the 1977 Adeline Genée International Ballet Competition and joined the Company that year. Her wide repertory with the Company includes Lady Capulet (Romeo and Juliet), Empress Elisabeth and Helene Vetsera (Mayerling), Madge (La Sylphide), Princess (Swan Lake), Lady Elgar (Enigma Variations), Pianist (The Lesson), Berthe (Giselle), Queen and Carabosse (The Sleeping Beauty), Bride (Les Noces), Utah Longhorn Ram (‘Still Life’ at the Penguin Café) and Tsarevna and Tsarina (Anastasia).

Her role creations include Marie Virginie Avegno (Strapless), Madame Moritz (Frankenstein) and in Fleeting Figures, Piano, Half the House, Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus, Isadora, Gloria and La Fin du jour. Work away from the Company includes in Arthur Pita’s Facada with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev and in the feature-length dance film Young Men by BalletBoyz.

News and features

Female Character Artists: from loving mother to bloodthirsty baddy

5 February 2015
Female Character Artists: from loving mother to bloodthirsty baddy

These expert dancer-actors are as important to the drama as the leading lady.

Photos

Production photo of Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Elizabeth McGorian in rehearsal for Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet

Elizabeth McGorian as the Queen and Bennet Gartside as Von Rothbart in Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet

Elizabeth McGorian

Laura Morera and Elizabeth McGorian in Las Hermanas.

Elizabeth McGorian as Madge, Rupert Pennefather as James in La Sylphide

Elizabeth McGorian as the Queen and Nehemiah Kish in Swan Lake, Act III

Elizabeth McGorian as the Lady of the Pearls, Leo Dixon as Tadzio and Mark Padmore as Gustav von Aschenbach in Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Leo Dixon as Tadzio and Elizabeth McGorian as the Lady of the Pearls in Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Steven McRae as Crown Prince Rudolf, Elizabeth McGorian as Baroness Helene Vetsera and Sarah Lamb as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling, The Royal Ballet

Elizabeth McGorian in rehearsal for Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet

Elizabeth McGorian and Bennet Gartside in rehearsal for Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet

Elizabeth McGorian in Swan Lake, The Royal Ballet

Elizabeth McGorian as Baroness Helene Vetsera and Hikaru Kobayashi as Mary Vetsera in Mayerling, The Royal Ballet

Elizabeth McGorian in The Sleeping Beauty, The Royal Ballet

Production photo of Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Elizabeth McGorian as the Lady of the Pearls in Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Elizabeth McGorian as the Lady of the Pearls and Leo Dixon as Tadzio in Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Leo Dixon as Tadzio and Elizabeth McGorian as Lady of the Pearls in rehearsal for Death in Venice, The Royal Opera

Elizabeth McGorian as Cynthia (Wild Woman) in The Wind, The Royal Ballet

Elizabeth McGorian as Madame Moritz in Frankenstein, The Royal Ballet