Jeanette Blakeney, Mezzo-Soprano
1995 – 1997
During the 2005 – 2006 season, Ms. Blakeney appeared as guest soloist with the River Concert Series in Maryland in a performance of Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles. Ms. Blakeney also performed the role of Dinah (Trouble in Tahiti) for the River Concert Series, and repeated the concert in Italy in the summer of 2005. For the Natchez Festival of Music, she appeared as Strawberry Woman in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess. And on the concert stage, Ms. Blakeney performed a benefit recital to help raise funds for Sacramento Philharmonic’s Education Programs.
Engagements during the 2004 – 2005 season featured Ms. Blakeney in her debut with Il Teatro Sociale Opera House in Italy performing the role of Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti, and as a featured soloist in Bernstein’s Arias and Bacarolles. She then returned to the United Kingdom and Ireland for an extended tour of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess in the role of Maria.
Following Ms. Blakeney’s departure from Opera San José, she accepted a one-year contract to perform the role of Queenie in Hal Prince’s Tony Award winning revival of Showboat, touring throughout the United States and London. She gained international recognition, with debuts in Moscow, Germany, China, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Israel and many other opera houses around the world. During the 2001 – 2002 season, Ms. Blakeney made her New York City Opera debut in Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess performing the role of Annie, which was later telecast on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center. She also appeared as Strawberry Woman in Virginia Opera’s production of Porgy and Bess.
Other notable performances included her Carnegie Hall debut in a world premiere performance of the song cycle Climbing, especially written for her by composer Tom Cipullo, which was subsequently broadcast on WQXR on Martin Luther King Day. For her role as Berta (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with the Utah Festival Opera, Ms. Blakeney received critical acclaim. She also appeared as Bloody Mary in Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s South Pacific.
Recent awards and accolades received include Ms. Blakeney’s induction into the Hanford (California) Hall of Fame in recognition for her career accomplishments. Ms. Blakeney has also been recognized as a lyricist for her poem, Led by Music, which was set to music by composer Zolton Papp and recently premiered on the concert stage in P’ecs, Hungary by the Rainbow Musical Studio Singer’s Choir.