Jennifer Perez, soprano, is originally from California but feels as though she is an honorary native of New Mexico, having moved there with her family when she was a child and since fallen in love with the beauty of the desert. She holds a Master of Music degree from The University of New Mexico and has been featured in concerts with the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Dallas Choral Festival, and the New Mexico Philharmonic. She is an active member of the New Mexico ensembles Chatter, the New Mexico Bach Society, and Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico, occasionally performing with the Santa Fe Symphony Chorus and Santa Fe Community Orchestra.
Having an affinity and deep love for the music of J.S. Bach, his works are her favorite to perform, and she is constantly seeking out more opportunities to engage in Bach concerts. She has appeared as a soloist and chorister in BWV 106 Actus Tragicus, BWV 208 Hunting Cantata, BWV 243 Magnificat, BWV 248 Weihnachts-Oratorium, BWV 249 Oster-Oratorium, and BWV 1004 Chaconne, for solo violin and four voices. She competed in Boulder Bach Festival's online World Bach Competition in 2020, in which she received the Honorable Mention award. Other concert and oratorio engagements include Britten’s Les Illuminations, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Handel's Judas Maccabaeus and Messiah, Mozart's Great Mass in C minor, Poulenc’s Gloria, Fauré's Requiem, and Mozart's Requiem for the Festival Internazionale della Cultura Bergamo in Italy. She has also been featured in several newer works, including Luciano Berio’s Agnus (1970), Arvo Pärt’s Stabat Mater (1985), James MacMillan’s Seven Last Words from the Cross (1993), and Christopher Tin’s classical crossover, The Drop That Contained the Sea (2014), in which she performed in the Seirenes (Sirens) quartet, relaying the Sirens’ Ancient Greek speech to Odysseus. One of her most memorable musical experiences was singing for a new work by David Lang, titled, Death Speaks (2013), in which all instances of a "voice from beyond" in Franz Schubert's works are sewn together into a seamless narrative to become the voice of Death.
While her passion lies in vocal chamber music, choral works, and oratorio, she occasionally enjoys singing opera, especially in concert form. Among her full operatic roles are the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Adele in Strauss's Die Fledermaus, Luigia in Donizetti’s Le convenienze ed inconvenienze teatrali (Viva la mamma!), and Letitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief. Opera scenes include Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann as Giulietta, Mozart’s Così fan tutte as Fiordiligi, and Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor as Lucia. In 2018, she performed with Opera Southwest in the world premiere of Hector Armienta's opera, Bless Me, Ultima, based on the famous novel by New Mexican author, Rudolfo Anaya, which was later broadcast nationally through Chicago's WFMT Radio Network. She thoroughly enjoyed being cast as the lead evil sister, Vima Trementina, as villain roles are not often reserved for sopranos, and she was filled with pride to be singing alongside a fully Latino cast. In the same year, she performed in the world premiere of Richard Danielpour's The Passion of Yeshua with the Oregon Bach Festival Chorus as well as the premiere of Janice Simmons' opera, Narcissus and Echo, through the New Mexico Highlands University.
Ms. Perez also enjoys participating in community outreach, appearing as a soloist for the yearly Handel’s (Children’s) Messiah Christmas event with Polyphony, in which a choir in festive garb presents a short concert of highlights from the classic oratorio, along with carols of the season, in an accessible way to children. Additionally, she has performed in several Santa Fe Opera Community Outreach workshops directed by SFO Lecturer, Oliver Prezant, and numerous children's operas directed by John Bradley. Some of this year's performances include Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras No.5, a Zarzuela (Spanish Opera) scenes concert, Beethoven's 9th Symphony, and an art gallery performance for the We are the Seeds Festival, which highlights high quality contemporary and traditional Native American art in New Mexico.