Jennifer Johnston is a former BBC New Generation Artist, and a graduate of Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music. She is particularly associated with the Bayerische Staatsoper and its distinguished musical director Kirill Petrenko, where her roles have included Second Norn, Roßweise, Floßhilde, Hedwige and La Ciesca.
She has appeared in opera at the Teatro alla Scala (Mrs Grose/The Turn of the Screw, Gaia/CO2), Salzburg Festival (Carmi/La Betulia Liberata, Lady de Hautdesert/Gawain, Leda/Die Liebe Der Danae) and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Dido/Dido and Aeneas), amongst others.
A prolific concert performer, she has performed with many of the world’s greatest orchestras and conductors, including Jocaste in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Berlin Philharmonic & London Symphony Orchestras, released as an LSO Live disc), Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique at the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall and on disc), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Welser-Möst/Cleveland and Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestras, Sir John Eliot Gardiner/Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique), Waltraute in Wagner’s Die Walküre (Sir Simon Rattle/Bayerische Rundfunks Symphony Orchestra and on disc), Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder (Kalmar/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Brabbins/BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Dausgaard/BBC National Orchestra Of Wales), Mahler’s Second Symphony (Zinman/Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Lintu/Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, De la Parra/London Philharmonic Orchestra), Mahler’s Third Symphony (Welser-Möst/Cleveland Orchestra, Zinman/Orchestre National de Lyon), Mahler’s Eighth Symphony (Welser-Möst/Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra), Mahler’s Rückert Lieder (Zinman/Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Kalmar/Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Sondergard/Royal Scottish National Orchestra), Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde (Marin/Hamburg Symphony Orchestra), Elgar’s Sea Pictures (Sir Jeffrey Tate/Hamburg Symphony Orchestra), Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius (Brabbins/BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Hill/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), Verdi’s Requiem (Gardner/Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, Slatkin/Orchestra National de Lyon), Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri (Gatti/Accademia Di Santa Cecilia), Schumann’s (Harding/Gewandhausorchester and Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Schonwandt/Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra), Adès’s Totentanz (Adès/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Harding/Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra), and Pasqualita in Adams’ Doctor Atomic (Adams/BBC Symphony Orchestra, recorded for Nonesuch).
She made her solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall accompanied by Joseph Middleton and broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. She is a founder member of The Prince Consort, with whom she has recorded for Linn Records, and has appeared in recital at Wigmore Hall, the Concertgebouw and the Aldeburgh Festival. Her extensive discography includes Anthony Payne’s arrangement of Vaughan Williams’ Four Last Songs with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins for Albion Records, which she premiered at the BBC Proms (Vänska/BBCSO) and which was nominated for a Grammy Award.
Jennifer’s engagements in Season 2019-20 included Brigitta in a new production of Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt, and Hedwige in Rossini’s Guillaume Tell, both at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Baba the Turk in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at the Glyndebourne Festival, Auntie in Britten’s Peter Grimes at Oper Frankfurt, Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass at the First Night of the Proms (Kanellakis/BBC Symphony Orchestra), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Welser-Möst/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Stutzmann/Bamberg Symphony Orchestra), Mahler’s Das Lied Von Der Erde (on tour with Treviño/Basque National Orchestra), Mahler’s Second Symphony (Hrůša/Philharmonia Orchestra), Mahler’s Third Symphony (Treviño/RTE Symphony Orchestra), Mahler’s Eight Symphony (K. Petrenko/Bayerische Staatsorchester), Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex (Treviño/Malmö Symphony Orchestra), Verdi’s Requiem (Farnes/BBC National Orchestra Of Wales), Beethoven’s Opferlied (Gernon/BBC Philharmonic Orchestra) and Elgar’s Sea Pictures (Hill/Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra).
She will be Artist in Residence at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, for whom she will sing Mahler’s Second and Third Symphonies (V. Petrenko), Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (Stutzmann), Messiah (Jeannin), and a recital with Joseph Middleton at St George’s Hall.
Her debut solo disc, A Love Letter To Liverpool, was released in September 2019 by Rubicon Classics.
Last updated: 28th October 2020