Michelle Johnson
Soprano
National Council Winner, 2011
New England First Place Winner, 2011
New England Finalist, 2006 
New England Encouragement Award, 2005                        
photo                   review

In the 2015-2016 season Michelle Johnson returns to Sarasota Opera as Aida after making her her role and house debut there last season as Élisabeth de Valois in Don Carlos. The soprano also joins Hawaii Opera Theatre as Leonora in Il trovatore. Last season the soprano was Minnie in La fanciulla del West at Kentucky Opera, and offered a "Viva Verdi!" concert with the Princeton Symphony.

 

A native of Pearland, Texas, Michelle received her Bachelor of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music and went on to degree programs at the Boston University Opera Institute and Philadelphia’s Academy of Vocal Arts. Her early roles included Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw (NEC), Angèle in Kurt Weill’s The Tsar Has His Photograph Taken, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Lady with a Cakebox in Argento’s Postcard from Morocco (BU), and Suor Angelica, Leonora in Oberto, the Countess in Capriccio, Alice Ford in Falstaff, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at AVA. She also sang Monisha in Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha with Opera Providence and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with Boston’s L’Orchestra da Camera.

 

In spring of her final year at the Academy of Vocal Arts (2012), on three weeks notice, Michelle made her debut with Philadelphia Opera in the title role of Puccini's Manon Lescaut, filling in for a soprano who had taken ill. She then made debuts at Glimmerglass Music Festival as Aida, and with Houston’s Opera in the Heights as Leonora in Il trovatore. During the 2012/13 season, she reprised her Aida with Opera Santa Barbara, returned to Houston's Opera in the Heights to sing Alice Ford in Falstaff, made her debut at PORTOpera singing Mimì, and reprised that role with Annapolis Opera.A year later, the soprano was Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Philadelphia Opera and Houston’s Opera in the Heights, sang the title role in Franco Alfano’s Sakùntala with Teatro Grattacielo (NYC), appeared as Mimì with Annapolis Opera, and joined the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Oviedo, Spain in the Verdi “Requiem.”

 

On the concert stage, Michelle made her Boston Symphony Orchestra debut as one of the Naked Virgins in Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron, conducted by James Levine. The soprano has also sung Gabriel in Haydn’s Creation and the Beethoven Ninth with Boston Philharmonic in Symphony Hall, Vaughan Williams’ “Dona nobis pacem” in Carnegie Hall with the BU Symphonic Orchestra and Chorus, and Mozart’s “Requiem” in Carnegie Hall with Manhattan Concert Productions.

 

A Second Prize winner in the 2014 Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition, Michelle was also awarded a Second Prize in the 2009 Giargiari Bel Canto Competition, an Encouragement Award in the 2009 Gerda Lissner Foundation Vocal Competition and the 2006 Marilyn Horne Foundation Competition, and the Jan de Gaetani Award at the 2003 Orpheus National Vocal Competition. 

 

 

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