Shelley Jackson is a young American soprano in her second year of the International Opera Studio of Opernhaus Zürich, where this season she makes her role debuts as Musetta in a new production of La bohème, and Micaëla in Carmen. Last season as a first year studio member, she created the protagonist role of Song- Lian in the world premiere production of Rote Laterne by Christian Jost, conducted by Alain Altinoglu. Her performance was universally hailed as “clear, bright, and brilliant” (Tages-Anzeiger) and “offers a balance of exciting sureness and incredible force” (Opéra Magazine). Ms. Jackson was also seen as Maid Marian in Robin Hood and die Vertraute in Elektra. Her assignments in the bel canto repertoire in Zürich include the covers of Cecilia Bartoli as Countess Adele in Le comte Ory, Diana Damrau as Adina in L’elisir d’amore, and Giulietta in a new production of I Capuleti ed i Montecchi led by Fabio Luisi. In the upcoming season, she will make her debut at the Teatro Massimo Palermo as Micaëla in Calixto Bieto’s production of Carmen.
Ms. Jackson made an unscheduled debut at the Santa Fe Opera as Norina in the new Laurent Pelly production of Don Pasquale for the opening night of the 2014 season, scoring a major success as a member of the Apprentice Program, and sang further performances to critical acclaim. In her first year of Apprenticeship at the Santa Fe Opera, she sang Iza in The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, covered Albina in La donna del lago, and is also a winner of both the company’s Judith Raskin and Anna Case McKay Awards. In the summer of 2016, Ms. Jackson will return to the Santa Fe Opera for their productions of Capriccio and Roméo et Juliette.
Ms. Jackson is a 2014 graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where her performances included Violetta in La traviata, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Pedro in Don Quichotte, and an “unusually charming” (Philadelphia Inquirer) Oscar in Un ballo in maschera.
Ms. Jackson was recently named the recipient of the Joan Sutherland Prize from the Veronica Dunne Competition in 2016, chosen by Richard Bonynge. Ms. Jackson has also won second place in the Giargiari Bel Canto and the Mario Lanza Competitions, third place in the Concours International de Chant Marmandais, fifth prize in the Loren L. Zachary Vocal Competition, an encouragement award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, and a grant from the Licia Albanese- Puccini Foundation: in which her “Tu, che di gel”, showed off a good grasp of Puccini style and a vocal with a distinctive profile” (Opera News). Her past prizes also include the Bertha Koempel Award from the Liederkranz Foundation, a grant from the Career Bridges Foundation, the Nicolai Ghiaurov scholarship from the Centro Universale di Bel Canto, and she was a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Northeast Regional Auditions.
In scholastic productions, Ms. Jackson has sung the title roles in Iolanta with Russian Opera Workshop, Susannah for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Juliette (cover) in Roméo et Juliette with the Chesapeake Chamber Opera, and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Peabody Opera Theater. With the Temple Opera Theater, she sang Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Thérèse/ Tirésias in Les mamelles de Tirésias. As a Young Artist at Opera North in 2012, she sang Giannetta in L’elisir d’amore and covered Anna in The King and I. Ms. Jackson has also performed in concert as an artist in residence at the Baldwin Wallace Art Song Festival, the International Vocal Arts Institute in Blacksburg, VA, Il Quintetto Society in Rome, the Mozart Coronation Mass with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and for the Young Talents of Europe Concert with the Presidential Orchestra of Belarus in the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn.
Ms. Jackson holds an undergraduate degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Vocal Performance, a Masters in Opera from the Temple University Boyer College of Music, and a performance certificate from the Academy of Vocal Arts. In addition, she spent two years of vocal study and role preparation with Mirella Freni at Centro Universale di Bel Canto (CUBEC) in Modena, Italy.