“As the indispensable Despina, Soprano Jennifer Aylmer steals every scene she’s in, especially when Despina is passing herself off as a doctor or lawyer. Ms. Aylmer has terrific comic chops and a voice to match. It’s hard to imagine this role being done better . . . ” -KDHX.com (as Despina in Così fan tutte with Opera Theater of St. Louis)
American soprano Jennifer Aylmer has developed a sterling reputation for her beautiful voice, compelling stage portrayals and impeccable musicianship. The New York Times has hailed her for her, “awesome accuracy,” while The Chicago Sun-Times has recommended that listeners, “bask in the aural delight of Aylmer’s dazzling shifts from regal command to cool insouciance and fatally attractive seduction”.
This season, Ms. Aylmer performs with Lyric Fest! in their La Dolce Vita program, in a duet recital at The Trust in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with baritone Thomas Meglioranza and pianist Timothy Long, and as soprano soloist with Brevard Symphony in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. She also appears in concert with the Utah Symphony in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, conducted by Thierry Fischer. At Carnegie Mellon University, she will sing on a new chamber music series in Schubert’s Auf dem Strom with French hornist William Cabellero and later this season, she joins baritone Daniel Teadt, singing Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles, both accompanied by pianist Mark Carver.
During the 2014-2015 season, Ms. Aylmer was guest soloist in Handel’s L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the White Light Festival, appeared with the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival on a series of programs, sang as soprano soloist in Vivaldi’s Gloria with Manhattan Concert Productions, and joined Lyric Fest! for concerts in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. She recently made her debut with Dallas Opera as Bertha in Il barbiere di Siviglia and returned to Opera Theater of St. Louis for her now acclaimed performance of Despina in Così fan tutte, and to Portland Opera singing the title role in Handel’s Rodelinda. Stony Brook University recently premiered her new English translation of Hansel and Gretel and also saw her directing Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years at both Stony Brook University’s Staller Center and at the National Opera Center in New York City.
Ms. Aylmer is particularly noted for her work in newly composed American music, including her 2005 Metropolitan Opera debut as Bella in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy. Other premieres in the operatic arena include Martha in Kirke Meachem’s John Brown with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Rowena in Augusta Read Thomas’ Ligeia, and as Cynthia Reid in Bernard Rands’ Belladonna with the Aspen Music Festival. At Houston Grand Opera, she created the role of Amy in Mark Adamo’s Little Women. She may also be heard on the 2012 release “The Opera America Songbook” on Kevin Puts’ new composition: You need song.
Additional roles Ms. Aylmer has sung with the Metropolitan Opera include Papagena in the first worldwide HD broadcast of The Magic Flute and Berta in Il barbiere di Siviglia. With the company she has also covered roles in Hansel and Gretel, Cenerentola, and in Shostakovich’s The Nose. Other operatic highlights include leading roles in Handel’s Orlando, Flavio, Semele, and Acis and Galathea, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Pasquale, Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro, The Grapes of Wrath, Der Rosenkavalier, The Medium, The Merry Widow, Filthy Habit, The Bartered Bride, Street Scene, Falstaff, The Turn of the Screw, Il Matriomonio Segreto, L’occasione fa il ladro, Rigoletto and A Streetcar Named Desire with such companies as New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera Boston, Atlanta Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Orlando Opera, Utah Opera, the Aspen Festival, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Kentucky Opera, Berkshire Opera. Austin Lyric Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera.
Equally accomplished in oratorio, concert, and an especially sought-after recitalist, Ms. Aylmer has been a featured soloist with many distinguished orchestras including the Haydn Orchestra in Bolzano, Italy, Cincinnati Symphony, Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, San Diego Symphony, the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and at the Beijing Music Festival. She sang Eurydice in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall opposite Ewa Podles, and made her San Francisco debut singing Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles with Michael Tilson Thomas. Ms. Aylmer is a recipient of the Alice Tully Hall Vocal Arts Debut Recital from the Juilliard School, has appeared regularly with the New York Festival of Song, at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with baritone Randall Scarlata and pianist Laura Ward in their “The Music of Tin Pan Alley” programs, and has been presented across the country as a solo recitalist by the Marilyn Horne Foundation.
A native of Long Island, Ms. Aylmer holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Westminster Choir College, and was a member of both the Juilliard Opera Center and the Houston Grand Opera Studio Program. Her many honors and awards include a Career Grant from the Sullivan Foundation, the Richard F. Gold Career Grant, the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Catherina Filene Shouse Career Grant from the Wolf Trap Opera Company. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Voice at Carnegie Mellon University.