Obituary: Remembering Mezzo-Soprano Kristine Jepson

By Francisco Salazar

Mezzo-soprano Kristine Jepson has passed away at the age of 54.

Jepson was born in Iowa and studied music at Indiana University. The mezzo had an international career and went on to appear in over 25 operas at houses across Europe and the United States including the Royal Opera House, the Metropolitan Opera and the San Francisco Opera. Among the roles, she was known for at the Metropolitan Opera are Idamante in Mozart’s “Idomeneo,” Siebel in Gounod’s “Faust” and Octavian in Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier.”

Jepson also won special acclaim for such roles as Sesto in Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito” and the Composer in Strauss’s “Ariadne auf Naxos.” She also sang the role of Charlotte in Massenet’s “Werther” to critical acclaim.

She was also well-known for her work in modern opera and appeared in the first performances of John Adams’s “Doctor Atomic” at the San Francisco Opera, premiering the role of Kitty Oppenheimer. Jepson replaced Susan Graham in the role of Sister Helen Prejean in the debut run of “Dead Man Walking” with the San Francisco Opera.

Jepson left a couple of recordings including “A Night at the Opera” for Naxos and was also featured on the Met Opera’s “Benvenuto Cellini” recording with Marcello Giordani. She was also showcased on Renee Fleming’s Bel Canto album.