American operatic singer Jennifer Holloway enthralls audiences internationally in the Jugendlich dramatischer soprano repertoire (Salome, Sieglinde, Greta Graumann, Chrysothemis, Elsa) and brings her lauded interpretation of Strauss’ Salome to both her Dutch National Opera and Vienna Staatsoper debuts this season, as well as making her long-awaited role debuts as Chrysothemis in Elektra and as Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, both with Staatsoper Hamburg. Having begun her career as an expert in the trouser roles of the mezzo-soprano repertory, she maintains a close connection to the Falcón roles of the French repertoire, and this season, will bring to life the title part in César Franck's lost masterpiece, Hulda, in concert with the inimitable Palazzetto Bru Zane.
“Supercharged with acoustic power, kaleidoscopic vocal colors, spellbinding inflection, and characterization,” (Opera News)
Originally pursuing her dream of becoming a music teacher, Jennifer began her studies as a euphonium major at the University of Georgia. It was while playing sousaphone in the Redcoat Marching Band that she met her husband, drummer Dwayne Holloway. It was also at UGA that she first discovered opera and began vocal studies with Dr. Gregory Broughton, who encouraged her to pursue a career in vocal performance and opera. In September of 2001, she and her new husband moved to New York, where she studied under Marlena Malas at both the Manhattan School of Music and the Chautauqua Institute, followed by apprenticeships at the Opera Theater of St. Louis, Pittsburgh Opera, and Santa Fe Opera
As a second year apprentice In Santa Fe, Holloway jumped into the lead role of Le Prince Charmant in Massenet’s Cendrillon and onto the world stage. Playing to great critical acclaim opposite Joyce DiDonato in Laurent Pelly’s new production, invitations to the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro Real (Madrid), LA Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera, Teatro Maggio Musicale, Opéra National Bordeaux, Théâtre du Châtelet, Opéra National de Toulouse, Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Washington National Opera, and English National Opera followed quickly.
The English National Opera invitation proved to be pivotal in her career, as it was there that she met John McMurray, who would become a mentor and close friend. McMurray recognized and encouraged Jennifer’s future repertoire, including Salome, Cassandre, Elsa, Chyrsothemis and Sieglinde. His prescience was critical to her success in this repertoire, and his loss in 2020, along with his friendship, wisdom and guidance, was devastating.
Holloway debuted her riveting Salome with the Semperoper in Dresden, where Richard Strauss saw its premiere 111 years before. “Jennifer Holloway triumphs in her acclaimed role debut,” Roland H. Dipple of NMZ wrote, “rarely has a Salome sustained so lyrically the high arching tessitura and at the same time – a result of Holloway’s previous life as a mezzo soprano – mastered the low register with such honesty and disdain.” Since then Holloway has fascinated audiences in the role in Leipzig, Bilbao, Atlanta, and all over England with Opera North. Many role debuts in this new fach followed, including as Cassandre in Dresden, Greta Graumann in Frankfurt and Sieglinde in Hamburg.
“Jennifer Holloway triumphs in her acclaimed role debut. Rarely has a Salome sustained so lyrically the high arching tessitura and at the same time ...mastered the low register with such honesty and disdain.” (NMZ)
Despite pandemic cancellations, revised plans have been set for Holloway’s role debut as Chrysothemis in a new production by Dmitri Tcherniakov at Hamburg Staatsoper, as well as for her continued collaboration with palazzo Bru Zane in their recordings of lesser-known French Romantic repertoire. Upcoming seasons with exciting role and company debuts are on the books, with crossed fingers for widespread compliance with mask wearing, hand washing, and social distancing, so live performances will continue in Europe and will resume soon in America.
When she is not traveling around the globe, Jennifer strives to introduce the world of opera to local public school students. As the mother of a young woman, she spends her free time volunteering as a coach for local girls’ rec sports teams, as well as teaching and mentoring young people. She also enjoys teaching her small studio of vocal students and presenting masterclasses and recitals. Jennifer still to studies regularly with both Dr. Broughton and with Marlena Malas, and she hopes to do so for a very long time.