Canadian soprano Jacqueline Woodley has been praised for her fearless versatility, changing styles fluidly from early music to contemporary, from opera to art song. 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. This production toured Europe and Canada and Ms. Woodley was also chosen for the San Francisco and Philadelphia premieres of this remarkable work. Most recently, she was hailed for her searing performance as Natalia in the world premiere of Oksana G for Tapestry New Opera and earlier appeared in the premiere of that company’s production of M’Dea Undone which won a Dora award. Other acclaimed performances of contemporary music include works by György Kurtág, Kaija Saariaho and Judith Weir. This coming season she moves back to the baroque world for the works of Bach, Handel and Charpentier for concerts with The Florida Orchestra, Regina Symphony, Clavecins en concert, Chorus Niagara and the Ottawa Choral Society.
Her recent seasons have included Papagena (Die Zauberflöte), Cherubino (Marriage of Figaro) and The Forest Bird (Siegfried) for the Canadian Opera Company, Messiah with the Grand Philharmonic Choir and Symphony Nova Scotia, Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate with the Edmonton Symphony, Daphne et Apollo and Dido and Aeneas for Toronto Masque Theatre, and the 2017 session of Tapestry’s ‘Lib-Lab’.
Other highlights include her Montreal Symphony debut under Kent Nagano, the role of Adele (Die Fledermaus) for 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.
An alumna of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, she performed and covered several main stage roles, among which were Olympia (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Amore (Orfeo ed Euridice), First Priestess (Iphigénie en Tauride), Lace Seller (Death in Venice), and Iris (Semele).
Possessing a strong affinity for concert works, Jacqueline’s repertoire includes Bach’s Saint John Passion, Orff’s Carmina Burana, the Fauré and Mozart’s Requiems, 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.
In addition to being an active coach in her home studio and conducting an amateur women’s chamber choir, Jacqueline was recently at Opera Nuova as part of their 20th Anniversary Alumni Mentorship Program, where she taught lessons, gave masterclasses and performed in the gala. Ms. Woodley recently recorded works by Canadian composer Norbert Palej for the Canadian Art Song Project and she 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|
“As her friend Natalia, Jacqueline Woodley portrays an innocent girl destroyed by the world she finds herself forced in. Her portrayal was spellbinding.”
[Oksana G, Tapestry Opera]
Schmopera, Greg Finney
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]
“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
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.
Dernièrement, elle a fait ses débuts au San Francisco Opera, s’est produite au Canadian Opera Company (Papagena dans Die Zauberflöte, Waldvogel dans Siegfried de Wagner, et Cherubino dans Le nozze di Figaro), et a chanté Daphné dans Apollo et Daphne (Handel) pour le Toronto Masque Theatre. Les autres performances récentes incluent son début avec l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal sous la direction de Kent Nagano; la première canadienne de There was a Child de Jonathan Dove avec le Kitchener-Waterloo Grand Philharmonic Choir; les rôles d’Adèle (Die Fledermaus) et Papagena (Die Zauberflöte) au Edmonton Opera; et des concerts au Vancouver Early Music Festival, au Festival de Musique International d’Ottawa, à La Fête de la musique à Mont Tremblant et avec les orchestres de Kitchener-Waterloo et Edmonton.
Possédant une grande affinité pour les œuvres de concert, elle a chanté récemment la Messe en si et La Passion selon Saint-Jean (Bach), Messiah (Handel), Carmina Burana (Orff), Symphonie no. 8 (Mahler), Cantate pour une joie (Mercure), Requiem (Fauré et Mozart), Dona Nobis Pacem (Vaughan Williams) et La Création (Haydn) pour différentes compagnies dont le Centre national des Arts du Canada, Brott Music Festival et Against the Grain Theatre.
Jacqueline est recherchée pour son talent exceptionnel d’interprète de musique contemporaine, particulièrement depuis qu’elle a créé le rôle de Milice dans l’opéra Svadba-Wedding d’Ana Sokolovic. Elle a repris le rôle pour les tournées subséquentes en Europe et au Canada. La première américaine a eu lieu au Philadelphia Opera. Elle s’est produite également dans la première de M’dea Undone du compositeur Écossais John Harris (co-produit avec Scottish Opera) avec Tapestry Opera à Toronto. Elle y est retourné ce printemps pour une autre première, chantant le rôle de Nataliya dans Oksana G. Dernièrement, Jacqueline a aussi endisqué des chansons de Norbert Palej, compositeur Canadien-Polonais pour l’album “Cloud Light” le Projet de mélodies canadiennes. D’autres performances louangées incluent Kafka-Fragmente de Kurtág avec Against the Grain Theatre et un concert de musique de Kaija Saariaho à Washington.
Jacqueline possède une maîtrise en opéra de l’Université McGill et a été membre de l’ensemble au Canadian Opera Company de 2010-2012.
Jacqueline sings Mendelssohn’s Psalm 42 with l’Orchestre symphonique de Trois-Rivières on April 18, 2020. ostr.ca
Jacqueline Woodley and Zach Finkelstein join The Florida Orchestra for Bach’s Johannespassion on March 20 and 22, 2020. the.floridaorchestra.org
Composed by Jonathan Dove with libretto by April de Angelis, Flight gets its Canadian premiere at Pacific Opera Victoria. Conducted by Timothy Vernon, with soprano Jacqueline Woodley (Tina), mezzo-soprano Emilia Boteva (Older Woman) and Allyson McHardy (Minskwoman), baritones John Brancy (Steward) and Justin Welsh (Immigration Officer), and bass-baritone Neil Craighead (Minsksman). Opens February 20 and runs through March 1, 2020. pacificopera.ca
“Beriete dir Jesu, du bist die Bahn” from Bach’s Cantata BWV 147 – Herz und Mund und Tat und Leben. “Bach Odyssey” at Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal (December 2019)
Excerpt of scene 5 from M’dea Undone (Music: John Harris, Libretto: Marjorie Chan), Tapestry Opera
“Seufzer Tranen, Kummer, Not” by Bach. “Bach Odyssey” at Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Montréal (October 2017)
“Lascia ch’io pianga” from Rinaldo by Handel (February 2017)
“Tout à perdre” by Lionel Daunais with pianist Marc Bourdeaux
“Height of Summer” with pianist Steven Philcox