Winner of second prize at the 2017 Maria Callas Grand Prix, American soprano Shelley Jackson is quickly establishing herself as a rising star on the international opera stage. This season Shelley sings role debuts as the title role in Manon and Donna Anna at the Salzburg Landestheater, and revives the title role in Anna Bolena in their production in Karlsruhe, as well as a solo recital with the Russian Chamber Arts Society in Washington DC. Upcoming, she will make role and house debuts at the Buxton Festival and Malmö Opera.
Last season, Shelley’s highlights include the title role in Anna Bolena at the Badisches Staatstheater, her German house debut, critically lauded as a “something of a revelation...she proved herself a bel canto virtuoso” (Rheinpfalz), as well as a return to the Grange Festival as Mary Crawford in Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park, Mimì in La bohème at Dorset Opera, and a concert of verismo repertoire with the Hamilton Philharmonic in Canada.
Other recent roles include her house and role debut as Mimì in La bohème at the Haus für Mozart in Salzburg conducted by Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, her house debut at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Micaëla in Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen, and her UK debut, also singing Micaëla, as part of the the inaugural season at the Grange Festival. She also returned to Santa Fe Opera as the Italian Singer in Capriccio, directed by Tim Albery, and to cover the role of Juliette in Roméo et Juliette.
Shelley is a recent graduate of the International Opera Studio at the Opernhaus Zürich, where she made role debuts as Musetta in a new production of La bohème and Micaëla in Carmen. Additional highlights as a studio member at Opernhaus Zürich include the leading role of Song- Lian in the world premiere production of Rote Laterne by Christian Jost, the covers of Cecilia Bartoli as Comtesse Adele in Le comte Ory, Diana Damrau as Adina in L'elisir d'amore, and Giulietta in a new production of I Capuleti ed i Montecchi led by Fabio Luisi, as well as performing in mainstage productions as Maid Marian in Robin Hood and die Vertraute in Elektra.
Shelley made an unscheduled debut on opening night of the 2014 season at Santa Fe Opera when, as a member of the apprentice program, she stepped in to sing the role of Norina in the new Laurent Pelly production of Don Pasquale, and went on to sing additional performances to high acclaim. As a Santa Fe Opera Apprentice she also sang Iza in The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, covered Albina in La donna del lago, and won the Judith Raskin and Anna Case McKay Awards. A graduate of the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, performances there included Violetta in La traviata, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tatyana in Eugene Onegin, Pedro in Don Quichotte, and Oscar in Un ballo in maschera. Additional scholastic roles include the title role in Iolanta with Russian Opera Workshop, the title role in Susannah for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Thérèse/ Tirésias in Les mamelles de Tirésias with the Temple Opera Theater, and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Peabody Opera Theater.
Recital work includes an artist in residence position at the Baldwin Wallace Art Song Festival, and appearances with the International Vocal Arts Institute in Blacksburg, VA, and Il Quintetto Society in Rome. Concert work includes the Vivaldi Gloria with Diveriticanto in Wintherthur, Switzerland, the Mozart Coronation Mass with the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and appearances with the Young Talents of Europe Concert with the Presidential Orchestra of Belarus in the Estonia Concert Hall in Tallinn.
Shelley has received an impressive number of honors and awards, including the Joan Sutherland Prize from the 2016 Veronica Dunne Competition, second place in the Dorothy Lincoln Smith, Giargiari Bel Canto and the Mario Lanza Competitions, third place in the Concours International de Chant Marmandais, and a grant from the Licia Albanese- Puccini Foundation. Her past prizes also include the Bertha Koempel Award from the Liederkranz Foundation, a grant from the Career Bridges Foundation, the Nicolai Ghiaurov scholarship from the Centro Universale di Bel Canto, and a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Northeast Regional Auditions.
Shelley holds an undergraduate degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Vocal Performance, a Masters in Opera from the Temple University Boyer College of Music, and a performance certificate from the Academy of Vocal Arts. In addition, she spent two years of vocal study and role preparation with Mirella Freni at Centro Universale di Bel Canto (CUBEC) in Modena, Italy.