Elaine Cencel came to the U of A after a highly successful career as a leading dramatic mezzo soprano in Europe, the U.S., and South America. She created the role of "Desideria" in the West Coast premiere of Menotti's Saint of Bleeker Street and performed the same role at the Boston Arts Festival with the original Broadway cast. She has sung with major symphony orchestras and has performed the leading mezzo Wagnerian roles as well as Lady MacBeth, Eboli, Azucena, Carmen and many others. She has directed opera at the University of Southern Colorado, Alaska Methodist University, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Arkansas, as well as for television. She is a frequent judge at the regional and district auditions for the Metropolitan Opera.