Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste

Biography

“She moves through Verdi’s impressive vocal leaps with heart-warming smoothness and graceful phrases…”

Haitian-American soprano Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste has been hailed for her “impressive singing” and “big, Verdian lyric dramatic sound”. She is fast emerging as a true talent in the opera world, a lush soprano well-suited to the roles of Puccini, Verdi, Strauss, Mozart, and the operas of the bel canto genre. Most recently, she appeared at the inaugural 2016 SheBelieves Cup matches between the French and English Women’s National Teams, and the US and German Women’s National Teams, singing the national anthems of Germany, France, and England – an event that was televised worldwide.

Recently, she performed in concert Beyond the Silence of Sorrow, by acclaimed Puerto Rican composer Roberto Sierra, and Beethoven’s rarely heard ‘No, non turbarti’ with Orchestra Miami. Highlights for the 2013-14 season included her debuts as Floria Tosca in Tosca and Anna in Nabucco with Florida Grand Opera, both under the baton of esteemed Spanish conductor Ramon Tébar, as well as having covered the roles of Christine Mannon in Marvin David Levy’s Mourning Becomes Electra and Abigaille in Nabucco as a member of the company’s prestigious Young Artists Program.

The 2012-13 season began with her debut with Orchestra Miami in the role of The Mother in their production of Amahl and the Night Visitors; Ms. Jean-Baptiste also created the role of Athena in The Head of Medusa, written by South Florida composer Michael Ross.

As a Principal Resident Artist for two seasons with Opera San Jose, she performed Marguerite in Gounod’s Faust, sang a critically-acclaimed run as Violetta Valéry in La traviata, a co-production with Opera Santa Barbara, and sang a string of successful performances as Nedda in Pagliacci, Mimi in La bohème, the title role in Tosca, and as Tolstoy’s doomed heroine in David Carlson’s Anna Karenina, in the West Coast premiere of the opera.

Ms. Jean-Baptiste has also performed the title role in Suor Angelica with the Intermezzo Opera Festival, and has sung for acclaimed soprano Marilyn Mims and renowned Verdi baritone Sherrill Milnes in masterclasses; she was a finalist and the Wagner Society of Northern California Winner in the 2011 Irene Dalis Vocal Competition. Born in New York City, she has made her home in South Florida for the last twenty-five years, studying violin and playing with the South Florida Youth Symphony as a teenager, before later switching her music studies to voice and beginning her vocal training with Oscar Diaz, Jr., Executive Director of Performers Music Institute.

Repertoire

ROLES PERFORMED
Composer Role Work Company
Gershwin Serena (cover with performances) Porgy and Bess New York Harlem Productions (Germany)
Puccini Tosca Tosca Florida Grand Opera
Verdi Abigaille (cover) Nabucco Florida Grand Opera
Verdi Anna Nabucco Florida Grand Opera
Levy Christine Mannon Mourning Becomes Electra Florida Grand Opera
Menotti Mother Amahl and the Night Visitors Orchestra Miami
Gounod Marguerite Faust Opera San Jose
Verdi Violetta La traviata Opera San Jose
Leoncavallo Nedda Pagliacci Opera San Jose
Mozart Elettra Idomeneo Opera San Jose
Puccini Mimì La bohème Opera San Jose
Puccini Tosca Tosca Opera San Jose
Carlson Anna Karenina Anna Karenina Opera San Jose
Puccini Cio-cio-san Madama Butterfly West Bay Opera
Puccini Suor Angelica Suor Angelica Intermezzo Opera Festival
SUGGESTED REPERTOIRE
Composer Role Work
Beethoven Leonore Fidelio
Bellini Norma Norma
Bellini Imogene Il pirata
Boito Margarita/Elena Mefistofele
Donizetti Anna Bolena Anna Bolena
Donizetti Lucia Lucia di Lammermoor
Donizetti Lucrezia Lucrezia Borgia
Donizetti Maria Maria Padilla
Donizetti Maria Stuarda Maria Stuarda
Donizetti Elisabetta Roberto Devereux
Gershwin Bess/Serena Porgy and Bess
Menotti Magda Sorel The Consul
Mozart Vitellia La clemenza di Tito
Mozart Fiordiligi Così fan tutte
Mozart Donna Anna Don Giovanni
Mozart Elettra Idomeneo
Mozart Countess Almaviva Le nozze di Figaro
Poulenc Elle La voix humaine
Puccini Magda La rondine
Puccini Liù Turandot
R. Strauss Marschallin Der Rosenkavalier
Tchaikovsky Tatyana Eugene Onegin
Verdi Odabella Attila
Verdi Elisabeth de Valois Don Carlos
Verdi Elvira Ernani
Verdi Desdemona Otello
Verdi Leonora Il trovatore
ORATORIO/CONCERT
Composer Work
Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915
Beethoven Symphony No. 9
Brahms Ein deutsches Requiem
Britten War Requiem
Fauré Requiem
Handel Messiah
Mahler Symphony No. 2
Mahler Symphony No. 4
Mendelssohn Elijah
Mozart Requiem
Sierra Beyond the Silence of Sorrow
R. Strauss Vier letzte Lieder
Verdi Requiem
Wagner Wesendonck Lieder

In The Press

TOSCA – Florida Grand Opera

“[She] brought her own youthful spirit and interpretive feel to the performance. In the second act, one of the most powerful in all of opera, she achieved much the same level of suspense as Thomson in her sparring with the police chief Scarpia, played in all performances by the baritone Todd Thomas. Jean-Baptiste’s cries of horror at the torture of her lover Cavaradossi lost none of their drama for being rendered in her smooth, effortless voice, and her ‘Vissi d’arte’ was silken in texture and poignant.” – David Fleshler, South Florida Classical Review

NABUCCO – Florida Grand Opera

“Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste had the opportunity to show her potential in the short role of Anna.” -Jean-François Lejeune, Opera News

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS – Orchestra Miami

“By far the most impressive singing came from Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste as Amahl’s mother. She gave a passionate, vocally lustrous performance in her solo moments, such as when she sang of her fears that her crutch-dependent son would end up as a beggar.” – David Fleshler, The Miami Herald

LA TRAVIATA – Opera San Jose

“As Violetta Valéry, the Parisian courtesan and society belle who is dying of an undisclosed illness, soprano Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste sang with softest, pure-toned clarity: the radiance of death. Drawing her last breaths, briefly rising to her feet and singing with ethereal splendor, this Violetta collapsed into the arms of Alfredo Germont, her remorse-filled lover…Deathbed scenes don’t get much better than this one. As if watching “Traviata” for the first time, this reviewer was choking down sobs.” – Richard Scheinin, The San Jose Mercury News

PAGLIACCI – Opera San Jose

“Soprano Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste was a secure and strong-toned Nedda.” – Joshua Kosman, The San Francisco Chronicle

LA BOHÈME – Opera San Jose

“[Jean-Baptiste’s] lovely expressive face with its soulful eyes and her beautiful soprano voice soon had [me] under her spell.” – Phillip Hodge, LA Splash Magazine

ANNA KARENINA – Opera San Jose

“[She] was a tour de force, giving one of the most commanding performances I’ve seen at Opera San Jose. Not only is her voice a lush velvet, but this woman is a fabulous actor. The story of Anna -– her beauty, her unhappiness, her taking a lover (the dashing Count Vronsky), her descent into madness, her suicide — registered, all of it, step by step, on Jean-Baptiste’s face, in her body, and in her voice, a hugely powerful instrument.” – Richard Scheinin, The San Jose Mercury News