Jennifer Johnson Cano

Jennifer Johnson Cano is a naturally gifted singer noted for her commanding stage presence and profound artistry with a warm, velvety timbre that has garnered critical acclaim. Ms. Cano joined The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera after winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2008, and made her Met debut during the 2009-2010 season. Among her honors are a First Prize winner of the 2009 Young Concert Artist International Auditions, 2011 Sara Tucker Study Grant, 2012 Richard Tucker Career Grant and 2014 George London Award.

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 included Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric and Arizona Operas, The Sharp Eared Fox in Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen with the Cleveland Orchestra, Carmen in Bizet’s Carmen with Boston Lyric Opera, Orphée in Orphée et Eurydice with 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 James Levine, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Franz Welser- Möst, Manfred Honeck, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, Osmo Vänskä and Sir Andrew Davis. Last season, Ms. Cano bowed as Carmen with Boston Lyric Opera, the Priestess in Aida with The Met, and as Wellgunde in Wagner’s Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic under Alan Gilbert. Some of her recent orchestral engagements include, among others, Bach’s Cantata No. 34 with the Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Markus Stenz, as well as Bruckner’s Te Deum with Christopher Warren-Green and the Charlotte Symphony. She also made her European debut on a 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 summer 2017, she joined the New York Philharmonic for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at Bravo! Vail Music Festival, made her Mostly Mozart Festival debut with conductor Louis Langrée, and appeared in the Gala concert at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Society.

This season, Ms. Cano bows as Orfeo in Orfeo and Euridice with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and as The Sharp Eared Fox in the concert version of Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, and with The Cleveland Orchestra in Cleveland and on tour in Vienna and Luxembourg. Orchestral engagements include Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York, London and Paris; Handel’s Messiah with the New York Philharmonic and Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Berstein’s Jeremiah with the Atlanta, Phoenix and Charlotte Symphony Orchestras, Mozart’s Requiem with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, as well as Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.

A dedicated recitalist and chamber musician, she performs with pianist Christopher Cano at the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and the Tucson Desert Song Festival with a program of songs and arias that spans three centuries by composers Purcell, Argento, Britten, Barber, Bernstein and Jonathan Dove.

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 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, 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 the 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 the Opera Theatre of St. Louis. She earned her degrees from Webster University and Rice University.

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