Voicing Gratitude; Festus Native Jennifer Johnson Cano, a Regular at the Metropolitan Opera, Will Preview Her Carnegie Hall Recital

By Miller, Sarah Bryan | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 27, 2013 | Go to article overview

Voicing Gratitude; Festus Native Jennifer Johnson Cano, a Regular at the Metropolitan Opera, Will Preview Her Carnegie Hall Recital


Miller, Sarah Bryan, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


When last we checked in with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano, she had just been cast as Nicklausse in Opera Theatre of St. Louis' 2008 production of Offenbach's "The Tales of Hoffmann."

Since then, the Metropolitan Opera audition winner has spent three years in the Met's young artist program, appeared in cinemas around the world in the company's production of Wagner's "Ring" cycle, and wed a rising young pianist, Christopher Cano. Now she's returning to help her alma mater, Webster University, raise money for a scholarship fund that once helped her.

"I've also had a lot of wonderful opportunities present themselves and been fortunate enough to take advantage of them concert work, recitals, chamber music, opera," says the 29-year-old Festus native. "I consider myself very fortunate."

She and Christopher Cano met at OTSL, where she was a Gerdine Young Artist and he was an apprentice pianist for three summers. They weren't in the same shows, so they didn't speak until year three, when they were asked to perform at a party and struck up a friendship. That fall they met again, "and the rest is history," she says. "We were attached at the hip from then on."

As a member of the Met's Lindemann Young Artists program from fall 2008 through spring 2011, Johnson Cano got first-class training and performance opportunities. Now she's hired there from show to show and sings with other companies, as well.

In the "Ring," she's both a Rhinemaiden and a Valkyrie. Early on she was almost squashed by the set, the infamous mechanical "Machine," as recounted in a 2010 New York Times article. …

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