Liz Rishel, a native of the Pittsburgh area, graduated with a Bachelors degree in Music Education from Duquesne University, and continued her study of coloratura soprano under the tutelage of Mary Beth Sederburg.
Liz holds two creator credits for writing and performing in original shows, along with her long-term creative partner, Bonnie Bogovich. The first project is a multi-media opera entitled Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera (2010-2011), and the second, a parody opera cabaret entitled Super Smash Opera (2014-2016), in which they re-lyricise opera’s most beloved tunes to fit an original story highlighting themes from a famous mele video game. Both projects enjoyed considerable audience attendance, in some cases, packing the house to capacity.
In Summer of 2016, Rishel led a team of librettists who undertook that challenge of re-writing the lyrics to Mozart’s Don Giovanni, blending it with themes from Bram Stoker’s Dracula to celebrate Undercroft Opera’s ten year anniversary.
Liz is currently working on a new opera film project, a steampunk ghost story set in Industrial Revolution Pittsburgh, designed for a rock band of opera singers. The project is entitled Steam ~ or ~ The Specters of the Knox Mill. Liz’s ultimate endeavor in all of her creative works is to create connections to opera for mainstream audiences, fanning the flames of interest in the field that she loves devotedly.
Liz’s voice can be heard on several albums of the company Materia, which specializes in fan tribute albums for popular video games. She enjoys acting, having played “Carla” in the filmed exhibit for the haunted attraction, “Demon House”, and voiced a popular character, “Betty”, in the CMU/iSafe educational video game, “Carnegie Cadets.”
Liz designed and crafted costumes for The Zombie Opera, Super Smash Opera, and Steam. She is passionate about developing clothing that supports the characters and also includes functional special effects, including gore, puppet costumes, and even designed an on-stage costume change for herself to perform while singing the ubiquitous Queen of the Night’s Vengeance Aria.
Liz frequently designs costumes for Opera Theater of Pittsburgh, notably in their spring and Summerfest productions of The Shining Brow (2013), which was also performed at Falling Water, The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County (2014), The True Story of the Three Little Pigs (2015), Red Riding Hood (2016), and Hansel and Gretel (2017). She frequently sews for business or pleasure, occasionally working with independent filmmakers and cosplayers.
When she is not performing or designing, Rishel teaches private voice lessons at Johnstonbaugh’s Music Center in Gibsonia. Her favorite roles include The Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), Yum-Yum (The Mikado), Mabel (Pirates of Penzance), Frasquita (Carmen), The Five-Year-Old (The Proposal), and Antonia (Man of LaMancha).