Biography

Jessica is a soprano from Buckinghamshire who is currently based in Manchester. At present, Jessica is studying for a PGDip in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Mary Plazas at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she previously completed her MMus. Prior to this, she graduated with a Double First from Clare College, Cambridge, where she read Music as a choral scholar and was awarded the Donald Wort Prize, the Royalton-Kisch Prize for Music, and several academic prizes over the course of her studies.

Opera roles Jessica has performed include Giulia in Rossini’s La Scala di Seta (RNCM), Snow Maiden in Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden (RNCM), Maria Bertram in Dove’s Mansfield Park (RNCM), Cendrillon in Massenet’s Cendrillon (Bedfordshire Youth Opera), Clorinda in Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Aylesbury Opera), and Marianna in Rossini’s Il Signor Bruschino (Edinburgh Fringe). Excerpts include Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Mariane in Mechem’s Tartuffe and Berenice in Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro. Later this year, Jessica looks forward to singing the roles of Flora and Annina in Verdi’s La Traviata for the Musique Cordiale International Festival.

Over the past year, Jessica has had considerable competition success, winning both the Frederic Cox Award for Singing and the Joyce and Michael Kennedy Award for the Singing of Strauss at the RNCM, as well as the Clonter Opera Betty Bannerman Award for French Song. Jessica was also a finalist in the 2023 RNCM Concerto Competition, and represented the RNCM at the Clonter Opera Prize in February 2024.

As a regular oratorio and concert soloist, Jessica has performed repertoire including Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem; Vivaldi’s Gloria; Handel’s Messiah, Saul and Samson; Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater; Parry’s Ode on the Nativity; and Rutter’s Requiem under Rutter himself; as well as Mozart’s Requiem, Vesperae solennes de confessore, and Regina Coeli K108. In the coming months, Jessica looks forward to joining the Liverpool Sinfonia to perform Mozart’s Coronation Mass and to making her debut at the Wigmore Hall to perform Nico Muhly’s Endless Space.

Jessica was recently selected by Opera North to take part in the 2022-23 RNCM / Opera North Chorus Mentor Scheme, and appeared as a Young Artist with the Buxton International Festival for their 2022 and 2023 seasons, performing in the chorus for Rossini’s La donna del lago and Bellini’s La Sonnambula. Jessica has also continued professional choral work, with recent performances including Rossini’s Petite messe solennelle at Southrepps Music Festival, Bach’s St Matthew Passion with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at St John’s Smith Square in London, and Haydn’s The Creation with the London Mozart Players at the Eilat International Chamber Music Festival.

Jessica’s studies this year are generously supported by Help Musicians UK, the Tillett Trust, the Colin Keer Trust, the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust, and the Waverley Fund. She is also very grateful for previous support from the Women’s Careers Foundation, the Dame Eva Turner Award, and the Alice Orrell/A&N Kendall Award.

Impressive high notes were matched by her coloratura and together with a natural stage presence her performance made a real impact.

Michael Cookson
Seen and Heard International