Opera News lauds Jeni Houser’s performances as “commanding and duplicitous, yet also vulnerable. She has a bright future above the staff.” This season, she sings the Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte in her debut with Cincinnati Opera and also joins the roster of the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of the same title. She joins Odyssey Opera in Boston as Cecily in Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s The Importance of Being Earnest, sings Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Atlanta Ballet, returns to Minnesota Opera for a workshop of William Bolcom’s new opera, Dinner at Eight, and in the summer, joins the Berkshire Opera Festival as Naiad in Ariadne auf Naxos. Engagements in coming seasons include a reprisal of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Austin Opera and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Las Vegas Philharmonic as well as further debuts with Central City Opera and Dallas Opera.
Last season, Ms. Houser sang previous performances of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte with Minnesota Opera, where she also sang Mrs. Grady in the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Shining. She joined Madison Opera for Amy in Adamo’s Little Women, Mill CitySummer Opera for Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and OnSite Opera as Susanna in Marcos Portugal’s Le nozze di Figaro in her New York City debut.
During two summers with the Glimmerglass Festival, Ms. Houser sang Königin der Nacht in the young artist performance of Die Zauberflöte and Naiad – whilst covering Zerbinetta – in Francesca Zambello’s new production of Ariadne auf Naxos, in addition to covering Cunegonde in Candide. Previous seasons found Ms. Houser making her debut with Lyric Opera of Chicago in its outreach performance of The Magic Victrola, in which she sang Olympia’s aria from Les contes d’Hoffmann; with Madison Opera as Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann and Johanna in Sweeney Todd; singing Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore with Opera Saratoga; singing Frasquita in Carmen and covering Zerbinetta with Virginia Opera; and covering Zerbinetta whilst singing Najade with Fort Worth Opera.
On the concert stage, she joined the Madison Symphony for Orff’s Carmina burana. With Abendmusik: Lincoln (Nebraska), she has sung Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Requiem.
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.