Michelle Jennings, Soprano
Event: 10-Year Gala, Decade of Opera Favorites
New York soprano Michelle Jennings has been called “a commanding and attractive presence on stage with an expressive voice of great beauty and power,” (Baltimore Sun), whose “vocal ease and tone quality in the coloratura ornamentation were extraordinary” (Sarasota Herald-Tribune). Last season, Ms. Jennings originated the role Fyoldhild in the premier of Jeffrey Leiser’s new opera, The Far Travelers, and sang the role of Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte at Opera America in New York City.
Recently, she covered the role of Roxanne (Countess) in the Off-Broadway production of ¡Figaro! (90210), a revised setting of The Marriage of Figaro, at the Duke Theater in New York. She was soloist with The McLean Orchestra, and she was featured soloist at the arts festival of Community Arts Tokyo in Japan and she sang at the Windham Chamber Festival (NY) with Divas Unleashed in The Benefit, an operatic comedy which she co-wrote.
In other recent performances, she sang the role of Clorinda in La Cenerentola with Opera at Florham (NJ), Gianetta in The Gondoliers and Johanna in Sweeney Todd with LOOK Musical Theatre (OK), and Nella in Gianni Schicchi with Salt Marsh Opera (CT). Other recent performance highlights include Marian in The Music Man, with Live Arts Maryland; Concetta in I Gioielli della Madonna, in her Rose Hall at Lincoln Center debut with Teatro Grattacielo; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni and with the Phoenicia Festival of the Voice; and Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, with Jacksonville Lyric Opera; she was guest soloist for KDNY Dance Company’s Treading Puddles at the Alvin Ailley Citigroup Theatre in New York, and she sang the title role in Pasatieri’s La Divina, in Miami. Additional notable performances were as Nellie Forbush in Hawaii Opera Theatre’s South Pacific, Fiordiligi in Così fan Tutte, and Musetta in La Bohème, with Asheville Lyric Opera; Forester’s Wife and Owl in The Cunning Little Vixen, with Tulsa Opera; and Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore with Springfield Regional Opera (MO).
Cultivating an interest in contemporary music, she originated the role of Ardita in the new opera The Offshore Pirate, with Christopher Street Opera in New York, and she sang in Jack Perla’s new opera, Love/Hate, with American Opera Projects. She sang the title role in the premier performance of the one-act opera, Ophelia, by Joel Weiss, in New York City, and she was Carla in The Theory of Everything, with Encompass New Opera Theatre in New York City Opera’s VOX / On the Edge series. In 2018, Michelle was honored to sing on a new musical recording produced by Tony award winner Nick Demos.
At home in a variety of genres on the concert stage and on recordings, Ms. Jennings was heard as a soloist for Mardi Gras and All That Jazz, a big band revue in North Carolina, with Tina Fabrique, directed by Broadway star George Merritt. She appeared with KDNY Dance Company at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival (MA). She is heard on the CDs Christmas of Peace and Christmas of Hope, and recorded for the film, The Afterlight, produced by North Lake Films. She has also recorded for the new musicals, Boy, Girl, Boy, Girl, and Peter Rabbit. A native of Virginia, Ms. Jennings has been presented in concerts of opera, jazz, cabaret, and musical theater throughout the U.S., in Great Britain, and Japan.