Elsa Benoit received singing and piano lessons at a young age and took her first steps on stage as a member of the Rennes and Angers-Nantes opera choirs while studying musicology. She then successfully completed her studies at the Amsterdam Conservatory with a Bachelor of Music. Between 2011 and 2013, she completed her training at the Dutch National Opera Academy, where she obtained her Master's degree in Opera with honors. In November 2012, she was awarded three prizes at the international singing competition "Symphonies d'Automne", followed by the Brane-Cantenac Prize at the international singing competition MACM in March 2013.
After two years at the opera studio of the Bavarian State Opera, the doors of her singing career opened for her. During her time at the Stadttheater Klagenfurt, she received particular praise for her performances as Tytania in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and as Giulietta in Bellini's I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Equally noteworthy were her interpretations as Micaëla in Carmen (for which she received the Austrian Music Theater Prize) and as Despina in Così fan tutte.
From 2016 to 2021, the soprano was a member of the ensemble of the Bavarian State Opera and performed various roles, including the Shepherd in Tannhäuser, Oscar in Un Ballo in Maschera, Frasquita in Carmen, Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos, Adina in L'Elisir d'Amore and Gretel in Hänsel und Gretel, Musetta in La Bohème, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Emilie in Rameau's Les Indes galantes.
She has been working freelance since 2021. After performances of Philippe Hersant's Les Eclairs at the Ópera Comique, Handel's Alcina (Morgana) at the Palais Garnier in Paris, Carmen (Micaela) in Toulouse, The Rake's Progress (Anne Trulove) in Rennes and Nantes, Handel's Agrippina (Poppea) in Munich, Handel's Semele (Semele) in Barrie Kosky's production in Lille and Berlin (Komische Oper) and Poulenc's Les Mamélles de Tiresias (Thérèse) at Glyndebourne, the focus of her opera activities in the 2023/24 season will be on Massenet's classic Werther (Sophie) in a new production by Robert Carsen under Thomas Hengelbrock and the title heroine Poppea in Monteverdi's L'incoronazione di Poppea in a new production by the American director Ted Huffmann under the direction of George Petrou at the Cologne Opera.
Elsa Benoit is also in great demand as a concert singer. Most recently, this includes Mahler's 4. Symphony with the Oviedo Filarmonia under Lucas Macias, Christmas concerts with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra in St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Deutsche Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern under the direction of Pietari Inkinen as well as concert performances of Handel's Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno (Bellezza) with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Emmanuelle Haïm in Berlin and Baden-Baden, Haydn's Jahreszeiten under Hans-Christoph Rademann in Stuttgart and Brahms Requiem under Manfred Honeck.
To kick off the 2023/24 season, the soprano will sing Mendelssohn's Lobgesang under the direction of Andris Nelsons and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and Fauré's Requiem under Andrew Manze and the Munich Philharmonic. She will be heard several times with the Berliner Philharmoniker. Mahler's 4th Symphony under Robinn Ticciati and Honegger's dramatic oratorio Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher under Alan Gilbert are also on the program.