Elana Joan Cara was born in San Francisco, California. When she was three years old, she was placed in a Catholic home for girls called Mount Saint Joseph’s. Thus began her early religious training. From a young age, she demonstrated an extraordinary musical talent and a fine singing voice. At the age of fifteen she was awarded a scholarship to the Juilliard School in New York City. Too young to enter the world of opera, she continued to develop her music skills and gained valuable performance experience as social director aboard American cruise ships. She also broadened her understanding of religion by visiting temples and holy shrines throughout the South Pacific, India, Japan, Thailand, and Bali.
In 1978 Miss Cara was introduced to Reverend John Laurence, who became her mentor, spiritual advisor, and friend. She became his secretary and driver, since he never learned to drive. For a number of years, she recorded Reverend Laurence’s talks, presentations, and classes on spiritual development. She quickly became a devotee of the great Paramhansa Yogananda, and within a few years, under the direction of Kamala Silva (another disciple of Yogananda) and Reverand John Laurence, she became a devoted kiryaban (practitioner of the Kriya Yoga meditation technique taught by Yogananda). Kamala Silva recognized Elana Joan’s writing talent through the many letters they exchanged. She encouraged her to write about Reverend Laurence as an important part of her life’s work. So, it was with great enthusiasm and a dedicated effort that these talks have become a book titled The Light of the Christ Within.
In 1987, without ever having been on an operatic stage, mezzo-soprano Elana Joan Cara made her Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall debuts, just one month apart. Her career blossomed with one success after another until she was performing with some of the world’s most respected and admired singers, conductors, and directors. She has bowed before enthusiastic audiences in many major U.S. and European opera houses and symphony halls, and her list of credits is impressive.
Equally skilled in jazz, pop, oratorio, and lieder, as well as opera, Elana Joan Cara works with singers at all levels, from beginners to seasoned professionals. She currently teaches privately and conducts "Discover the Voice of Your Soul" workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In addition to her work with singers, Miss Cara is devoted to her healing ministry, and to that end she offers private consultations and facilitates a twice-weekly meditation/healing circle called Mystic Heart Meditation.