"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.” Her engagements in the 2023-24 season include a return to the Metropolitan Opera reprising her sought-after Königin der Nacht in the company’s beloved family performances of Die Zauberflöte with later performances at the Grand Teton Music Festival with Donald Runnicles conducting. She also returns to Madison Opera as Cunegonde in Candide and joins the Phoenix Symphony for Carmina Burana.
She recently made debuts with the Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Dallas Opera as Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, a role she has also sung to great acclaim with Minnesota Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Cincinnati Opera, Central City Opera, and Kentucky Opera. She recently made her role debut as Lucia di Lammermoor in a return to Madison Opera and repeated the role at the Seoul Arts Center. She returned to the Dallas Opera stage as the title role in The Golden Cockerel. With the Wiener Staatsoper, she made her international debut as Frantzi in the world premiere of Staud’s Die Weiden, after which she joined the company for its productions of Die Zauberflöte and Trojahn’s Orest.
Ms. Houser has sung Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos with Austin Opera and Minnesota Opera; at the latter, 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. With Madison Opera, she has previously sung Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, and Amy in Adamo’s Little Women. She has sung further performances of Johanna in Sweeney Todd with Mill City Summer Opera and Baltimore Concert Opera. She joined On Site Opera as Susanna in Marcos Portugal’s Le nozze di Figaro in her New York City debut, Odyssey Opera in Boston as Cecily in Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and Fort Worth Opera as Viv in the premiere of Peters’ Companionship.
On the concert stage, she has previously sung Orff’s Carmina Burana with Madison Symphony, Las Vegas Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra and Atlanta Ballet and Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Requiem with Abendmusik: Lincoln (Nebraska).
The soprano is an alumna of the young artist programs of the Glimmerglass Festival, Virginia Opera, and Opera Saratoga. She won second place at the Nicholas Loren Vocal Competition, was a two-time regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was a national semifinalist in the NATS Artist Award Competition. She holds degrees from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Lawrence University.