Jessica Ann Best (Mezzo-Soprano)

“Jessica Best gave a spine tingling rendition of Lloyd Webber’s Don’t Cry For Me Argentina that bewitched everyone in the audience.”
South Magazine

Ms. Best is pleased to announce her debut with  LA OPERA for the 2018 season! Ms. Best will sing the role of Mrs. Otis in The Canterville Ghost, by Gordon Getty. The comic opera is based on the short story, The Canterville Ghost, by Oscar Wilde. For more information on the production, please visit: LA OPERA.

Ms. Best recently made her debut with the Center for Contemporary Opera in their production of Jane Eyre  by Louis Karchin,  in New York City.  Ms. Best performed the roles of Bessie and Mary Rivers. The production was performed at the Kaye Playhouse in Manhattan. This is her third world premiere in 2016-a privilege she cherishes. She will return to The Center for Contemporary Opera in the Fall of 2017 for their next season in The Canterville Ghost!

Ms. Best recently returned to the Opera Tampa stage this past March to sing for the Opera Gala in honor of conductor, Anton Coppola, with whom she has performed with several times.  Best performed the role of Mary Donovan in scenes from his opera, Sacco and Vanzetti.  In April, Ms. Best joined The Center Stage Pops Symphony Orchestra in a new arrangement of “The Prayer, ” by Anthony Bisbano.

Summer 2017 brings a lot of fun! Best will join The Finger Lakes Choral and Orchestra with famous scenes from the operatic stage; the concert takes place on July 23rd at the Hochstein Performance Hall.

A new and exciting adventure is  Soundspace! Jessica Co-Founded Soundspace with conductor, Evan Meccarello. Soundspace is a new presenting company in Rochester, NY, that pairs contemporary music with new, innovative and welcoming spaces. Soundspace’ s first event will be held on July 25th at the South Wedge Mission.  Ms. Best will join T. J. Borden, Madison Greenstone, and Dr. Beverly Smoker for an exciting evening of new music. Jessica invites you to visit Soundspace on Facebook!

Last summer, Ms. Best returned to the Savannah Voice Festival  to sing the title role in Alice Ryley by Michael Ching and Gertrude in Roméo et Juliette. In June, Ms. Best performed the role of Mrs. Foster in Shot! with Nickel City Opera. Earlier in the year she sang the roles of Ettalina and Stelladora in John Musto’s Bastianello with the Rochester Lyric Opera, The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Nickel City Opera and the title role in the world premiere of Alice Ryley, by Michael Ching and The Savannah Voice Festival. Ms. Best is a returning artist with the Savannah Music Festival, giving concerts of the operatic and musical theater nature.

“Best, in particular, brought Alice to life as we see her from her jail cell, optimistically dictating a letter to Gen. James Oglethorpe, making plans for a midwife to take her baby in case her pleas for mercy went unanswered and, ultimately, accepting her fate to be the first woman hanged for a crime in the state of Georgia. I know there were a few teary eyes in my row as Alice sang a beautiful Irish lullaby to the baby she would never know.”
-Heather Henley, Do Savannah

(Listen now:
https://soundcloud.com/michael-ching-3/lullaby-10-30-15/s-t1fOh )

Jessica performed the role of Marcellina with Nickel City Opera in Le Nozze di Figaro in June 2016; while covering the role of Cherubino. Ms. Best made her debut with Gotham Chamber Opera in New York City in October of 2013, in their production of Baden, Baden 1927. Ms. Best covered the major mezzo roles of Die Amme in Toch’s, Die Prinzessen auf der Erbse and Bessie in Weill’s, Mahagonny-Songspiel. She performed the role of Tante Emma in Hindemith’s Hin und zurück and was as a featured ensemble member in Milhaud’s, L’Enlèvement d’Europe under the direction of Paul Curran and baton of Neal Goren.

Recent concert season and performances include the Rochester Lyric Opera, The Rochester Fringe Festival and the Rochester Early Music Festival. Ms Best has enjoyed two concerts as  the mezzo soloist for Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Vivaldi’s Dixit Dominus RV 807 and Hasse’s Miserere in c minor, with First Inversion.  In March of 2015, Ms. Best performed the roles of  Ciesca in Puccini’s, Gianni Schicchi and The Abbess in Suor Angelica– under the baton of Maestro Eugene Kohn and director, Joachim Schamberger, featuring bass-baritone Mark Delavan as Schicchi.

Ms. Best performed the premier gala with the Finger Lakes Opera in scenes from Tancredi, (Tancredi), Rigoletto, (Maddalena) and La Traviata, (Flora), under the baton of Maestro Gerard Floriano. Ms. Best joined the Rochester Lyric Opera for several performances and scenes, including Beauty and the Beast (Stepsister) and Norma (Adalgisa). Ms. Best has performed with Opera Tampa, in Gianni Schicchi (Nella), Suor Angelica (La Maestra), La Rondine (Suzy/Lolette) and The Merry Widow. (Lolo). Ms. Best made her Santa Fe Opera debut as an apprentice artist in the Summer of 2008 understudying the role of Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro. She also appeared in the ensemble of Adrianna Mater and Falstaff; performing Musetta (La Bohème) in their scenes program. Other summer programs include V.O.I.C.Experience! Sherrill Milnes and Friends, The Intermezzo Festival, and The Brevard Music Center (Janiec Opera Company).

A concert artist and recitalist, Ms. Best has been featured with The Buffalo Philharmonic, (Funny Girl in Concert), The Florida Orchestra, The Rochester Oratorio Society, The Rochester Chamber Orchestra, The Rochester Oratorio Society and the Rochester Bach Festival: as the Alto soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Elijah, The Messiah, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major and the St. John Passion. In April 2014, She premiered a new song cycle by Dr. Michael Masci at SUNY Geneseo and was selected to give a full recital for the Rochester Opera Guild.

Ms. Best holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Nazareth College. Ms. Best has been an interim faculty member at Nazareth College and SUNY Geneseo, teaching individual lessons and studio classes. She currently holds her own private voice studio and is on faculty at Roberts Wesleyan College in the community music school. Ms. Best is a member of AGMA and the Actors’ Equity Association. She studies with bass-baritone, Mark Schnaible. Ms. Best is a quarter-finalist of the American Traditions Competition.

Opera and Musical Theater Roles include: Albert Herring (Nancy), Dido and Aeneas (Dido), Carmen (Carmen, Mercedes), Dialogues of the Carmelites (1st Prioress), La Cenerentola (Cenerentola), The Bartered Bride (Háta), The Pirates of Penzance (Edith),  A Christmas Carol (Miss Fezziwig, Geva Theatre), Pippin (Fastrada), Into the Woods, (Witch). Website:www.jessicaannbest.com You can follow her on Facebook at:www.facebook.com/jessbestsings , on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/jessicaabestmezzosoprano and on Youtube: joyfulsong84.

©2015 Jessica Ann Best. All rights reserved.

Photography by Rebecca Johnson. Website by Matt Olpinski