Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston

Jennifer Johnston won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Singer Award 2021, in recognition of her “commitment and emotional force…from cherished performances as artist-in-residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra to her outstanding work supporting young musicians.”

Jennifer is a former BBC New Generation Artist, and a graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music. She is particularly associated with the Bayerische Staatsoper where her roles have included Mrs Sedley / Peter Grimes, Brigitte / Die Todt Stadt, Second Norn / Götterdämmerung, Roßweise / Die Walküre, Floßhilde / Das Rheingold & Götterdämmerung, Hedwige / Guillaume Tell and La Ciesca / Gianni Schicci. She has also appeared in opera at the Teatro alla Scala (Mrs Grose / The Turn of the Screw, Gaia / CO2), Salzburg Festival (Carmi / La Betulia Liberata, Lady de Hautdesert / Gawain, Leda / Die Liebe Der Danae), and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Dido / Dido and Aeneas).

A prolific concert performer, she has performed with many of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, including Jocaste in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Berlin Philharmonic & London Symphony Orchestras, released as an LSO Live disc), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Gardiner/Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique at the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall and on disc), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Welser-Möst/Cleveland, Royal Concertgebouw & Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestras, Gardiner/ORR, Hindoyan/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra), Waltraute in Wagner’s Die Walküre (Sir Simon Rattle/Bayerische Rundfunks Symphony Orchestra and on disc), Wagner’s Wesendonck
Lieder (Hindoyan/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Brabbins/BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Dausgaard/BBC National Orchestra Of Wales), Mahler’s Second Symphony (Rouvali/Philharmonia, Zinman/Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Hrusa/Philharmonia, V.Petrenko/RLPO, Lintu/Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, De la Parra/London Philharmonic Orchestra), Mahler’s Third Symphony (Mäkelä/Oslo Philharmonic, Welser-Möst/Cleveland Orchestra, Zinman/Orchestre National de Lyon, V.Petrenko/RLPO), Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (Welser-Möst/Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, K.Petrenko/Bayerische Staatsorchester), Mahler’s Rückert Lieder (Zinman/Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Kalmar/RLPO,
Sondergard/Royal Scottish National Orchestra), Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde (Pintscher/Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, Treviño/Euskadi Orkestra, Marin/Hamburger Symphoniker), Elgar’s Sea Pictures (Tate/Hamburger Symphoniker, Hill/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (Brabbins/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Hill/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), Verdi’s Requiem (Oramo/BBC Symphony Orchestra at the First Night of the Proms), Gardner/Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Slatkin/Orchestra National de Lyon), Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (Gatti/Accademia Di Santa Cecilia), Schumann’s Faustszenen (Harding/Gewandhausorchester and Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Schonwandt/Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra), Adès’s Totentanz (Adès/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Harding/Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra), Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass (Kanellakis/BBC Symphony Orchestra at the First Night of the Proms, Letonja/Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra & on disc), Britten’s Phaedra(Brabbins/RLPO, Gamba/Ulster Orchestra), Respighi’s Il Tramonto (V.Petrenko/RLPO) and Pasqualita in Adams’ Doctor Atomic (Adams/BBC Symphony Orchestra and on disc).

She makes regular appearances in recital on BBC Radio 3, most recently ‘Woman: Interrupted’ with Malcolm Martineau at Wigmore Hall, and ‘All About The Girl’ with James Baillieu at Glasgow’s City Halls. Her extensive discography includes the release of her debut solo album ‘A Love Letter To Liverpool’ (Rubicon) and Payne’s arrangement of Vaughan Williams’ Four Last Songs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Brabbins for Albion Records, which she premiered at the BBC Proms (Vänska/BBCSO) and which was nominated for a Grammy Award.

So far this 2022/23 season, Jennifer has sung Mrs Sedley Peter Grimes at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Berio Folksongs with Paterson and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Mozart Requiem with DeBilly and Malmö Symphony Orchestra, Mahler 3 with Vänskä and the Minnesota Orchestra & on disc, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with Madaras and the Hallé Orchestra, Chausson’s Poeme de l’amour et de la mer with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland.

Later this season will see her sing Mahler 2 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Verdi’s Requiem with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Juno Semele at the Glyndebourne Festival.