A naturally gifted singer noted for her commanding stage presence and profound artistry, Jennifer Johnson Cano has garnered critical acclaim. During the 2018-2019 season, she returns to The Metropolitan Opera as Emilia in Otello and Meg Page in Falstaff and makes her role debut as Offred in Poul Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale with Boston Lyric Opera.
Ms. Cano’s orchestral engagements include Bernstein’s Jeremiah Symphony with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Symphonies. A dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, she joins tenor Matthew Polenzani and pianist Julius Drake at Carnegie Hall for an evening of Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms and Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared. She will return to Chamber Music of Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall for a performance of Ravel’s Sheherazade and Falla’s Psyche. Ms. Cano will also be part of two world premiere performances this season; Paul Moravec’s A New Country and Gregg Kallor’s Sketches from Frankenstein Suite.
Ms. Cano has given over 100 performances at The Metropolitan Opera, with recent roles including Bersi, Emilia, Hansel, Meg Page, Mercedes, Nicklausse, Wellgunde and Waltraute. Other operatic appearances have included Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric and Arizona Operas, The Sharp Eared Fox in Janáček’s Cunning Little Vixen with the Cleveland Orchestra, Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen with Boston Lyric Opera, Orphée in Orphée et Eurydice with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Des Moines Metro Opera, Diana in La Calisto with Cincinnati Opera, and Marguerite in Berlioz’s La Damnation de Faust with the Tucson Symphony.
She has recently worked with an impressive array of conductors, such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Franz Welser-Möst, Gustavo Dudamel, Manfred Honeck, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, Louis Langrée, Osmo Vänskä and Sir Andrew Davis. Ms. Cano made her European debut on tour with John Adams’s El Niño including performances in London and Paris with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mr. Adams, and The Radio Filharmonisch Orkest conducted by Markus Stenz at The Royal Concertgebouw. Additionally, she performed this work with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Grant Gershon.
In addition to her continued relationship with The Metropolitan Opera, New York Philharmonic and The Cleveland Orchestra, Ms. Cano has appeared with such esteemed orchestras as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Diego and Utah Symphonies and Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She toured with Musicians from Marlboro singing Respighi’s Il Tramonto and Cuckson’s Der gayst funem shturem, recorded live for the Marlboro Recording Society. A live recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde featured conductor George Manahan, tenor Paul Groves and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble in a rare arrangement by Arnold Schoenberg and Rainer Riehn. At the invitation of Mrs. Carol Armstrong, Jennifer Johnson Cano was particularly honored to sing the Anderson/Weill September Song at the private funeral for American icon and astronaut Neil Armstrong. In 2014, she released her debut recital recording with pianist Christopher Cano, Unaffected: Live from the Savannah Voice Festival, recorded completely live and unedited. Her most recent recording of Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra on Naxos received high praise from critics. “Jennifer Johnson Cano brings depth of tone and a noble resolve to the concluding Lamentation and just for once Lenny’s cathartic pay-off is deafeningly quiet.” (Gramophone)
Ms. Cano is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and made her professional operatic debut with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She has earned degrees from Webster University and Rice University and was honored as a distinguished alumna and commencement speaker at Webster University last May. Ms. Cano joined The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera after winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition, and made her Met debut during the 2009-2010 season. Among her honors are a First Prize winner of the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, Sara Tucker Study Grant, Richard Tucker Career Grant and George London Award.