Wenn sich die Menschen: Lulu (Alban Berg) Jennifer Zetlan, soprano
Craig Ketter, piano
Soprano Jennifer Zetlan is internationally recognized for her artistry and captivating stage presence, known for being “persuasive and powerful”, “flawless” (The New York Times), and a “tour de force” (Wall Street Journal). This season, she is seen as Eurydice in the deaf opera project Orpheus & Erica with Victory Hall Opera, and as Trujamán in Manuel de Falla’s El retablo del maese Pedro at the Kennedy Center with PostClassical Ensemble. Additionally, she will give the world premiere of Tribute to the Angels, a piece written for her by Louis Karchin with the Talea Ensemble, and will appear at the New Voices Festival with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, and the Riverside Orchestra, singing Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915.
Between March 2020 and this current season, Ms. Zetlan took part in several pandemic-based projects, including a multi-continent live Zoom production of Noor Inayat Khan’s Aède of the Ocean and Land, presented by the Center for Contemporary Opera, and a phone-opera-for-one production of To My Distant Beloved with On Site Opera. The 2019-2020 season included the reprise of her role as Ellen in Ricky Ian Gordon and Frank Bidart’s Ellen West with the Prototype Festival, and a reprise of her role as Ginsburg in Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera Carolina and Opera Grand Rapids. Other recent season highlights include joining the San Francisco Symphony as Xenia in Boris Godunov with Michael Tilson Thomas, appearing as soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with the Kansas City Symphony, Fauré’s Requiem at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Ginsburg in Scalia/Ginsburg with Opera Delaware.
Ms. Zetlan has performed with The Metropolitan Opera on numerous occasions, having most recently covered the role of Queen Tye in both the 2019 and 2022 production of Akhnaten, and covering Little Stone in the 2021 production of Eurydice. She has also appeared as the 2nd French actress in War and Peace, Xenia in Boris Godunov, a bridesmaid in Le nozze di Figaro, Bloody Child in Macbeth, and Rebecca in the premiere of Nico Muhly’s Two Boys. She's been a frequent featured artist at Seattle Opera as well, performing roles such as Gilda in Rigoletto, Musetta in La bohème, Woglinde in Das Rheingold and The Forest Bird in Siegfried. Favorite notable roles elsewhere include Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with Charlottesville Opera and Nashville Opera, Sardula in Menotti’s The Last Savage with Santa Fe Opera, Spring in The Fairy Queen with the Staatstheater Stuttgart, Laoula in L’étoile with New York City Opera, and Nannetta in Falstaff at the Juilliard Opera Center, among others.
Known for her passion for contemporary music, Ms. Zetlan has been featured in numerous American opera premieres. She has originated title roles in Ellen West with Opera Saratoga, Musto and Einhorn’s Rhoda and the Fossil Hunt with On Site Opera, and Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre with the Center for Contemporary Opera. She has also sung in premieres for works like Rorem’s Our Town with the Aspen Music Festival and Juilliard Opera Center, Aucoin’s Crossing with ART in Boston and BAM in New York, Steven Stucky and Jeremy Denk’s The Classical Style with the Ojai Festival and Carnegie Hall, Gordon’s Morning Star with On Site and Cincinnati Opera, Muhly’s Dark Sisters with Gotham Chamber Opera and Opera Philadelphia, and Daron Hagen’s Amelia with Seattle Opera. She has also appeared on Broadway as Shaindel in Bartlett Sher’s Fiddler on the Roof.
Ms. Zetlan is a committed performer of orchestral works and song repertoire. On the concert stage, she has performed Kaija Saariaho’s Lonh with the New York Philharmonic at the Park Avenue Armory, Woglinde in Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic, soprano soloist in Bruckner’s Te Deum and Mozart’s Mass in c minor with Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall and on tour in Uruguay, and was heard at Carnegie Hall as a celebrated alumna of Mannes College of Music in their Centennial Celebration concert. Recognized as a unique recitalist, Ms. Zetlan was selected as a Marilyn Horne Foundation artist, and was chosen to perform in The Juilliard School’s 2012 Vocal Arts Honors Recital in Alice Tully Hall; she has been heard in recital with her husband, pianist David Shimoni at venues such as Christ and St. Stephen’s Church in New York City, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, Golandsky Institute, Foothills Music Festival, and the Artist Series of Sarasota. Additionally, she has given recitals with pianists Martin Katz and Ricky Ian Gordon, and has released her first solo album in collaboration with Mr. Gordon at the piano. Ms. Zetlan is on the voice faculty of the Mannes College of Music.