Mezzo soprano Heather Johnson, hailed by Opera News as "a dramatic singer in the truest sense", has received critical acclaim for her work on both the opera and concert stage.
After making her Metropolitan Opera company debut in the 2011 Summer Recital Series, Ms. Johnson returns to the Met in the 2012-13 season making her house debut as a Flower Maiden in the new production of Parsifal. She began the season singing the role of Dinah in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti with the Moab Music Festival then appeared in concert with Virginia Opera and the Virginia Symphony. Other highlights of the 2012-13 season include Maddalena in Rigoletto with Sarasota Opera, the title role in Carmen with Baltimore Concert Opera, Sainte-Marie in Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ with New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall, mezzo soloist in Thomas Beveridge's Yizkor Requiem with the New Dominion Chorale and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Mill City Summer Opera. In the 2013-14 season Ms. Johnson will return to the Metropolitan Opera as well as sing the title role in Boston Lyric Opera's new production of Beeson's Lizzie Borden and sing Carmen with Virginia Opera. 2014 also brings her Dallas Opera debut in Salome.
Ms. Johnson began the 2011-12 season singing Rosina in Opera Southwest's production of Il barbiere di Siviglia. She returned to the Metropolitan for their production of The Enchanted Island. Other engagements included the title character in Gustav Holst's Savitri with Little Opera Theatre of New York that the New York Times critically acclaimed "Heather Johnson sang with penetrating power and natural phrasing… her eyes were haunted and her performance was both grand and intimate, in the best Wagnerian tradition." She also also sang Mahler's Symphony no. 2 with the St. Olaf Choir and Orchestra, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with PORT Opera and a concert with Boston Lyric Opera.
Ms. Johnson enjoyed a triumphant opening of the 2010-11 season with a highly praised portrayal of the title character La Cenerentola with Sarasota Opera. In the winter she returned to Sarasota appearing as Elizabeth Practor in The Crucible. Also that season she sang Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Boston Lyric Opera, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Bernstein's Symphony no. 1 "Jeremiah" with the New Hampshire Music Festival and Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Opera New Jersey.
In the 2009-2010 season Ms. Johnson sang Vivaldi's Gloria and Haydn's Harmoniemesse with the New York Choral Society at Carnegie Hall. She made her role debut as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with Sarasota Opera, a role she also sang with PORT Opera. Ms. Johnson also made her Kennedy Center debut singing Mozart's Requiem with The Washington Chorus.
Ms. Johnson began the 2008-09 season making her Italian debut in Rome singing Rossini's Stabat Mater with Maestro Paolo Olmi, which was broadcast on RAI 1. She made her role debut as Carmen with the Volkstheater in Rostock, Germany and performed Mozart's Requiem with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman. Other performances included Zerlina in Don Giovanni with Boston Lyric Opera, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Madison Opera, Beppe in L'Amico Fritz with Sarasota Opera, and Dido in Dido and Aeneas with The Yard Arts Festival.
In the summer of 2008 Ms. Johnson's performance at the Stillwater Music Festival of a world premiere arrangement of Grieg's song cycle Haugtussa â€”with the renowned string quartet Brooklyn Riderâ€”was featured on NPR's "Performance Today". She also performed Meg Page in Falstaff with New York City Opera. Her numerous roles with that company include Flora in La Traviata, Mercedes in Carmen and Soraya in the world premiere of Charles Wuorinen's Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Ms. Johnson is the 2006 recipient of New York City Opera's prestigious Stanley Tausend Award, presented to a deserving young artist in the season following their debut with the company.
Other notable recent operatic engagements include Hedwige in Rossini's Guilliume Tell and Mallika in LakmÃ© with Opera Orchestra of New York at Carnegie Hall, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana with Glimmerglass Opera, Lisetta in Il mondo della luna with Opera Layfayette, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Portland Opera Repertory Theater, and Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti with Nashville Opera. On the concert stage she has performed Mozart's Mass in C minor with New York Choral Society, selections from Il barbiere di Siviglia with Boston Pops Orchestra, Mozart's Requiem, Coronation Mass and Beethoven's Symphony no. 9 with the New Hampshire Music Festival, Coronation Mass with Syracuse Symphony.
A 2002 Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi-Finalist, Ms. Johnson received her Masters degree from Manhattan School of Music and Bachelors of Music degree from St. Olaf College. She is a native Minnesotan, currently residing in New York.