The Austrian mezzo-soprano and contralto, Elisabeth Kulman, first studied linguistics (Russian, Finno-ugristic) and musicology before proceeding to study voice with Helena Lazarska at the University of Performing Arts in Vienna, where she graduated in 2001 with Unanimous Distinction both in Opera and Lied/Oratorio. For her exceptional artistic achievements she was awarded the Prize of Merit by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Culture.
The same year saw her making her extremely successful stage debut as Pamina in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte at Volksoper Vienna. She quickly established herself especially as a Mozart singer (Countess Almaviva, Donna Elvira).
Since 2004, when she changed to the mezzo and alto Fach, Elisabeth Kulman has shortly rebuilt an extensive repertoire: Carmen (Georges Bizet), Prince Orlofsky (The Bat/J. Strauss), Hansel (Engelbert Humperdinck), Boccaccio (Suppé), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly/Puccini), Magdalena (Evangelimann/Kienzl), Third Lady Die Zauberflöte /Mozart), Fenena (Nabucco/Verdi), Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night's Dream/Benjamin Britten), Nancy (Martha/Flotow) etc. In 2005, she took over the role of Gluck’s Orfeo at the Paris National Opera on short notice, which brought her a lot of attention and another invitation for the same part for 2008.
At the Vienna State Opera, whose member she has been since September 2007, Elisabeth Kulman has excelled in roles as diverse as Marina (Boris Godunov/Mussorgsky), Suzuki and Prince Orlofsky to glowing reviews. For her brilliant interpretation of the latter role she became the recipient of the Eberhard Waechter Medal in 2007. Another highlight in her ongoing career was her highly-acclaimed Carmen at the Berlin State Opera "Unter den Linden" in October/November 2007. Her interpretion of the name part in Il Giustino by Baroque composer Giovanni Legrenzi, conducted by Thomas Hengelbrock at the Schwetzingen Festival, contributed to the award of this opera as the "Re-discovery of the year 2007".
Besides opera parts, Elisabeth Kulman's musical activities also cover concerts. With great stylistic accuracy and vocal flexibility she realizes a wide musical spectrum, ranging from Baroque, classical, romantic to contemporary music. As an internationally sought-after soloist she has already worked, among others, with conductors like Franz Welser-Möst, Thomas Hengelbrock and Nikolaus Harnoncourt. A performance of J.S. Bach's Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248), conducted by Peter Schreier was released on DVD as well as a live performance CD-recording of Gustav Mahler's 2nd Symphony with the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Christian Arming.
Elisabeth Kulman is also an exceptionally devoted Lieder recitalist. In November 2007, she made her highly appreciated debut at Vienna Musikverein, together with accompanist Walter Moore. Besides duo recitals, she also performs songs in arrangements for unconventional line-ups: she presented a Moussorgky program with the jazz quartet Pago Libre, and arrangements of G. Mahler songs with the Ensemble Amarcord Wien.