Canadian soprano Jacqueline Woodley has been praised for her fearless versatility, changing styles fluidly from early music to contemporary, from opera to art song. Recent performances include her Montreal Symphony Orchestra debut under Kent Nagano; the Forest Bird (Siegfried) and Cherubino (Marriage of Figaro) for the Canadian Opera Company, Milice (Svadba) for San Francisco Opera, the roles of Adele (Die Fledermaus) and Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) with Edmonton Opera; appearances at the Vancouver Early Music Festival and the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival with Les Voix Baroques; a soprano and trumpet programme for Clavecin en Concert and La Fête de la Musique de Mont-Tremblant; and Handel’s Messiah for groups such as the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Aradia Ensemble and in a staged version for Against the Grain Theatre.
Sought after for her “exceptional talent” in performing modern works, Jacqueline created the role of Milice-Bride in the première of Ana Sokolovic’s opera Svaba-Wedding with Queen of Puddings Music Theatre, as well as subsequent Canadian and European tours and the American premiere of the work with Philadelphia Opera. Other acclaimed performances of contemporary music include works by György Kurtág, Kaija Saariaho and Judith Weir.
An alumna of the Canadian Opera Company Studio, she performed and covered several main stage roles, among which were Olympia (Contes d’Hoffmann), Amore (Orfeo ed Euridice), First Priestess (Iphigénie en Tauride), Lace Seller (Death in Venice), and she was heard as Iris in Semele and as a “deliciously sexy” Papagena in Die Zauberflöte in the Ensemble performances.
Possessing a strong affinity for concert works, Jacqueline has recently sung Bach’s Saint John Passion, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Fauré and Mozart’s Requiem, Mahler’s Symphony No. VIII, Mercure’s Cantate pour une joie, Haydn’s Creation, Pärt’s Stabat Mater, Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5, I-II, and Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem.
Upcoming performances include Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate with the Edmonton Symphony, Daphne et Apollo for Toronto Masque Theatre, There was a Child for the Grand Philharmonic Choir of Kitchener-Waterloo and Woglinde in Die Götterdämmerung for the Canadian Opera Company. Last season highlights include the premiere of Scottish composer John Harris’ M’dea Undone (libretto by Marjorie Chen, co-production by Toronto’s Tapestry Opera and Scottish Opera); Bach and Finzi for Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings, Messiah for Symphony Nova Scotia and in Montreal, a solo recital of Mozart, Schubert and Strauss in Québec; a recording of Canadian composer Norbert Palej’s music with Canadian Art Song Project; and Belinda in Dido and Aeneas at the Vancouver Early Music and Ottawa International Chamber Music Festivals. Jacqueline holds a master’s in opera from McGill University.
DEATH IN VENICE
MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
|Burry||Isis||ISIS AND THE SEVEN SCORPIONS|
|IPHIGÉNIE EN TAURIDE
ORFEO ED EURIDICE
|COSÌ FAN TUTTE
|Offenbach||Olympia/Stella||LES CONTES D’HOFFMANN|
|Pergolesi||Serpina||LA SERVA PADRONA|
|Purcell||Belinda||DIDO AND AENEAS|
|Sokolovic||Milica (Bride)||SVADBA (WEDDING)|
|Strauss, J.||Adele||DIE FLEDERMAUS|
|Strauss, R.||Naiad||ARIADNE AUF NAXOS|
CONCERT / ORATORIO
|Bach, J.S.||Cantata Ihr, die ihr euch von Christo nennet BWV 164
Cantata Die Elenden sollen essen BWV 75
Cantata Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben, BWV 147
Mass in B minor
|Mahler||Symphony No. 8|
|Mercure||Cantate pour une joie|
Vesperae confessore di solennes
|Schumann||Spanisches Liederspiel, Op. 74|
|Villa-Lobos||Bachianas brasileiras No. 5|
|Vaughan-Williams||Dona Nobis Pacem|
|Weir||King Harald’s Saga|
For the role of Milice (Svadba), San Francisco Opera
“On opening night, the cast was uniformly strong. Milica has the opera’s only extended solo aria, and soprano Jacqueline Woodley, singing it to each of the friends in turn, made it a moving episode.”
San Jose Mercury News, Georgia Rowe
“Yet the only time any of these ideas is developed or sustained comes at the end, with an extended and poignant melody sung by Milica alone. It’s a striking moment of emotional engagement, luminously sung by Jacqueline Woodley.”
For the role of Dahlia in the world premiere of M’dea Undone, with Tapestry New Opera
“I’ve never hated Jacqueline Woodley more. (Don’t worry, I said that to her face). Actually, what I mean was she was excellent as Dahlia. Her velvety soprano coupled with her acting chops lent a special kind of venom to the passive aggression her character uses as such a sharp weapon…Jacqueline Woodley as the President’s daughter, Dahlia, was a total standout performance for me. She was a beautiful foil to M’dea, whose wild curls and flowing costumes are a stark contrast to Dahlia’s smooth, fitted dresses and gleaming white smile. Like a true White House lady, perhaps, I started off liking Dahlia, and with one scene she turned on a dime. Jacqueline had a fantastic self-important sashay and carefully chosen words with their accompanying smiles. Very Claire Underwood. Vocally I loved how Harris wrote Dahlia’s part; calm and calculated small-talk turned into cutting, deliberate classist insults, and Dahlia’s music goes from Mélisande to somewhere between Lulu and the Queen of the Night at her most shriek. Jacqueline was a stunning actor, too; it’s hard to hate such a lovely lady (but I did for a bit).”
Schmopera, Greg Finney
“Woodley’s Dahlia, a fuller figure than the princess in the original tale, makes a worthy adversary for M’dea; in their psychologically powerful scene together, each tries to manipulate the other with threats subtle and overt.”
NOW Magazine, Jon Kaplan
“Jacqueline Woodley, instead of exploiting the sweet quality of the soubrette fach, played up the voice type’s inherently shrill quality to clearly convey the modern archetype of the spoiled, rich girl, accustomed to getting her own way through manipulation.”
Mooney on Theatre, Keira Grant
“Jacqueline Woodley, as the President’s daughter Dahlia (Glauce in the Greek myth) expertly twists her pretty soprano tone into a sneering, squealing expression of haughty entitlement.”
Play Anon, Catherine Kustanczy
“Jacqueline Woodley, soprano (the President’s daughter, here called Dahlia). The use of a vocal quartet is well judged and the contrast between Segal’s rich mezzo and Woodley’s lyric soprano is especially effective.”
The Whole Note, Hans de Groot
Jacqueline Woodley as the President’s daughter, Dahlia, was a total standout performance for me. She was a beautiful foil to M’dea, whose wild curls and flowing costumes are a stark contrast to Dahlia’s smooth, fitted dresses and gleaming white smile. Like a true White House lady, perhaps, I started off liking Dahlia, and with one scene she turned on a dime. Jacqueline had a fantastic self-important sashay and carefully chosen words with their accompanying smiles. Very Claire Underwood. Vocally, I loved how Harris wrote Dahlia’s part; calm and calculated small-talk turned into cutting, deliberate classist insults, and Dahlia’s music goes from Mélisande to somewhere between Lulu and the Queen of the Night at her most shrieky. Jacqueline was a stunning actor, too; it’s hard to hate such a lovely lady (but I did for a bit).
Schmopera, Jenna Douglas
For Milica in Svadba, Wedding by Anna Sokolovic, with Queen of Puddings Theatre:
“The final scene cedes the spotlight to bride Milica, providing Woodley an opportunity to show off her gorgeous, lyric voice in a haunting, chantlike solo.”
Toronto Star, John Terauds
“Yet the piece also captures the wistful quality of the upcoming event, especially in the final number, a solo for Milica, which Woodley sings with a touch of eroticism as well as seductive simplicity. With Milica’s friends supplying a background sound cushion for her melody, she bids farewell to the past and welcomes the future; the music shimmers, while the elegant final visual will take your breath away.”
Now Toronto, Jon Kaplan
“The precision of the six singers under conductor Dáirine Ní Mheadhra was breathtaking, especially considering that they also had to execute tightly choreographed movements while occasionally playing various instruments such as rainsticks and ocarinas. Woodley brought a pure, plaintive voice to her solo and its medieval cadences.”
Opera News, Christopher Hoile
As Cherubino in the COC’s production of The Marriage of Figaro
“It is Jacqueline Woodley, the soprano who portrayed Cherubino, who stole the show. She is the perfect fit for the role, encompassing Cherubino’s youth and energy. She channelled a sense of fun into a character who could have easily been turned into a one-dimensional scoundrel, but Woodley ensures that we the audience falls in love with the lovable rouge.”
Anyka’s Night at the Opera, Anyka Davis
“Former Ensemble soprano Jacqueline Woodley was a surprising choice as Cherubino, but she made a believer out of me. She combined lovely singing with perfect acting as the lovelorn young man.
Musical Toronto, Joseph So
As the Woodland Bird in Siegfried with the Canadian Opera Company
“Jacqueline Woodley an innocent, free Forest Bird…It’s not unusual for some of the voices in a Wagner cast to be a little weaker than the others. Not in this Seigfried. Every performer was at the top of their game.”
Globe and Mail, Robert Harris
“Opera lovers who are in it for the singing should follow the career of Jacqueline Woodley. Her sunny, golden voice is perfect for the woodland bird who magically guides the fearless hero Siegfried. The same metallic edge that lends brightness to the sweetness of her timbre allowed her to cut through the orchestra effortlessly, a true feat for the lighter voice that is needed for this role.”
Mooney on Theatre, Keira Grant
“Former COC Ensemble Studio soprano Jacqueline Woodley never sounded lovelier, with a sparkling “Rejoice Greatly” of crystalline tone and feminine warmth, complete with a beautiful diminuendo high A…Kudos to all four soloists for successfully navigating the labyrinth of choreographed movements while producing the sounds opera singers do.” [Against the Grain, Messiah] La Scena Musicale Blog, Joseph So
“[S]oloist Jacqueline Woodley is the quintessential Handelian soprano. With her clear, cloudless sky-blue tone and bright, angelic top notes, Woodley gives a mesmerizing performance of dazzling virtuosity. “How beautiful are the feet” is given stirring voice. The sheer exquisiteness of her “Rejoice greatly” is beyond words.” [Against the Grain, Messiah] Opera Going Toronto
“…and Jacqueline Woodley’s deliciously sexy Papagena joined a comparably well-cast trio of Ladies…to raise high hopes for the next generation of singers.” [Canadian Opera Company, The Magic Flute] Opera Canada, William Littler
“Finally, the afternoon ended with a familiar tune, Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben. Its first half ends with an amazing pair: a bass recitative against cello followed by a soprano aria, Bereite dir, Jesu, with solo violin. These were exquisitely done, and reminders of the strength that can come through scarce means.” [Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Bach Cantatas, 75, 164, 147]
Montreal Gazette, Lev Bratishenko
“Woodley’s voice is a luscious thing to hear and there’s a wonderful cohesion with DuWors’ violin; the two complement one another in a way that’s rarely achieved.” [Against the Grain Theatre, Kafka Fragments] Charlebois Post, Joel Fishbane
“Soprano Jacqueline Woodley and violinist Kerry DuWors make the journey through Kurtäg’s tortuous Kafka labyrinths with enormous skill and courage… Notes are traded, soprano and violin in dazzling conversation, emotions shared. Miss Woodley has a richness of style and expansiveness that engulfs the listener. Her softer plaintive moments are anguished whispers, heart-breaking yet strangely wistful.” [Against the Graint Theatre, Kafka Fragments] Operagoing Toronto
“Soprano Jacqueline Woodley gave the lone aria for ‘Iris’, ‘There, from mortal cares retiring’, a performance that was absolutely gorgeous. She wrapped herself in every note and completely owned the stage for those few moments…The revelry ‘Iris’ (Woodley) depicted through her complicity in the plot came through with the keenness of a sharpened blade.” [Canadian Opera Company, Semele] No Rues No Lights blog, Brian Hay
La soprano canadienne Jacqueline Woodley est reconnue pour sa grande polyvalence, changeant de style avec fluidité, passant de la musique ancienne à la musique moderne, des mélodies à l’opéra.
Elle a débuté cet automne avec l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal sous la direction de Kent Nagano. Récemment elle a chanté le rôle d’Adèle (Die Fledermaus) pour Edmonton Opera; s’est produite au Vancouver Early Music Festival et le Festival de Musique International d’Ottawa avec Les Voix Baroques; a chanté un programme pour soprano et trompette pour Clavecin en Concert et La Fête de la Musique de Mont-Tremblant; et a chanté le Messie de Händel avec l’Orchestre du Centre national des Arts du Canada et dans une version avec mise-en-scène pour Against the Grain Theatre, Toronto.
Recherchée pour son “talent exceptionnel” d’interprète de musique moderne, Jacqueline a créé le rôle de Milice-mariée pour la première de l’opéra Svadba-Wedding d’Ana Sokolovic ainsi que la première américaine au Philadelphia Opera et les tournées subséquentes en Europe et au Canada.
Jacqueline a été récemment membre de l’ensemble du Canadian Opera Company (2010 à 2012) où elle s’est produite et a doublé plusieurs rôles sur la scène principale incluant Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), la “délicieusement sexy” Papagena de Die Zauberflöte et Iris dans Semele.
Possédant une forte affinité pour les œuvres de concert, elle a récemment chanté La Passion selon Saint-Jean de Bach, Carmina Burana de Orff, la Symphonie no. 8 de Mahler, Cantate pour une joie de Mercure, les Requiem de Fauré et Mozart, Dona Nobis Pacem de Vaughan Williams, La Création de Haydn, Stabat Mater de Pärt et Kafka-Fragmente de Kurtág.
Jacqueline possède une maîtrise en opéra de l’Université McGill. Elle chante bientôt le rôle de Papagena au Edmonton Opera et Messie à Toronto avec l’Ensemble Aradia.
“Piangero, la sorte mia” from Giulio Cesare by Handel
“Tout à perdre” by Lionel Daunais with pianist Marc Bourdeaux
“Height of Summer” with pianist Steven Philcox
Jacqueline Woodley as Papagena next to Joshua Hopkins at the Canadian Opera Company
Soprano Jacqueline Woodley sings the role of Papagena in the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She is joined by tenor Owen McCausland, who sings the role of Tamino, Michael Colvin, who sings the role of Monostatos, and director Ashlie Corcoran. The production runs from January 19 to February 24 at Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre.