Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Panara has received favorable reviews from critics in the United States and beyond. Lauded previously for her “flawless interpretation” of Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with Philharmonischer Chor Bonn, she returned to the German city as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, where critics praised her “voice of immense brilliance and versatility” (General Anzeiger Bonn). Her recent performances as the Mother in Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors drew praise for her “rich, compelling” singing (Cincinnati Enquirer). As Flora Bervoix (La traviata) with The Santa Fe Opera, she was lauded by The New York Times for her “winning” portrayal of Violetta’s friend and fellow courtesan.
In recent seasons, Jennifer was heard as an Artist-in-Residence with Dayton Opera, performing the role of Hansel (Hansel and Gretel). As a participant in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Gerdine Young Artist Program (2014 and 2015), she covered the role of Mere Marie (Dialogues of the Carmelites) and the title role of Handel’s Richard the Lionheart. A member of The Santa Fe Opera’s Apprentice Singer Program for two consecutive years (2012 and 2013), she appeared as Isolier (Le Comte Ory) and La Ciesca (Gianni Schicchi) in the Apprentice Scenes Showcase. Additionally, Jennifer was an Apprentice Artist with Opera Saratoga, covering the role of Dorabella (Così fan tutte).
Favorite operatic roles performed include Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette), which drew praise for her “delightful” and “spirited” portrayal of Roméo’s pageboy (San Francisco Classical Voice), the title role of Handel’s Rinaldo; Isolier (Le Comte Ory), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro); Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Mercédès (Carmen) and Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte). Jennifer’s awards include the 2014 Sam Adams Award for Most Outstanding Operatic Performance as Kate Julian (Britten’s Owen Wingrave) at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), the 2013 Donald and Luke Graham Memorial Award from The Santa Fe Opera, and third prize at Opera at Florham’s 2013 Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition.
A native of Medford, New Jersey, Jennifer holds degrees in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she was recognized for Outstanding Achievement in Opera Theater. She recently earned an Artist Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
The 2015–2016 Season brings several company and role debuts, including the Third Dryad (Rusalka) with Minnesota Opera and Siébel (Faust) with Annapolis Opera. Additionally, she will be heard in a series of concerts of Handel’s The Messiah with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Further information regarding Jennifer’s upcoming engagements may be found by visiting www.jenniferpanara.com.