She was born in Springvale, Victoria,Dictionary of Performing Arts in Australia the daughter of Harry Britton and Jean ElmsInternational Who’s Who of Women 2002 and trained with Katherine Wielaert in Melbourne.International Who’s Who in Classical Music 2003 She first sang with the National Theatre Opera Company in 1952 in The Consul. She had further study in Paris with Dominique Modesti. She made her Royal Opera, Covent Garden debut in 1957 as Ulrica in Verdi's Un ballo in maschera, and was principal contralto at Covent Garden from 1957 to 1959. She appeared there in Elektra, Les Troyens, The Tales of Hoffmann, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Handel's Samson, Die Walküre, Lucia di Lammermoor, and Rigoletto. She also appeared as Mrs Sedley in Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes, and in the Decca recording conducted by the composer.ABC Classic FM
She toured Israel in 1958 for the 10th anniversary of the State of Israel, appearing with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, in nine performances of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony conducted by Rafael Kubelík. In 1958 she married Graeme de Graaff, and they have one daughter, the clarinetist Deborah de Graaff.
Lauris Elms presented lieder recitals with Musica Viva Australia and the ABC throughout Australia between 1960 and 1970. In 1961 she was a soloist in Dvořák's Stabat Mater with the South Australian Symphony Orchestra under Karel Ančerl. Amongst the other soloists was Arnold Matters.Karel Ancerl
In 1965 she sang with the Sutherland–Williamson Opera Company and then with the Australian Elizabethan Theatre Trust and the Australian Opera from 1966 to 1987. She was much praised for her Arsace Semiramide in 1965, Azucena (Verdi's Il trovatore) opposite Donald Smith and Elizabeth Fretwell and later with Kenneth Collins and Joan Sutherland in the Moshinsky/Nolan production. Between 1958 and 1973 she sang in five Royal Command performances. In 1970 she sang in Verdi's ''Requiem'' with an all-Australian cast of soloists, at the Royal Festival Hall, London, conducted by Charles Mackerras, marking the 200th anniversary of James Cook's charting of the east coast of Australia. In 1973 she sang at the openings of the Adelaide Festival Theatre and the Sydney Opera House, and she appeared in the inaugural opera season at the latter venue in all three parts of Puccini's Il trittico. That year she also appeared as a soloist in Hector Berlioz's Les nuits d'été (Summer Nights) and lieder recitals in Korea. She performed with Marilyn Richardson Ian Cugley's The Six Days of Creation, which was written for their voices. Her 1979 solo recital at the Opera House was the first ABC recital to feature a resident Australian singer. She gave recitals in China in 1983.
In 1987 Lauris Elms commissioned a song cycle from composer Derek Strachan. He produced Rose of the Bay, a cycle of 9 songs for mezzo-soprano, clarinet and piano. It was premiered by Lauris Elms, Deborah de Graaff, and David Miller, and they went on to make the premiere recording.Naxos Music Library
Lauris Elms retired in 1994. In 2001 she published her autobiography "The Singing Elms: the autobiography of Lauris Elms". The book is currently out of print but an electronic copy (text only) is available at smashwords.com.SmashwordsClick here to hide this biography