Janara Kellerman, Mezzo-Soprano
Often referred to as “sultry,” “elegant,” and “compelling,” mezzo-soprano Janara Kellerman is quickly making a name for herself among opera lovers and critics alike. Hailed by Opera News for her “keen dramatic instincts” and “voluptuous tone,” Ms. Kellerman is delighting audiences throughout the world.
Most recent performances include concert performances in New York City as the Alto Soloist in Durufle's Requiem, Bach's great B Minor Mass, and Mendelssohn's Magnificat. Next season Ms. Kellerman will travel to Italy for a concert version of Norma as Adalgisa, return to Cedar Rapids Opera as Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria Rusticana and sing again the great Verdi's Requiem with MGA Productions in May 2017.
In the 2014-2015 season she made her role début as Santuzza in Cavalleria Rusticana with Musica Viva Hong Kong; Mrs. Peachum in The Threepenny Opera with Indianapolis Opera; Dido in Dido and Aeneas with MidAtlantic Opera; the Old Lady in Candide with Fresno Grand Opera; and Little Buttercup in HMS Pinafore with Opera Saratoga and Lyric Opera San Antonio. She also made her Carnegie Hall début as the mezzo-soprano soloist in the New York première of Stephen Paulus’ To Be Certain of the Dawn; and sang the alto soloist in Verdi’s Requiemwith New Jersey Symphony and Mississippi Orchestra. This past December the New Jersey Symphony released the recording of the Verdi Requiem performance under the baton of Maestro Jacques LaCombe and joined by soloists, Marianne Fiset, Russell Thomas and Peter Volpe. .
Ms. Kellerman is gaining critical attention for her portrayal of the title role in Carmen after making her role début with Des Moines Metro Opera. “When Janara Kellerman struts on stage and launches into the famous Habanera’s slinky chromatic descent, it’s easy to forget everyone else. Her voice is simultaneously agile and strong… With her thick black hair, smoldering gaze and brazen swagger, Kellerman casts a spell more potent than any cloud of smoke. She deftly combines her character’s dramatic sense of abandon with the score’s demand for vocal control.” (Des Moines Register) This past season alone she has performed the role with Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Ballet Tucson as part of the Tucson Desert Song Festival, and the Northern Lights Music Festival in Minnesota under the baton of the Marinksy Theatre’s Gavriel Heine.
A favorite on international concert stages, Ms. Kellerman reunited with Robert Aldridge and the Topeka Symphony Orchestra for a world première as the alto soloist in his grand oratorio, Parables, and was later engaged for repeat performances. Other notable concert performances have included the alto solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony in her Avery Fisher Hall début; Azucena in Il Trovatore in concert with the Westfield Symphony; soloist in Mahler’sSymphony No. 2 with Dubuque Symphony Orchestra; a return to Iowa for a concert of Schumann works; and the soloist in a concert with the Continuo Arts Foundation.
She has also performed the alto solos in Händel’s Messiah, Beethoven’s Mass in C Minor, Bach’s St. John’s Passion, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solenelle, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mozart’s Requiem.
Prior engagements include a gala performance of excerpts from L’italiana in Algeri and Samson et Dalila with the New Jersey State Opera featuring Samuel Ramey and Paul Plishka; Amneris in Aïda and Fenena in Nabucco with New Jersey State Opera; and a return to New York City Opera for their production of Antony and Cleopatra and as the cover Carmen and Malcolm in Rossini’s La Donna del Lago. Ms. Kellerman also worked with Grammy-winning composer Robert Aldridge when she stepped in at the last minute as Sharon Falconer in his opera Elmer Gantry. She was also seen as Orfeo in Orfeo ed Euridice and as Arsace in Rossini’s Semiramide under the baton of Maestro Francesco Ledda in Italy.
Roles in Ms. Kellerman’s repertoire also include Charlotte in Werther, Maddalena in Rigoletto, Adalgisa in Norma, and Eboli in Don Carlos, Madame Flora (Baba) in The Medium . In addition, she is particularly noted for her comedic portrayals, such as Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress, Katisha in The Mikado, and Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd.
Ms. Kellerman completed her first recording with the Michael O’Neal Singers in Atlanta as the alto soloist in Honegger’s King David to which the Atlanta Journal said “all the soloists were very good, especially Janara Kellerman – a creamy, rich mezzo.”
She is the recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grand from the Shoshana Foundation and a winner in the Koussevitzky and Liederkranz Competition, as well as, a finalist in the Jensen and YPO/FGO Competition and a semi-finalist in the 2015 Joy in Singing Competition.