Soprano Joni Henson is one of Canada’s most thrilling young performers and she has recently been featured in some of the most demanding roles in the soprano repertoire, including Fricka in DAS RHEINGOLD for Pacific Opera Victoria, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 for the Winnipeg Symphony, Britten’s WAR REQUIEM for the Victoria Symphony, a recording with the Canadian Art Song Project and she returned to the Canadian Opera Company as cover artist for Ortlinde and Gerhilde in Wagner’s DIE WALKÜRE. Earlier in the 2015-2016 season she made her role debut as Marguerite in Berlioz’ DAMNATION DE FAUST for the Calgary Philharmonic and sang Strauss’ VIER LETZTE LIEDER for the Winnipeg Symphony.
Her 2013-2014 season began with Alice in Verdi’s FALSTAFF for Pacific Opera Victoria, followed by Senta in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER for Calgary Opera and Elisabetta in DON CARLOS for Vancouver Opera, a role she first sang for the Canadian Opera Company.
In 2012-2013, she was heard in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony (recording available online from the Detroit Symphony), as Desdemona in OTELLO for Calgary Opera, in Opera Galas for the Colorado Symphony and the Fairfax Symphony of Virginia and the title role in TOSCA for Pacific Opera Victoria.
While still a member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, she appeared on the main stage as the Foreign Princess in RUSALKA, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s COSI FAN TUTTE, and Gutrune in Wagner’s GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG. Other successes include Senta in DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER for Pacific Opera Victoria, Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and Leonora in IL TROVATORE for Opera Hamilton, Verdi’s REQUIEM for the Brott Music Festival and Leonora in Verdi’s OBERTO for Toronto’s Opera in Concert. She has also been heard in Verdi’s REQUIEM, Britten’s WAR REQUIEM and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Vancouver Symphony and Mahler’s Symphony No.2 with the Calgary Philharmonic.
Further credits include Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra and Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal (Yannick Nezet-Seguin) in Ottawa and Montreal, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir’s ELIJAH with Noel Edison, a debut recital for Music Toronto at the St. Lawrence Centre, Desdemona in OTELLO with the Chautauqua Sympony, Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA with the Windsor Symphony, Marie in DIE TOTE STADT for Opera in Concert and concerts with the Aldeburgh Connection of Toronto.
Ms. Henson holds a degree from the University of Toronto and an Artist Diploma from the University of Toronto’s Opera Division. Other roles include Mrs. Ford in Nicolai’s MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR and Female Chorus in Britten’s THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA. Awards have included the Opera Grand Prize at the XVth Concours International de Chant de Verviers Competition in Belgium, First Place Opera and French Melodie Awards at the Concours International de Chant de Marmande (France) and she was semi-finalist in the Metropolitan National Council Auditions. Ms. Henson attended the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara and received Encouragement Awards in the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition.
|Britten||Lady Billows||ALBERT HERRING|
|Dvořák||The Foreign Princess||RUSALKA|
|DIE TOTE STADT
COSI FAN TUTTE
LA NOZZI DI FIGARO
|Rota||Anaide||IL CAPPELLO DI PAGLIA DI FIRENZE|
|Strauss, R.||Die Aufseherin||ELEKTRA|
|Wagner||Senta||THE FLYING DUTCHMAN|
|Beethoven||Symphony No. 9|
|Mahler||Symphony No. 2|
|Symphony No. 8|
Midsummer Night’s Dream
SELECTED RECITAL REPERTOIRE
|Bernstein||La Bonne Cuisine|
|Britten||On This Island|
|Copland||Poems of Emily Dickinson|
|Coulthard||Ancient Memories of Greece|
Complete repertoire list available on request.
“Soprano Joni Henson brings to the role of Alice Ford a voice of tremendous power and depth previously heard here in dramatic roles (Senta, Tosca) but now turned, very skillfully and attractively, to comic purposes.”
Victoria Times Colonist, Kevin Bazzana
“Henson displayed superb control and a fully refined tone that made for a dramatic and very poised delivery. No lack of power here, as she took the aria from subtle to intense, building gradually to a vivid conclusion. Later in the evening, Henson transformed herself into Rusalka from Dvořák’s opera of the same name in the beautiful “Song to the Moon.” She was spot on with the requisite delicacy, balanced with just the right dose of authority. Best of all – she sang with a true sense of joy.”
Opera Today, Gwenda Nemerofsky
“Joni Henson was also in top form as the Foreign Princess…” (COC, Rusalka)
Opera Canada, William Littler
“Soprano Joni Henson proved once again that she has one of the most thrilling voices among young Canadian singers. The bright sound combined with her soaring, arching phrases and tonal heft is absolutely compelling.” (Toronto Mendelssohn Choir – Elijah)
Classical 96.3 FM, Paula Citron
“Soprano Joni Henson sang Dich, teure Halle from Tannhauser with a more focused presentation than she could manage even a few months ago. It’s not hard to imagine this singer performing major Wagner roles in important opera houses within the next few years.”
The Globe & Mail, Robert Everett-Green
“Henson has a thrilling, lilting voice and is clearly heading for a glittering career…she out sang everyone else on stage.”
Opera Canada, Paula Citron
Joni Henson -2-
“Joni Henson (Marie/Marietta) and Anthony Flynn (Paul) both acquitted themselves exceptionally well, etching the troubled characters with panache…Henson has a huge voice…and as in her recent work for the Canadian Opera Company, she looks set for success in the heavier dramatic roles in the German repertoire.”
Opera Canada, Wayne Gooding