Soprano Jennifer Rowley’s triumphant Metropolitan Opera role début as Roxane in Alfano’s Cyrano de Bergerac 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 supurb artist” and compared her beauty and expressive face to that of Marion Cotillard, while ConcertoNet called her Roxane “a revelation.” Past Metropolitan Opera performances included her incredible house début as Musetta in La bohème, and in their productions of Otello and Guillaume Tell.
This season, Rowley returns to The Metropolitan Opera to sing the title role in Tosca following her performance of the same role with Nashville Opera, participates in The Metropolitan Opera’s productions of Il trovatore and Luisa Miller, will perform John Rutter’s Requiem with First United Methodist Church and sings the title role in Simon Mayr’s rarely performed work Medea in Corinto at Will Crutchfield’s newly formed Teatro Nuovo. In future seasons, Ms. Rowley returns to The Metropolitan Opera for several engagements through 2020, makes a début at Dallas Opera, and makes role débuts as the title role in Adriana Lecouvreur, and Amelia in Un ballo in Maschera.
In recent seasons, Rowley sang Tove in Schönberg’s Gurre-Lieder with the Orquestra Sinfônica do Estado de São Paulo (OSESP) and a trio of European performances as Leonora in Il trovatore at Opéra de Lille, Théâtre de Caen in France, and Grand Théâtre de Luxembourg. Additional recent engagements included débuts 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.
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, which she gave with just one day’s notice and one 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), as well as Finland’s Savonlinna Festival as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Other notable successes include the title role of Tosca with New Orleans Opera and her role début as Vanessa with Toledo Opera.
Ms. Rowley made her Carnegie Hall début singing Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra, followed by acclaimed performances at New York City Opera and the Savonlinna Opera Festival. She made her début at Alice Tully Hall that fall, was a featured guest soloist on the 10th Anniversary Gala with Opera Hong Kong, and made her much lauded début 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.
Ms. Rowley is a highly-decorated soprano and has been recognized by many international competitions. She 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 début in Cleveland Opera’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 main stage début as Magda in La rondine, The Opera Theatre of St. Louis, the Caramoor Music Festival, Brevard Music Center, and the Instituto Superior del Arte of the Teatro Colón.
Ms. Rowley holds a Master of Music degree from the Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the 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.