The Scene


Alicia Gianni

Alicia Gianni

American Soprano Alicia Gianni, whose performances have been described as “charming, impressive” and “powerfully real,” has enjoyed successes on both operatic and concert stages, including nominations for Houston’s Best Jazz Vocalist by the Houston Press Music Awards. Such nominations have followed concerts in Las Vegas for T-Mobile, Magic Johnson, and The Late Late Show’s Craig Ferguson. The 2016-’17 season began with a role debut as Giannetta in Houston Grand Opera’s _L’Elisir D’amore_ and was followed by a successful debut as Adina in Opera Birmingham’s production of L’Elisir D’amore. Ms. Gianni also debuted with Musical Bridges in San Antonio as a featured soloist in their Mozart concert and will perform several private parties this season including various musical theater repertoire and jazz standards. She recently completed a triple soprano role for the workshop of Houston Grand Opera’s World Premiere of The House Without A Christmas Tree, by Ricky Ian Gordon and Royce Vavrek to premiere in the ’17-’18.

Audiences found Ms. Gianni’s performances as Papagena for HGO’s production of _The Magic Flute_ both memorable and comedic at The Wortham Center, The Miller Outdoor Theater, and The Cynthia Mitchell Pavillion (2015). She ended the 2015-’16 season as the official cover for Margaret Hughes in Carlisle Floyd’s world premiere _Prince of Players,_ commissioned by HGO and with Christmas Cabarets at Opera Birmingham and Arizona Opera. Ms. Gianni then returned home for Houston First’s New Year’s Eve Broadway Concert at HGO as a featured soloist. In her performance and role debut as Petra in HGO’s _A Little Night Music (2014),_ critics acclaimed, “with her thrilling rendition of “The Miller’s Son,” Alicia Gianni as Petra stole the highpoint of the second act…celebrating lustiness, experience, and adventure, and Gianni finished her emphatic phrases with long, non-vibrato belting. She was absolutely thrilling in every respect.” (Theodore Bale, Culture Map 2014). Others hailed, “Gianni inhabits the earthy, saucy serving girl Petra; she scores a knockout with her dynamic rendition of her provocative “The Miller’s Son,” (Everett Evans, Houston Chronicle 2014) or “Gianni enlivens the strange role of Petra, a kind of lady-in-waiting, with a sublimely earthy, world-weary nobility, especially in her Act II number about the course of any marriage.” (John DeMers, Houston Arts Week 2014).

Ms. Gianni enjoyed performances with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra in concerts featuring Song to the Moon from Rusalka, All The Things You Are, and Victor Herbert’s _Art is Calling For Me._ She was also involved in special performances of HGO Co’s _The Passenger_ _Series,_ performing as the soprano soloist in such works as Jake Heggie’s _Farewell Auschwitz_ in _Music of Memory and Hope: A concert of Remembrance and Joy,_and songs by Viktor Ullmann in From Terezín.

The Washington Post acclaimed Ms. Gianni’s debut as Despina in _Così fan tutte_ with Wolf Trap Opera as “firm and sparkly.” Performances of both Fortuna/Giunone in _Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria_ followed shortly after, concluding the season with Portuguese songs by Villa Lobos in a collaborative recital titled _The_ _Pursuit of Love_ with Steven Blier. In 2009, she sang the role of Beryl and covered Elizabeth Futral in the role of Laura Jesson during the world premiere of André Previn’s _Brief Encounter_ with HGO. She sang the role of Laura during the original workshop, performing for Mr. Previn, librettist/director John Caird, and conductor Patrick Summers. Ms. Gianni can be heard on the recording of this premiere, released by Deutsche Grammophon in 2011.

In her debut with the HGO, Ms. Gianni sang Gretel in Hansel and Gretel, followed by her appearance as the Rooster/Jay in The Cunning Little Vixen. She also made her debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra where she was featured in a 2007 New Year’s Eve performance with conductor Randall Craig Fleischer, and again in 2008 performing Kapilow’s _Green Eggs and Ham_ as part of the symphony’s Children’s Series. Ms. Gianni was heard in _Die Zauberfl_ö_te_ as an “aurally wonderful evil hag who turns into a lively Papagena” (Houston Chronicle), covering Pamina in the same production. In addition, she was heard as Musetta in _La Boh_è_me_ in the end of that season. As a studio member, she covered Ana Maria Martinez as Donna Elvira in _Don Giovanni,_ was showcased in scenes as Mimi in _La Boheme,_ Stella in _A Street Car Named Desire,_ 2nd Niece in _Peter Grimes,_ and Héro in _Béatrice et Bénédict,_ and sang recitals in both the Rienzi and Taste This series in Houston, directed by Kathleen Kelly.

While a member of Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Program, Ms. Gianni made her debut as the Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto. She was featured in scenes as Nedda in _Pagliacci,_ Zerlina in _Don Giovanni,_ and Tatiana in _Eugene Onegin,_ performed in recitals with pianist Scott Gilmore, and sang for master classes given by Evelyn Lear, Thomas Stewart, and Ms. Virgina Zeani. In performances as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with conductor Mischa Santora, she was hailed as “a standout…delivering Come scoglio with convincing defiance, “ and “traversed a range of emotions with impressive coloratura.” (Cincinnati Enquirer). The Cincinnati Post raved, “Gianni displayed a remarkable voice…warm and strong at both ends…Fra gli amplessi was the single most beautiful moment in the opera.” During the summer festival in Torre del Lago, Italy, Ms. Gianni was heard as the title role in a concert performance of Puccini’s Suor Angelica, and during the study of her Artist Diploma at the College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati, she performed Micaëla in _Carmen,_ Ms. Poe in _The Voyage of Edgar Allan Poe,_ Infantin Klara in Zemlinsky’s _Der Zwerg,_ and Zillergut in The Good Soldier Schweik,

Concert work includes the Brahms Requiem, Mozart’s _C Minor Mass_ with the Hickory, NC Choral Society and Orchestra, and the _Mozart Requiem_ with the Palm Beach Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Florida West Coast Symphony. Musical theater credits include Dolly Levi in _Hello Dolly,_Polly Baker in Gershwin’s Crazy For You, scenes from _Show Boat (_Magnolia and Julie), _The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Oklahoma,_ _Annie,_ _Cinemagic_ and 100 Years of Broadway. Ms. Gianni was the winner of the Advanced Division of the Seattle District NATS competition, received 1st place in CCM’s Corbett Scholarship Competition and 3rd place the following year. She respectively earned both 2nd Place and Audience Choice titles in the Houston Grand Opera Eleanor McCollum Competition, was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, and a Sara Tucker Grant nominee.

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