Biography – English

British-Canadian soprano Jessica Muirhead, described by the New York Times as a “multihued soprano with floating top notes”, completed her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at McGill University under the tutelage of Mrs. Lucile Villeneuve Evans, and was immediately launched into a solo career on concert and opera stages across Europe and North America. After winning several competitions in Canada (Elora Festival Competition, Les Jeunes Ambassadeurs Lyriques, and National Music Festival of Canada), Jessica tackled competitions at the international level, where her most recent successes include a George London Award by the George London Foundation Competition in New York City, Grand Prize at the Concours de Chant in Toulouse, and 2nd prize at the Francesco Viñas International Singing Competition in Barcelona where she was also given the coveted Audience Favourite award.

Jessica’s professional debut as Pamina at the Vienna Volksoper led to subsequent invitations for roles including Micaëla, Antonia, Agathe, and most recently Fiordiligi. Career highlights include performing Musetta in La Bohème at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich alongside star singers Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja, Marguerite in Faust and Mimi in La Bohème at the Semperoper Dresden, Alice in Falstaff with Glyndebourne on Tour in England, Vreli in A Village Romeo and Juliet with Wexford Festival Opera, Contessa Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Teatro Nacional de São Carlo in Lisbon, and Contessa Almaviva, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Micaëla in Carmen all at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto, her hometown.

On the concert stage, Jessica has appeared with the Hamburger Symphoniker, the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center, the Bayerischer Rundfunkorchester, the OFUNAM Symphonic Orchestra in Mexico City, the Flanders Symphony and l’Orchestre Chambre de Genève, among others, in repertoire including Haydn’s Die Schöpfung, Fauré’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony & Missa Solemnis, Verdi’s Requiem, Berg’s Sieben Frühe Lieder, Britten’s War Requiem, and Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14, to name a few.

Since August 2015 Jessica has been engaged as Soprano Soloist at the Aalto-Musiktheater in Essen, where she has revisited her favourite leading ladies, including Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Violetta in La Traviata, Mimì in La Bohème, Marguerite in Faust, and added the roles of Katerina from Martinu’s The Greek Passion, Vitellia in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito, Lisa in Lehár’s Land des Lächelns, Rusalka in Dvorak’s Rusalka, Luisa in Verdi’s Luisa Miller, and Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin.

In 2018 Jessica was awarded the Freundeskreis prize for young artists of the TUP Essen. This same season she made her debut in Japan as Agathe in Weber’s Der Freischütz with the Hyogo Performing Arts Center, and received critical acclaim for her last minute jump-in as Micäela in the Carmen production at the Staatsoper Hamburg. 

Recently she made her debut at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein as Donna Anna, and as Marguerite with the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe.

Jessica’s discography includes a live recording of Hans Heiling, a live recording of Der Freischütz, and several appearances on a multiple CD set of works by Julian Wachner. More information can be found here:https://www.naxos.com/person/Jessica_Muirhead/222934.htm

Last updated: February 2021