Aspen Music Festival And School

Jessica RiveraBack To Performers

Possessing a voice praised by the San Francisco Chronicle for its “effortless precision and tonal luster,” soprano Jessica Rivera is established as one of the most creatively inspired vocal artists before the public today. The intelligence, dimension, and spirituality with which she infuses her performances on the great international concert and opera stages has garnered the Grammy Award-winner unique artistic collaborations with many of today’s most celebrated composers including John Adams, Gabriela Lena Frank, Osvaldo Golijov, Jonathan Leshnoff, and Nico Muhly, and has brought her together in collaboration with such esteemed conductors as Bernard Haitink, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Robert Spano, and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Ms. Rivera’s 2013-14 season features performances of Donnacha Dennehy’s That the Night Come with Miguel Harth-Bedoya and the Fort Worth Symphony, Rachmaninoff’s The Bells with Matthew Halls and the Houston Symphony, Golijov’s La Pasión según San Marcos with Roberto Spano and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Mark Grey’s Fire Angels, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem all with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Philip Glass’ the CIVIL warS “The Rome Section” with Grant Gershon and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and Mozart’s Requiem with David Robertson conducting the Cleveland Orchestra.  The artist reprises her acclaimed portrayal of Micaëla in Carmen for the Cincinnati Opera and, in a national recital tour, Jessica Rivera is joined by mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and pianist Robert Spano for concerts at Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances, Berkeley, Kennesaw State University, Pepperdine University, and at Cincinnati’s Constella Festival. Ms. Rivera continues her Artist Residency Program with San Francisco Performances where she conducts workshops in classroom and community settings throughout the Bay Area encouraging young people to open their minds to the beauty and power of music as well as to the poetry and spirit behind the art of song.

Jessica Rivera will release two recordings this season – an exclusive iTunes release of Robert Spano’s Hölderlin-Lieder and her sophomore release with the Urtext label entitled Classical Spanish Songs with pianist L. Mark Carver.

Ms. Rivera was heralded in the world premiere of John Adams’s opera, A Flowering Tree, singing the role of Kumudha, in a production directed by Peter Sellars as part of the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna. Since then, she has performed A Flowering Tree for her debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker with Sir Simon Rattle and, under the composer’s baton, with the Cincinnati Opera, San Francisco Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, and the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre. The London performances were recorded and are commercially available on the Nonesuch Records label.

The artist made her European operatic debut as Kitty Oppenheimer in Peter Sellars’s acclaimed production of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic with the Netherlands Opera, a role that also served for her debuts at the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Finnish National Opera, and she joined the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its new production of Doctor Atomic under the direction of Alan Gilbert. She gave concert performances of Doctor Atomic with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and her portrayal of Kitty Oppenheimer was captured in Amsterdam and is commercially available on DVD on the BBC/Opus Arte label.

Highlights of recent seasons include performances of El Niño with David Robertson and the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony and at the Edinburgh International Festival with James Conlon and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Nixon Tapes with the Pittsburgh Symphony under the direction of John Adams, Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 (“Symphony of Sorrowful Songs”) with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Franz Welser-Möst for a debut with the Cleveland Orchestra, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Sir Roger Norrington and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Carnegie Hall, with Bernard Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and with Michael Tilson Thomas and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Britten’s Spring Symphony with Robert Spano and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Carmen with Bramwell Tovey and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Poulenc’s Gloria with Mr. Haitink and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, which she also sang with Grant Gershon at the Hollywood Bowl, and Ravel’s Shéhérazade with Mr. Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.

Jessica Rivera made her critically acclaimed Santa Fe Opera debut in the summer of 2005 as Nuria in the world premiere of the revised edition of Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar. She reprised the role for the 2007 Grammy Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording of the work with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano, and bowed in the Peter Sellars staging at Lincoln Center, Opera Boston,  as well as in performances at the Barbican Centre, the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Cincinnati Opera, and the Ojai and Ravinia Festivals. The artist’s first performances of Margarita Xirgu in Ainadamar, a role created by Dawn Upshaw, occurred in the summer of 2007 at the Colorado Music Festival under the baton of Michael Christie and she reprised the part recently for Madrid’s Teatro Real.

Committed to the art of recital, Ms. Rivera has performed in concert halls in New York, Los Angeles,  San Francisco and Santa Fe. In past seasons, to support a recital disc on the Urtext Records label that examines works for soprano, clarinet, and piano, Ms. Rivera toured North America with concerts in Los Angeles, New York (Carnegie Hall), Las Vegas, Oklahoma City, and Chicago (Ravinia Festival). She also has given a recital program at the Amelia Island Festival accompanied at the piano by Robert Spano. She was deeply honored to have received a commission from Carnegie Hall for the world premiere of a song cycle by Nico Muhly called The Adulteress given on the occasion of her Weill Hall recital performance.

Robert Spano, Music Director

Alan Fletcher, President and CEO