Possessing a voice described by Opéra Magazine as one that “offers a balance of exciting sureness and incredible force,” Soprano Shelley Jackson has established herself as a quickly rising artist at international opera houses in both Europe and the US. The 2016 – 2017 season saw Ms. Jackson’s role and house debut as Mimì in La bohème at the Salzburg Landestheater, conducted by Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, as well as her house debut at the Teatro Massimo in Palermo, Italy as Micaëla in the Calixto Bieito production of Carmen, and her United Kingdom debut also as Micaëla at the inaugural season of the Grange Festival in Hampshire. Ms. Jackson is a recent graduate of the International Opera Studio of Opernhaus Zürich, where she made role debuts as Musetta in a new production of La bohème and Micaëla in Carmen. 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.
Winner of second prize at the 2017 Maria Callas International Grand Prix in Athens, Ms. Jackson's current season includes a return to the Grange Festival as Mary Crawford in the premiere of a newly orchestrated version of Mansfield Park by Jonathan Dove, a concert of verismo arias and duets with the Hamilton Philharmonic in Canada, and the title role in Anna Bolena at the Badisches Staatstheater for her German and role debut.
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 Countess 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.
Highlights of her operatic career include Ms. Jackson’s 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. Additional highlights as a Santa Fe Opera Apprentice include Iza in The Grand Duchess of Gerolstein, covering Albina in La donna del lago, as well as being awarded both the company's Judith Raskin and Anna Case McKay Awards. Additional roles include the title role in Iolanta with Russian Opera Workshop, the title role in Susannah for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro with the Peabody Opera Theater. With the Temple Opera Theater, she sang Adina in L’elisir d’amore, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, and Thérèse/ Tirésias in Les mamelles de Tirésias. 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.
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 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.
Honors and awards include the Joan Sutherland Prize from the 2016 Veronica Dunne Competition, second place in the 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.
Ms. Jackson 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.