"this production belongs to Jeni Houser"
"communicates delicious expression in the merest tilt of her torso and the flickering of her fingertips"
"the star of the show"
"sparkling performance [...] funny and human with nary a trace of forced cuteness"
"luminous in voice and visage"
Opera News lauds Jeni Houser’s performances as “commanding and duplicitous, yet also vulnerable. She has a bright future above the staff.” In the 2019-20 season she makes debuts with the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Dallas Opera, and New Orleans Opera in her sought-after portrayal of Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte. Additionally she returns to Madison Opera as Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld and returns to the Dallas Opera stage as the title role in The Golden Cockerel. Last season she made her house debut with the Wiener Staatsoper as Frantzi in the world premiere of Staud’s Die Weiden and subsequently joined the company for its productions of Die Zauberflöte and Trojahn’s Orest. She also joined Kentucky Opera in a return to Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte and returned to Madison Opera as Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music and for its popular Opera in the Park Concert as well as Fort Worth Opera to create the role of Viv in Peters’ Companionship.
Ms. Houser recently made company debuts with Austin Opera as Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Central City Opera as the Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte. She sang previous performances of Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos and Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte with Minnesota Opera, at which she also sang Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, the Charmeuse in Thaïs, and Mrs. Grady in the world premiere of Paul Moravec’s The Shining. She joined Cincinnati Opera as Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte as well as the Lyric Opera of Chicago for its production of the same title; Madison Opera for Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and Amy in Adamo’s Little Women; Mill City Summer Opera and Baltimore Concert Opera for further performances of Johanna in Sweeney Todd; On Site Opera as Susanna in Marcos Portugal’s Le nozze di Figaro in her New York City debut; and Odyssey Opera in Boston as Cecily in Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s The Importance of Being Earnest. On the concert stage, she has sung Orff’s Carmina Burana with Madison Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, and Atlanta Ballet and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Requiem with Abendmusik: Lincoln (Nebraska).
During two summers with the Glimmerglass Festival, Ms. Houser sang Königin der Nacht in the young artist performance of Die Zauberflöte and Najade in Francesca Zambello’s new production of Ariadne auf Naxos, in addition to covering Cunegonde in Candide. She joined Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Lyric Unlimited for The Magic Victrola, in which she sang Olympia’s aria from Les contes d’Hoffmann. She sang Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore with Opera Saratoga, Frasquita in Carmen with Virginia Opera; and Najade in Ariadne auf Naxos with Fort Worth Opera and Berkshire Opera.
The soprano won second place at the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition in 2014. She was a district winner and regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2013 and 2011 after earning an encouragement award in 2010, and was a national semifinalist in the NATS Artist Award Competition in 2010. She holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lawrence University.