Sunday, February 7, 2016

John Malveaux: Opera Fresh: Isola Jones sang at the Met for 16 seasons and more than 500 performances

Isola Jones

John Malveaux of 

Isola Jones sang at the Met for 16 seasons and more than 500 performances. See. jones.html and

Opera Fresh

Reflections On A Career - Isola Jones                                                                                        
Isola Jones was born December 27, 1949. The mezzo-soprano of American Indian and African American descent started singing at 4-years old. By age 11, while attending a Roman Catholic grade school, she saw a performance of Leontyne Price on television and begged her mother to buy a recording of the soprano. It was at this moment that she determined she wanted to be an opera singer as a career. She attended Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, to receive her undergraduate degree. After school she became a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus. She made her professional debut in 1975 as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Verdi's Requiem with the Chicago Symphony as a last-minute replacement

for Yvonne Minton, who had taken ill. The conductor was Sir Georg Solti and the soprano soloist was none other than her idol Leontyne Price. The subsequent year she was engaged to sing in Wagner's Der Fliegende Holländer in Chicago with Solti and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess with Loren Maazel and the Cleveland Orchestra. Within two years of her professional debut, she was headed to New York City for one of the greatest professional relationships of her operatic career: The Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Jones made her MET debut on October 15, 1977, as Olga in Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin with fellow castmates Nicolai Gedda, Sherrill Milnes, Teresa Zylis-Gara and conductor James Levine in the company's first performance of the opera in Russian. "During the intermission between the first and second acts, I remember going back to the dressing room and looking in the mirror, and I was visibly shaking. I thought, 'I cannot have a career, this is just too nerve-wracking!'

But I know that I was there for a reason. I needed to be at the Met to get what I needed for my singing. It is a fabulous place to learn, because you are working with the best people in the world. You are hearing, up close, in your face and personal, great singing, and there is no substitute for that." She was also featured in many "Live from Lincoln Center" performances including Francesca da Rimini, La forza del destino, Manon Lescaut, Cavalleria Rusticana and Rigoletto at the MET. She sang over 500 performances at the MET including majorcomprimario roles in such operas as ThaïsDie Frau Ohne SchattenDie ZauberflöteDer Fliegende HolländerParsifalCarmenRise and Fall of the City of MahagonnyWozzeck,  L'Enfant et les SortilègesI Vespri SicilianiLes Contes d'HoffmannAdriana LecouvreurPorgy and Bess and Ariadne auf Naxos.

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PLEASE see/hear Isola Jones
[John Malveaux] 

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