HEATHER JOHNSON – mezzo soprano
Mezzo soprano Heather Johnson, hailed by Opera News as "a dramatic singer in the truest sense", has received critical acclaim for her work on both the opera and concert stage.
Ms. Johnson joined the Metropolitan Opera in 2011 making her company debut in the Summer Recital Series. In October she sang the role of Rosina in Opera Southwest’s production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. She returned to the Metropolitan for their production of The Enchanted Island. Other engagements during the 2011-12 season include Mahler’s Symphony no. 2 with the St. Olaf Choir and Orchestra and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with PORT Opera.
Ms. Johnson’s 12-13 season began with concerts for Virginia Opera before returning to Sarasota Opera as Maddalena in Rigoletto. She also sang Berlioz’ L’Enfance du Christ with the New York Choral Society in Carnegie Hall and made her Met stage debut in 2013 in the new production of Parsifal before going to Mill City Opera to sing Rosina. 2013-14 has her in the title role of Lizzie Borden for Boston Lyric Opera which will be repeated at the 2014 Tanglewood Festival , in addition to covering Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Met, and a return engagement with the New York Choral Society for their annual Christmas concert in Carnegie Hall. She makes her Dallas Opera debut in 2014-15 in Salome.
Ms. Johnson enjoyed a triumphant opening of the 2010-11 season with a highly praised portrayal of the title character La Cenerentola with Sarasota Opera. In the winter she returned to Sarasota appearing as Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible. Also that season she sang Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Boston Lyric Opera, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Bernstein’s Symphony no. 1 “Jeremiah” with the New Hampshire Music Festival and Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Opera New Jersey.
In the 2009-2010 season Ms. Johnson sang Vivaldi's Gloria and Haydn's Harmoniemesse with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall. She made her role debut as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Sarasota Opera, a role she also sang with PORT Opera. Ms. Johnson also made her Kennedy Center debut singing Mozart's Requiem with The Washington Chorus.
Ms. Johnson began the 2008-09 season making her Italian debut in Rome singing Rossini's Stabat Mater with Maestro Paolo Olmi, which was broadcast on RAI 1. She made her role debut as Carmen with the Volkstheater in Rostock, Germany and performed Mozart's Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman. Other performances included Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Madison Opera, Beppe in L'Amico Fritz with Sarasota Opera, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas with The Yard Arts Festival;
In the summer of 2008 Ms. Johnson's performance at the Stillwater Music Festival of a world premiere arrangement of Grieg's song cycle Haugtussa with the renowned string quartet Brooklyn Rider was featured on NPR's "Performance Today". She also performed Meg Page in Falstaff with New York City Opera. Her numerous roles with that company include Flora in La Traviata, Mercedes in Carmen and Soraya in the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen's Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Ms. Johnson is the 2006 recipient of New York City Opera's prestigious Stanley Tausend Award, presented to a deserving young artist in the season following their debut with the company.
Other notable recent operatic engagements include Hedwige in Rossini's Guilliume Tell and Mallika in Lakmé with Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with Glimmerglass Opera, Lisetta in Il mondo della luna with Opera Layfayette, Rosina in Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Portland Opera Repertory Theater, and Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti with Nashville Opera. On the concert stage she has performed Mozart's Mass in C minor with New York Choral Society, selections from Il Barbiere di Siviglia with Boston Pops Orchestra, Mozart's Requiem, Coronation Mass and Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 with the New Hampshire Music Festival, Coronation Mass with Syracuse Symphony.
A 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi-Finalist, Ms. Johnson received her Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music and Bachelors of Music degree from St. Olaf College. She is a native Minnesotan, currently residing in New York.