Possessing a voice praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “effortless precision and tonal luster,” Grammy Award-winning soprano Jessica Rivera is established as one of the most creatively inspired vocal artists before the public today. The intelligence, dimension and spirituality with which she infuses her performances on the great international concert and opera stages has garnered Ms. Rivera unique artistic collaborations with many of today’s most celebrated composers, including John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jonathan Leshnoff and Nico Muhly, and has brought her together with such esteemed conductors as Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, Bernard Haitink and Michael Tilson Thomas.
During the 2016-17 season, Ms. Rivera appears with the Calgary Philharmonic for Mozart’s Requiem under Roberto Minczuk, and returns to Atlanta Symphony Hall and the University of Georgia’s Hodgson Concert Hall with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for Vivaldi’s Gloria in D Major and Handel’s Messiah alongside mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor, led by Norman Mackenzie. She again joins the ASO and Chorus under Maestro Spano for Christopher Theofanidis’ Creation/Creator in Atlanta and at the Kennedy Center’s 2017 SHIFT Festival of American Orchestras. Ms. Rivera appears in John Harbison’s Requiem with the Nashville Symphony and Chorus under Giancarlo Guerrero, and gives the World Premiere of Gabriela Lena Frank’s Requiem with baritone Andrew Garland and the Houston Symphony and Chorus, conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada. The artist gives recitals at Oberlin College and the Constella Festival in Cincinnati, featuring Robert Spano’s Hölderlin Lieder, and also joins Andrew Garland for a joint recital featuring the American Pianist Association Competition Finalists in Indianapolis. As part of her residency at Cornell University, she performs Ms. Frank’s La Centinela y la Paloma with the Cornell Symphony Orchestra under conductor Chris Younghoon Kim. Ms. Rivera also takes on the role of Musetta in La bohème at Cincinnati Opera, led by Louis Langrée.
Recent orchestral highlights include Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with Karina Canellakis and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Strauss’ Orchesterlieder with Johannes Stert and the Orquestra Sinfónica Portuguesa in Lisbon, Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares with Nicholas Carter and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Franz Welser-Möst for her debut with the Cleveland Orchestra. Ms. Rivera treasures a long-standing collaboration spanning over a decade with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, which most recently featured the artist as soprano soloist in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem and Jonathan Leshnoff’s Zohar with the ASO and Chorus at Carnegie Hall. Additional orchestral engagements have featured Micaëla in Carmen with Bramwell Tovey and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Poulenc’s Gloria with Maestro Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra – as well as with Grant Gershon at the Hollywood Bowl – and Ravel’s Shéhérazade with Maestro Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony. She has also performed Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Sir Roger Norrington and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony, and Peter Oundjian and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Rivera has worked closely with John Adams throughout her career, and received international praise for the world premiere of Adams’s opera A Flowering Tree, singing the role of Kumudha in a production directed by Peter Sellars as part of the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna. Subsequently, she has performed the role for her debut with the Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle, the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon and the Cincinnati Opera led by Joana Carneiro and, under Adams’ baton, with the San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre. Ms. Rivera made her European operatic debut as Kitty Oppenheimer in Sellars’ acclaimed production of Adams’s Doctor Atomic with the Netherlands Opera, a role that also served for her debuts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Finnish National Opera and Teatro de la Maestranza in Seville, Spain. She joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its new production of Doctor Atomic under the direction of Alan Gilbert. Ms. Rivera has also performed Nixon Tapes with the Pittsburgh Symphony under John Adams’s direction, as well as his composition El Niño with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under David Robertson, San Francisco Symphony under John Adams and at the Edinburgh International Festival with James Conlon and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Rivera made her critically acclaimed Santa Fe Opera debut in the summer of 2005 as Nuria in the world premiere of the revised edition of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar. She reprised the role for the 2007 Grammy Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording of the work with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano, and bowed in the Peter Sellars staging at Lincoln Center and Opera Boston, as well as in performances at the Barbican Centre, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Cincinnati Opera, and the Ojai, Ravinia, and New Zealand International Arts Festivals. The artist’s first performances of Margarita Xirgu in Ainadamar, a role created by Dawn Upshaw, occurred in the summer of 2007 at the Colorado Music Festival under the baton of Michael Christie and she reprised the part recently for the Teatro Real in Madrid.
Committed to the art of recital, Ms. Rivera has appeared in concert halls in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Oklahoma City, Las Vegas and Santa Fe. She was deeply honored to have received a commission from Carnegie Hall for the World Premiere of a song cycle by Nico Muhly entitled The Adulteress, given on the occasion of her Weill Hall recital performance.