Pace, pace mio dio: La forza del Destino (G. Verdi)
Michelle Johnson, soprano
José Meléndez, piano
Filmed and edited by Conduit Studios
Soprano Michelle Johnson, a Grand Prize Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions where she was described as “a clear audience favorite” (New York Times), has been lavished with praise for her “extraordinary breath control and flawless articulation… Her voice is velvety and pliant – a dulcet dream.” In the 2022-2023 season, she sang the title role of Tosca with Opera on the James, made her Nashville Opera debut as Mimì in La bohème, debuted the role of Serena in Porgy and Bess with North Carolina Opera and Opera Carolina, reprised the title role of Aida with Opera Grand Rapids, made a role debut as Turandot with Opera Southwest and she also joined Opera in the Heights for their 25th Anniversary Concert. In the 2023-2024 season, Ms. Johnson will sing Tosca with Madison Opera, returns to Chicago Opera Theater in Shostakovich’s The Nose and debuts with Florentine Opera singing Mimì in La bohème.
During the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Johnson made her Boston Lyric Opera debut singing Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, made a role debut with Opera Columbus as Tosca, sang the title role in Aida with Opera Carolina, performed as Mimì in La bohème with the Columbus Symphony, joined Fort Worth Opera for their Evening of Black Excellence and returned to Boston Lyric Opera to cover Emelda Griffith in Terence Blanchard’s Champion. In the summer of 2022, Ms. Johnson made her debut with Des Moines Metro Opera as Bess in Porgy and Bess.
Other recent engagements include Ms. Johnson’s house and role debut with Chicago Opera Theater as Zemfira in Aleko, a featured soloist performance with Madison Symphony Orchestra, a debut with Waterbury Symphony for their Holiday Pops and performed Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra. She also joined Opera Tampa as Leonora in Il trovatore, and Opera Delaware for a concert of Shakespeare selections.
Ms. Johnson has also made a name for herself as one of the most in demand Aida’s in the opera world today, performing Verdi’s tragic heroine with Glimmerglass Music Festival, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Columbus, Knoxville Opera, Opera Idaho, and Sarasota Opera, among others.
A favorite of many houses, past opera credits include Madame Lidoine in Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites, Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana, Leonora in Il trovatore, Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, Élisabeth de Valois in Don Carlos, the title role in Manon Lescaut, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, the title role in Suor Angelica, Leonora in Oberto, the Countess in Capriccio, and Alice Ford in Falstaff. Adept in verismo repertoire as well, Ms. Johnson performed the title roles in the rarely performed Sakuntala and Fedora with Teatro Grattacielo.
As an avid concert artist, she has performed Verdi’s Requiem and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias, Columbus Symphony, Boston Philharmonic and Boston Landmark Orchestra, an all-French Opera concert with Maestro Michel Plasson in Montpellier, France, the soprano soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem with Juneau Symphony, and an all Verdi concert with The Princeton Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Rossen Milanov.
Ms. Johnson is a graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, Boston University Opera Institute, and New England Conservatory. She has graced the winner’s circle of the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation, Gerda Lissner Foundation, and the Giulio Gari Foundation.