The Texas Opera Singer

Actor brings intelligence, talent, and creativity to DM performing arts


Kate Farrell

THE WORLD’S HER STAGE: Stage manager Lola Elliott (11) laughs during a Pippin work day, in which students came in to help with lighting, sound, and designing the set.

Kate Farrell, Reporter

Blue hair? Out. Purple hair? In. She Calls Monsters? Out. Clue: the Musical? In. 

Whether it was entering her freshman year online, getting stuck in Texas during winter break, or becoming stage manager on a whim, high school for Lola Elliott (11) has been anything but ordinary. 

Despite all that has been thrown at her, though, she has become a shining star within the performing arts department.

Originally hailing from Texas, Lola says that music, specifically opera, has been a part of her life since she was born. Her grandmother, who was in the Dallas Opera, taught her how to harmonize and enrolled her within the choir very young.

“Opera fits my vocal range really well,” Lola said, “It’s something I can pull off impressively without trying too hard.”

 The summer before eighth grade, Lola moved from Dallas to Scottsdale. Before she could finish one full year of schooling in her new town, though, the world went on lockdown because of COVID-19. Her first day of high school was filled with Zoom calls, rather than face to face connections, and her choir and theatre classes were barely filled with people her age. “I’m more friends with the upperclassmen and lowerclassmen because of it.”

Once school became hybrid, her hopes of finding her place came true, and friendship soon followed. Elliott performed in choir and was cast in Wolves of Broadway, Desert Mountain’s first theatrical production since quarantine. Even more impressively, she was the only freshman cast and was given a prominent role. 

Elise McLellan (11) and Sawyer Furio (12) met Lola through theatre.

Lola and I met in Theatre II, and became friends during Thescon said McLellan, “She is one of the sweetest, most caring people I have ever met, and is always there when I need to talk to someone.”

We met during Wolves of Broadway,” said Furio, “she handed me some stickers one day and from that point on we have stayed close.

As school transitioned to fully in-person learning, Lola gained a lot more experience under her belt. She became the stage manager for two of the theatrical productions this year, Pippin and She Kills Monsters, and is playing Mrs. White in the upcoming show, Clue.

“Mrs. White is a very comedic character,” Elliott said, “She is so old, yet still so promiscuous.” 

Fellow Clue cast member Sophie Perlstein (12) said acting alongside Lola in Clue has been a lot of fun.

“I can’t wait for everyone to see the final project, I think she is going to knock it out of the park,” said Perlstein, who is playing Professor Plum in the production.

With Clue opening April 19th, Lola has been practicing consistently so she can get a laugh out of the audience through her song “Life is a Bowl of Pits”.

Along with theatre, Lola has done plenty in choir this year, from performing at DM’s annual Coffeehouse to an invitation to perform at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

“I can’t go to Carnegie Hall because of my sprained foot, but we have accomplished a lot this year,”  said Elliott, “Our most recent choir concert featured music from all across the world in various languages.”

Once her sprained foot heals, she hopes her senior year is filled with even more accomplishments in her favorite extracurriculars. 

Life after high school is still a scary thought to Lola, who will be a senior in the fall, but she has a clear-cut idea of what she wants her future to look like: she wants to major in special education and minor in voice (opera, specifically) or musical theatre.

“My major is a cushion in case my performance career doesn’t work out,” Lola said, “Opera might be something I dive into more seriously as my voice matures.”

Whether she chooses to pursue Opera or Special Education, Lola will be using her musical talent for scholarships and will still keep music a prominent part of her life. In addition, she has plenty of friends and teachers, who are rooting for her no matter what; Mr. Willingham, Desert Mountain’s theatre director, is one of them.

“Lola Elliott is a very gifted person,” Mr. Willingham said, “She is intelligent, talented and massively creative. In truth, Lola has no earthly idea how powerful she actually is,”

“Once she realizes how much she has to offer, I have no doubt that Lola will be immensely successful in any and every endeavor she eventually decides to pursue. ”