Soprano Jennifer Rowley is acclaimed worldwide for her unforgettable voice and remarkable stage presence, singing a richly varied repertoire that includes many of opera’s greatest heroines.
In the 2019/20 season, Jennifer Rowley adds two Verdi roles to her growing list of repertoire and she makes two highly anticipated house debuts: first at the National Theatre Prague as Amelia from Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, and then at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona in the title role of Verdi’s Aida. She returns to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise two of her signature Puccini roles: the title role of Tosca, and Musetta in La Bohème. She also sings Tosca for Opera San Antonio, making her house debut. In future seasons, she will make debuts at The Dallas Opera, Opernhaus Zürich, Opera Australia, and Opéra de Marseille.
On the concert stage, Jennifer will sing a recital with Opera Naples, part of their “Opera Stars Concert” series; she returns to the Salisbury Symphony as the featured artists in their “Opera Fireworks” Gala Concert; and she also performs in concert for Toledo Opera. An avid mentor to young artists, Ms. Rowley will lead masterclasses at SUNY Potsdam, and she returns to her alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University for her second residency, where she will she teach BW students in masterclasses and lessons, and will also present a solo recital.
In the 2018/19 season, Ms. Rowley returned to The Metropolitan Opera for the title role in Puccini’s Tosca and her debut as Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur. Operawire celebrated her spectacular performance as Adriana Lecouvreur, which featured, “... a seemingly endless vocal line supporting by virtuosic breath support.” The season also marked her first appearance with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, singing Leonora in a new production of Verdi’s Il trovatore, and she later returned as the soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, both under the direction of Fabio Luisi. Jennifer served as the 2018/19 Artist-in-Residence at Baldwin Wallace University, where she taught masterclasses and lessons and presented a recital. She concluded her season with her return to the Semperoper Dresden for her first performances as Valentine in a premiere staging of Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots.
In the 2017/18 season, Ms. Rowley returned to The Metropolitan Opera in their new production of Puccini’s Tosca where she presented a “magnificent” (ZealNYC) portrayal of the tragic diva. She later starred as Leonora in Il trovatore on the Met stage, celebrated as “glorious, showing the listener the range her instrument truly possesses” (Operawire). She then made her debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra in a concert version of Tosca with Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Earlier in the season she performed the role with Nashville Opera. She began the summer with her Opéra National de Paris debut as Leonora in Il trovatore: “... an acclaimed debut on the Opéra Bastille stage ... the singer’s youthful tone, her brilliant sound and her ability to emit beautiful spun lines which are marvelous ... she seems perfectly at ease” (Forum Opéra). Hailed as a “force of nature from beginning to end” (Operawire) and “spectacular” (Wall Street Journal) in her portrayal, Jennifer ended the season with her debut in the title role of Simon Mayr’s rarely performed bel canto opera Medea in Corinto at Will Crutchfield’s newly-formed summer festival, Teatro Nuovo.
Jennifer Rowley’s triumphant Metropolitan Opera role debut as Roxane in Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac (2017) inspired universal critical praise, with The New York Times raving that this was a “break-through moment,” further adding that for the heartbreaking final scene, “Ms. Rowley sang with an intensity of expression and a subtly embittered sound that suggested a singer for enormous gift and promise.” The New York Classical Review echoed these statements, also calling this “a break out night for Ms. Rowley.” Operawire called her Roxane “the heart of the production,” The Observer said she is “a superb artist,” while ConcertoNet called her Roxane “a revelation.” Ms. Rowley previously made her Met stage debut in a sparkling portrayal of Musetta in La Bohème.
In recent seasons, Ms. Rowley sang a trio of European performances as Leonora in Il trovatore at Opéra de Lille, Théâtre de Caen in France, and the Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg, as well as Tove in Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP). Additional engagements included debuts as Musetta in La Bohème at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Leonora in Il trovatore at the West Australian Opera in Perth; and the title role of Tosca at the Semperoper Dresden. Other notable successes include the title role of Tosca with New Orleans Opera and her title role debut in Barber’s Vanessa with Toledo Opera.
Her swift ascent to stardom began when she burst onto the international scene as a last-minute replacement in the title role of Donizetti’s Maria di Rohan at the Caramoor Music Festival. Of the performance, given with just one day’s notice and a single rehearsal, The New York Times stated: “Throughout, she sang with a fluid, darkly rich voice and expressively conveyed Maria’s anguish” and Opera News noted that she “emerge[d] not just unscathed, but a real star…” She followed that performance with critically acclaimed successes at the Norwegian National Opera as Musetta (released on DVD) and at Finland’s Savonlinna Festival as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni.
Jennifer made her Carnegie Hall debut singing Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra, followed by acclaimed performances at New York City Opera as Orasia in Telemann’s Orpheus and the Savonlinna Opera Festival as Violetta in La traviata. She was a featured guest soloist on the 10th Anniversary Gala with Opera Hong Kong and made her much-lauded debut at the Spoleto Festival USA, setting the festival ablaze with an impressive double bill performing Anna in Puccini’s Le Villi and Carmela in Giordano’s Mese mariano.
A highly-decorated soprano who has been recognized by many international competitions, Jennifer Rowley was awarded the 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant, was one of the top prize winners in the 2013 Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation Competition and the 2011 Opera Index Vocal Competition, a winner of the 2011 William Mattheus Sullivan Musical Foundation awards, a first prize-winner of the 2011 Gerda Lissner Foundation International Vocal Competition, a grant winner of the 2011 Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation Competition, and the winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for the Michigan District.
Ms. Rowley made her professional debut in Cleveland Opera’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, conducted by Anton Coppola. As a young artist, she worked with the Scuola dell’Opera Italiana at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna where she made her first main stage appearance as Magda in Puccini’s La rondine, as well as performances with The Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Caramoor Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, the Instituto Superior del Arte of the Teatro Colón, and regionally at Michigan Opera Theatre.
Jennifer holds a Master of Music degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from Baldwin Wallace College Conservatory of Music. She holds a Certificate of Performance Achievement from the Instituto Superior del Arte of the Teatro Colón and was a Max Kade Scholar at Middlebury College’s German for Singers Program. Ms. Rowley serves as an advisory board member for Classical Singer Magazine.