Opera News lauds Jeni Houser’s performances as “commanding and duplicitous, yet also vulnerable. She has a bright future above the staff.” In the 2017-18 season, she makes debuts with Austin Lyric Opera as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Central City Opera as the Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte in addition to returning to Minnesota Opera for her first performances of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and the Charmeuse in Thais. She also joins the Last Vegas Philharmonic for Orff’s Carmina Burana and reprises Johanna in Sweeney Todd with Baltimore Concert Opera. In future seasons, she will debut with the Wiener Staatsoper, Dallas Opera and Kentucky Opera as well as return to Madison Opera for a new role. Last season, she sang the Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte in her debut with Cincinnati Opera and joined the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of the same title. She joined Odyssey Opera in Boston as Cecily in Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s The Importance of Being Earnest, sang Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Ballet, returned to Minnesota Opera for a workshop of William Bolcom’s new opera, Dinner at Eight, and in the summer, joined the Berkshire Opera Festival as Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos.
Ms. Houser sang previous performances of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte with Minnesota Opera, at which she also sang Mrs. Grady in the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Shining. She joined Madison Opera for Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and Amy in Adamo’s Little Women; Mill City Summer Opera for further performances of Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and On Site Opera as Susanna in Marcos Portugal’s Le nozze di Figaro in her New York City debut. On the concert stage, she joined the Madison Symphony for Orff’s Carmina Burana and Abendmusik: Lincoln (Nebraska) for Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Requiem.
During two summers with the Glimmerglass Festival, Ms. Houser sang Königin der Nacht in the young artist performance of Die Zauberflöte and Najade in Francesca Zambello’s new production of Ariadne auf Naxos, in addition to covering Cunegonde in Candide. She joined Lyric Opera of Chicago for its outreach performance of The Magic Victrola, in which she sang Olympia’s aria from Les contes d’Hoffmann. She sang Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore with Opera Saratoga, Frasquita in Carmen with Virginia Opera; and Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos with Fort Worth Opera.
The soprano won second place at the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition in 2014. She was a district winner and regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2013 and 2011 after earning an encouragement award in 2010, and was a national semifinalist in the NATS Artist Award Competition in 2010. She holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lawrence University.