Elizabeth Futral, a world-famous Opera singer who grew up in Covington, was interviewed by the Louisiana Public Broadcasting system in 2001 about her outstanding career. She explained the process she went through in discovering, developing, and applying her singing talents to their fullest potential.
She has won numerous awards, performed around the world, and remains a favorite among audiences and her fellow performers.
Click on the link below to listen to the video interview. After you click, scroll down to the video window and click on the "play" triangle in the center to start the video.
Here's the link:
In the above interview, she said, "Covington was a wonderful place to grow up, a wonderful place to be a kid. A pretty gentle community, easy-going."
With a smile, she also praised its "quick access to New Orleans where everything was happening."
"I loved it. Covington was a great place to grow up." Her father was Rev. Guy Futral, the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Covington for 15 years. "That was a happy situation, and I got my first taste of performing in church and learned a lot about music and singing there at the church." She sang in the choir and did solos during the church services.
Even as a young child, she was always singing around the house, making up songs, ab-libbing, "as a lot of young kids do," she said. "As soon as I could talk, I was singing and making things up, imitating. So I guess it's sort of been in my spirit."
Her first vivid memory of hearing "live" Opera was that of attending a "Community Concert" in Covington and enjoying the opera "Madam Butterfly." She had no idea as a kid that singing Opera would become her life-long passion.
She took her first formal voice lessons when she was 17 years old and in college. She was in college to earn a "music education" degree in order to teach music, but she luckily had a teacher who encouraged her to take courses in performance as well. She remembers the day when the voice teacher came to her and told her that her voice was a very special instrument and she thought it was possible for Elizabeth to become a professional singer if she wanted to.
"At that point, I buckled down and started practicing more and declared I was going after a performance major," she explained. She started adhering to a rigid practice schedule, up early in the morning and doing everything she could do to make it happen.
And happen it did.
CLICK HERE to read about her unique personality on the Opera News Website.
Her career trajectory is discussed on the Bach Cantatas website. HERE'S THE LINK.
An excellent article about her early career is located AT THIS LINK from the Birmingham Arts website.
So all you folks who attended Covington First Baptist Church in the 1960's and 1970's may remember little Elizabeth as she sang with the church choir. It was the beginning of a great career.
A portion of an interview in an audio format is available at the following link:
Audio recording of Elizabeth Futral
For a YouTube video of Elizabeth singing, Click the link below: