Jennifer Johnston (1995 Leaver) – Hitting the High Notes in her Opera Career

The life of an opera singer can be a bit hectic at times, particularly as I am also a parent of a gorgeous and very lively 4 year old daughter, but despite all of the problems that arise from travelling (lost bags, no legroom on planes, uncomfortable hotel beds), they are fortunately outweighed by the rewards.

Over the past year, I’ve become a BBC New Generation Artist, made my solo recital debut at Wigmore Hall broadcast live on Radio 3, found my operatic niche singing Wagner and featured in the Ring Cycle at Opera North, made my debut at New York’s Carnegie Hall conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, and travelled the globe, singing in Dallas, São Paulo, Dubai, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, Vienna, Budapest, Cologne and London. Recently I sang Handel’s Messiah with the wonderful RLPO in Liverpool, 18 years after leaving the Phil Choir, which was a real homecoming.

Right now, I’m in Munich, where I will make my debut at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, and then it’s back to the UK and the start of the Benjamin Britten centenary year with his Spring Symphony in Cardiff and London.

2013 is an exciting year for me, with engagements including the lead mezzo role in Birtwistle’s Gawain and the Green Knight at the Salzburg Festival, Jocasta in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the London Symphony Orchestra, and my Proms debut with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Finally, at Xmas, I get a rest and travel to New Zealand with my family for a very special engagement, singing at the wedding of one of my closest friends. The truth is, though, a career like mine would be impossible without the support, patience and understanding of my husband and parents, to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. I feel very lucky indeed.

Old Girl – 1995 Leaver

J Johnston Mezzo