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Jennifer Rivera is an American mezzo-soprano who has had an active international performance career in operas and concerts since the early 2000s.

Rivera studied at the Juilliard School and appeared in several productions with the Juilliard Opera Center, including Gluck's Armide (1999) and the title role in Rossini's La Cenerentola (2000), a role that she repeated at Florida Grand Opera in 2009.[1][2][3] Rivera performed extensively at New York City Opera early in her career, performing such roles as Hansel Hansel and Gretel (2002), Lazuli in Chabrier's L'étoile (2002), Meg in Mark Adamo's Little Women (2003), Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro (2004), Rosina in The Barber of Seville (2005), Myrrhine in Adamo's Lysistrata (2006), and Nerone in Handel's Agrippina (2007).[4][5][6][7][8][9]

In 2007 Rivera created the role of Sharon Falconer in the world premiere of Robert Aldridge Elmer Gantry at the Nashville Opera, a role that she repeated at the Montclair State University in 2008.[10] Also in 2008, Rivera performed the role of Sesto in Mozart's La clemenza di Tito under Roberto Abbado with the Teatro Regio di Torino.[11] In 2009 she sang Varèse’s Offrandes in concert with the American Symphony Orchestra, and in 2010 she performed the role of Nerone in Handel's Agrippina under René Jacobs at the Berlin Staatsoper and created the role of Veruca Salt in the world premiere of Peter Ash's The Golden Ticket with the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.[12][13][14] In 2011, Rivera performed the role of Ismene in Traetta's Antigone under René Jacobs at the Berlin Staatsoper, and in 2012, she performed title role in Francesco Provenzale's La Stellidaura vendicante at the Innsbruck Early Music Festival.[15][16]

In 2013 Rivera performed Kurt Weill’s Mahagonny Songspiel and portrayed the Nanny in Ernst Toch’s Princess and the Pea at the Gotham Chamber Opera.[17] In 2014 she performed the role of Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie's Dead Man Walking at the Central City Opera, a role that she repeated the following year at Opera Parallèle in San Francisco and then again in 2016 with New Orleans Opera.[18][19][20] She also appeared as Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus at the Portland Opera and as Nerone to Peabody Southwell's Agrippina at Opera Omaha in 2014.[21][22] In 2015 she portrayed Queen Sophine in the world premiere of Adamo's Becoming Santa Claus at the Dallas Opera.[23]

In 2011 she performed the role of Nerone on a recording of Handel's Agrippina with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin under conductor René Jacobs for Harmonia Mundi.[24] In 2013 she recorded the title role in Provenzale's La Stellidaura vendicante, also for Harmonia Mundi. In 2015, she received a Helpmann Award, Australia's award for distinguished artistic achievement, as Best Female Performer in an Opera for the role of Faramondo in the Brisbane Baroque production of Faramondo directed by Paul Curran. In 2015 she recorded the role of Penelope in Monteverdi's Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria which has been nominated for the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording Grammy Award for Best Engineered Album, Classical.

Rivera is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post Arts and Culture Section and, in 2015, was named the Center for Contemporary Opera's first Director for Artistic Development.[25][26]


  1. ^ Anthony Tommasini (November 19, 1999). "Opera Review; Love, Alas, Not Sorcery, Was Her True Calling". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Bernard Holland (November 18, 2000). "Opera Review; A Cinderella With a Cold Gets to the Ball". The New York Times.
  3. ^ Lawrence A. Johnson (January 26, 2009). "Florida Grand Does Rossini Right with Charming, Delightful Cenerentola". South Florida Classical Review.
  4. ^ Paul Griffiths (October 24, 2002). "Opera Review; Meant to Tickle, a Chabrier Feather". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Paul Griffiths (November 22, 2002). "Music In Review; 'Hansel and Gretel'". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Allan Kozinn (March 21, 2003). "Reluctant Composer Of a Rarity: A Hit Opera". The New York Times.
  7. ^ Anthony Tommasini (October 26, 2004). "How to Energize the Familiar". The New York Times.
  8. ^ Allan Kozinn (October 18, 2005). "Another Visit to Seville, Where Rossini's Humor Is Waiting". The New York Times.
  9. ^ Anthony Tommasini (March 23, 2006). "City Opera in Adamo's 'Lysistrata,' About Making Love, Not War". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Vivien Schweitzer (January 25, 2008). "He May Be Loathsome, but This Evangelist Has Pipes". The New York Times.
  11. ^ "Tito Cast List, Teatro Regio" (PDF). Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  12. ^ Carlos Maria Solare (June 2011). "Germany". Opera.
  13. ^ Allan Kozinn (March 23, 2009). "Rescuing a Composer From Obscurity's Shadow". The New York Times.
  14. ^ George Loomis (June 22, 2010). "The Golden Ticket, Opera Theatre of St Louis". Financial Times.
  15. ^ George Loomis (February 1, 2011). "Rare Glimpses of Traetta's 'Antigona' and Strauss's 'Danae'". The New York Times.
  16. ^ George Loomis (August 14, 2012). "At Innsbruck Festival, Opera as It Is Rarely Seen Today". The New York Times.
  17. ^ Vivien Schweitzer (October 27, 2013). "Straight From Baden-Baden, It's Opera-Opera-Opera-Opera". The New York Times.
  18. ^ Allan Ulrich (February 24, 2015). "Dead Man Walking, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Theater, San Francisco — review". Financial Times.
  19. ^ Ray Mark Rinaldi (July 7, 2014). "Review: "Dead Man Walking" at Central City Opera: A man sings woefully, for his life". The Denver Post.
  20. ^ Theodore P. Mahne (March 5, 2016). "N.O. Opera's 'Dead Man Walking' a provocative tragedy that expands death penalty arguments". The Times-Picayune.
  21. ^ Kim Carpenter (February 15, 2014). "Passion, power fuel Opera Omaha's 'Agrippina'". Omaha World-Herald.
  22. ^ James McQuillen (November 9, 2014). "Portland Opera celebrates its 50th anniversary with bubbly Strauss frolic, "Die Fledermaus"". The Oregonian.
  23. ^ Bill Zeeble (December 11, 2015). "Re-Imagining Santa Claus — From Grasping Kid To Avatar Of Generosity". NPR.
  24. ^ "Handel: Agrippina". Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  25. ^ "Huffington Post Contributor Biography". Retrieved 4 February 2016.
  26. ^ "Jennifer Rivera named CCO's Director for Artistic Development". Retrieved 27 May 2016.

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