A naturally gifted singer noted for her commanding stage presence and profound artistry, Jennifer Johnson Cano has garnered critical acclaim for committed performances of both new and standard repertoire. For her performance as Offred in Poul Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale she was lauded as a “consummate actress,” by The Wall Street Journal; a “tour de force” by The Boston Globe; and “towering…restless, powerful, profound, she is as formidable as this astonishingly demanding role deserves,” by The New York Times. In recital with Anna Netrebko at Carnegie Hall, Bachtrack called her performance “self-effacing and full of musicality.” With more than 100 performances on the stage at The Metropolitan Opera, her most recent roles have included Nicklausse, Emilia, Hansel and Meg Page.
Following engagements at Bravo! Vail with the New York Philharmonic, Ravinia Festival with Matthew Polenzani, and Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Music Festival, Ms. Cano ended summer 2019 with the LA Phil for performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl. She began her 2019-2020 season with Michael Tilson Thomas at San Francisco Symphony’s Opening Night Gala. In recital she appeared at Da Camera of Houston for a performance of Argento’s From the Diary of Virginia Woolf and joined pianist Benjamin Hochman and friends for Janáček’s The Diary of One Who Disappeared at New York’s 92nd Street Y. She received rave reviews for her Opera Philadelphia debut, singing Verdi Requiem with just 24 hours’ notice before the first performance. After widespread acclaim last season for her portrayal of Offred in Ruders’s The Handmaid’s Tale with the Boston Lyric Opera, Ms. Cano bowed as the title role of Bizet’s Carmen with New Orleans Opera.
Cano is a native of St. Louis and earned degrees from Webster University and Rice University and was honored as a distinguished alumna and commencement speaker at Webster University in May 2017. Her debut recital recording with pianist Christopher Cano, Unaffected: Live from the Savannah Voice Festival, was recorded completely live and unedited. Recent recordings include a live performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Manfred Honeck and the Pittsburgh Symphony, Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1: Jeremiah with Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and a live recording of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde featuring conductor George Manahan, tenor Paul Groves and St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble. Ms. Cano joined The Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera after winning the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition, and made her Met debut during the 2009-2010 season. Among her honors are a First Prize winner of the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, a Sara Tucker Study Grant, a Richard Tucker Career Grant and George London Award.
“Her voice is radiant and intense, rich in the lower part of her range, bright and precise at the top, with astonishing evenness throughout. For such a commanding singer she also cuts a remarkably approachable persona on stage, and has an uncanny ability to discern and embody the character of each song.”
— Boston Globe
“Dramatic intelligence and imagination suffused every note of Ms. Johnson Cano’s performance. Endowed with an attention-grabbing dark mezzo, its depths bracing like strong coffee, she seems to thrive in the role of a storyteller.”
— The New York Times
AUGUST 2020–AT THE REQUEST OF THE ARTIST, PLEASE DO NOT ALTER WITHOUT APPROVAL