Singing Wagner is never an easy feat and he is a composer many singers train years to take on. His music is known for its length and for its technical challenges and in many cases, it is extremely taxing. This week Jennifer Davis takes a major step in her career singing her highest profile assignment to date – Elsa in “Lohengrin.” Not only is it her first Wagner role, but she will headline a new production at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden that has been on everyone’s radar since it was announced last year.
While Davis is no stranger to the Royal Opera House, where she has sung leading roles and supporting roles, she has never taken on a role of this size. Her work has been towards lyric roles and this year she was even a supporting character in “Die Zauberflöte.” As a result, this assignment may put her on the map as one of today’s rising stars.
The Irish soprano first came to notice as a member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme from 2015–17, singing roles including Adina in “L’Elisir d’Amore,” Ifigenia in “Oreste,” Arbate in “Mitridate, re di Ponto,” and Euphrosyne/Lachesis in “Orpheus,” all at the Royal Opera House. She was also featured in the world premiere of “4.48 Psychosis.”
Other engagements outside of the Royal Opera have included Donna Anna in “Don Giovanni” for Opera North, Lenka in “Svadba” for the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Adina in “L’Elisir d’Amore” and Agata in “Don Bucefalo” for Wexford Festival Opera.
And for those who will not be present for “Lohengrin,” the soprano will be back at the Wexford Festival for a Mercadante Opera and she is set to return to the Royal Opera House for “Hansel and Gretel” and to the Welsh National Opera for “Die Zauberflöte.”
For those not familiar with the soprano’s voice, here are some YouTube recordings that showcase her range. First is Dvorak’s “Song to the Moon” from “Rusalka” and then there is “O Mio Babbino Caro” from “Gianni Schicchi.”