Jeni Houser, soprano
Opera News lauds Jeni Houser’s performances as “commanding and duplicitous, yet also vulnerable. She has a bright future above the staff.” In the 2017-18 season, she makes debuts with Austin Lyric Opera as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Central City Opera as the Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte in addition to returning to Minnesota Opera for her first performances of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and the Charmeuse in Thais. She also joins the Las Vegas Philharmonic for Orff’s Carmina Burana and reprises Johanna in Sweeney Todd with Baltimore Concert Opera. In future seasons, she will make debuts with Kentucky Opera and Dallas Opera.
Last season, she sang the Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte in her debut with Cincinnati Opera and joined the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of the same title. She joined Odyssey Opera in Boston as Cecily in Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s The Importance of Being Earnest, sang Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Ballet, returned to Minnesota Opera for a workshop of William Bolcom’s new opera, Dinner at Eight, and in the summer, joined the Berkshire Opera Festival as Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos.
With Minnesota Opera in 2015-16, she performed Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos, The Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute, and Mrs. Grady in the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Shining. Other recent roles include Amy in Adamo’s Little Women and Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann with Madison Opera, Johanna in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera and Madison Opera, and Susanna in Marcos Portugal’s The Marriage of Figaro with On Site Opera in her New York City debut, as well as Carmina Burana with the Madison Symphony.
During two summers with the Glimmerglass Festival, Ms. Houser performed The Queen of the Night in the young artist performance, covered Cunegonde in Candide, and performed Naiad and covered Zerbinetta in Francesca Zambello’s new production of Ariadne in Naxos, where the nymphs “were a delight to the eye and ear” (CNY Café Momus). Responding to her performance on the Glimmerglass program featuring Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, DC Theatre Scene writes that “Houser in particular communicates delicious expression in the merest tilt of her torso and the flickering of her fingertips.”
Previous seasons found Ms. Houser making her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in The Magic Victrola, where she sang Olympia’s aria from Les contes d’Hoffmann, singing Frasquita in Carmen and covering Zerbinetta with Virginia Opera, covering Zerbinetta while singing Najade with Fort Worth Opera, and singing Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore with Opera Saratoga.
She won 2nd place at the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition in 2014. She was a district winner and regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2013 and 2011 after earning an encouragement award in 2010, and was a national semifinalist in the NATS Artist Award Competition in 2010. On the concert stage, Ms. Houser has been a featured soloist in diverse repertoire including Brahms’ A German Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem, Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb, Monteverdi’s Tirsi e Clori, and Bach’s Magnificat.