Katherine Jolly


A bright, young, accomplished singer on the opera and concert stages, soprano Katherine Jolly has appeared in leading roles with Opera Theatre Saint Louis, Florida Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Virginia Opera, Amarillo Opera, Piedmont Opera, Lyric Opera Cleveland, American Lyric Theatre and others. In the concert arena, she has performed recently as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah with the Evansville Philharmonic, the Richmond Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony. Jolly was featured with the Phoenix Symphony in staged performances of Brundibar; Knoxville: Summer of 1915, with Sinfonia Gulf Coast; Carmina Burana, with Northwest Florida Symphony; and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, with the Sacramento Choral Arts Society. In 2012, the soprano returned to the Sacramento Choral Arts Society, in the Fauré Requiem and Vivaldi’s Gloria. “Jolly’s voice enraptured the audience, as she sang the ethereal Domine Deus”, Sacramento Press. 

Katherine made her debut with Houston Grand Opera in 2012, performing as part of their East/West Chamber Opera series, in a premiere of New Arrivals. “Katherine Jolly, also making her HGO debut, employed tender and expressive soprano vocals to make her portrayal of Iris poignant and unforgettable”, Operaworld.com. She debuted with Virginia Opera, reprising Yum-Yum, in The Mikado, and was featured with the company as one of three sopranos in their Simply Sopranos Gala. The soprano returned to New York City Opera in 2010 for performances as Laoula in L’Étoile following her performances in Cendrillon, in 2007, where Variety wrote of her debut, “As the Fairy Godmother, coloratura soprano Katherine Jolly, delights with her endlessly flowing trills, runs and roulades.”

A winner of the 2006 Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals, the New York Times wrote “Katherine Jolly used her agile, bright lyric soprano to superb effect in showpieces from Mozart’s Entführung aus dem Serail and Ariadne auf Naxos. Ms. Jolly returned to the Met in the spring of 2010 to workshop An Enchanted Island with the company, and was featured with City Opera’s VOX series for new operas, in Acquanetta, and Josephine, broadcast on NPR. In addition to her Metropolitan Opera National Council Award, she has been the recipient of other awards from organizations including the George London Foundation, Opera Theatre Saint Louis, the McAllister Foundation, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

Jolly has presented workshops of co-authored research on yoga, singing, and performance anxiety at the Performing Arts Medical Association, Voice Foundation, National Association of Teachers of Singing, and the National Percussion Conference, among others. The soprano is a certified yoga instructor, with 18 years of training in classical ballet, additional studies in modern and African dance, as well as mindfulness training. She received the Doctorate of Musical Arts and Master of Music degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. As an Assistant Professor of Music at Saint Louis University, Department of Fine and Performing Arts, Dr. Jolly was recently awarded a Mellon Faculty Career Grant, and was a 2016-2017 Finalist for the Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in the College of Arts and Sciences. She was the recipient of a New Frontiers Grant for Creative Activity, from Indiana University, where she served as an Assistant Professor of Voice from 2017-2019. Katherine’s primary teachers were Barbara Honn, Thomas Baresel, and Phyllis Hoffman. Dr. Jolly is currently an Associate Professor of Voice at Oberlin Conservatory.


Composer Role Work Company Year
Glover Iris New Arrivals Houston Grand Opera 2012
Gilbert & Sullivan Yum-Yum The Mikado Virginia Opera 2012
Kander Sally Fingers Joshua’s Boots OTSL/Amarillo Opera 2012
Okoye Josephine Josephine Baker American Lyric Theater 2011
Blanchard Sadie Champion Opera Theatre of St. Louis 2011
Krása Aninka Brundibár Phoenix Symphony 2011
Various Miranda The Enchanted Island Metropolitan Opera (workshop) 2010
Gordon Brainy Womans Aquanetta NYCO-VOX Festival 2010
Okoye Josephine Josephine Baker NYCO-VOX Festival 2010
J. Strauss Jr. Adele Die Fledermaus Piedmont Opera 2008
Gilbert & Sullivan Yum-Yum The Mikado Opera Theatre of St. Louis 2007
Massenet Fairy Godmother Cendrillon New York City Opera 2007
Mozart Blonde Die Entführung aus dem Serail Florida Grand Opera 2006
Humperdinck Dew Fairy Hansel and Gretel Opera Theatre of St. Louis 2006
R. Strauss Zerbinetta Ariadne auf Naxos Union Avenue Opera Theater 2005
Britten Lady in Waiting Gloriana Opera Theatre of St. Louis 2005
Donizetti Giannetta L’elisir d’amore Pensacola Opera 2004
Menotti The Queen The Bride from Pluto Cincinnati Opera Education 2003
Gilbert & Sullivan Saphir Patience Lyric Opera Cleveland 2002
Composer Role Work
Bernstein Cunegonde Candide
Britten Tytania A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Britten Lucia The Rape of Lucretia
Donizetti Adina L’elisir d’amore
Donizetti Marie La fille du régiment
Donizetti Norina Don Pasquale
Gilbert & Sullivan Mabel The Pirates of Penzance
Handel Morgana Alcina
Mozart Servilia La clemenza di Tito
Mozart Despina Così fan tutte
Mozart Zerlina Don Giovanni
Mozart Ilia Idomeneo
Mozart Susanna Le nozze di Figaro
Mozart Pamina Die Zauberflöte
Sondheim Johanna Sweeney Todd
R. Strauss Sophie Der Rosenkavalier
Verdi Nannetta Falstaff
Verdi Gilda Rigoletto
Composer Work Company Year
Dzubay Autumn Rivulets (world premiere) Quad City Symphony Orchestra 2019
Bach Wedding Cantata The Kingsbury Ensemble 2019
Handel Messiah Evansville Philharmonic 2019
Handel Il Delirio Amoroso The Kingsbury Ensemble 2018
Bodor Absent an Adjustment (world premiere) Chamber Project Saint Louis 2018
Bach Coffee Cantata Bach Society St. Louis 2017
Various SPEAK Chamber Project Saint Louis 2017
Handel Messiah Evansville Philharmonic 2016
R. Strauss Drei Lieder der Ophelia SongFest 2016
Previn Four Songs for soprano, cello, and piano SongFest L.A. Now concert 2016
Various Opera Tastings Concerts Opera Theatre of St. Louis 2016
Bach Cantata No. 4 Musica Sacra 2015
Holst Two Psalms Musica Sacra 2015
Previn Concert in honor of/for André Previn Linton Chamber Music Series 2014
Various Guest Artist, Sunday Recital Series Mary Baldwin College 2013
Fauré Requiem Sacramento Choral Society 2012
Vivaldi Gloria Sacramento Choral Society 2012
Various Simply Sopranos Gala Virginia Opera 2012
Various Guest Artist Recital Randolph College 2011
Handel Messiah Richmond Symphony 2010
Barber Knoxville: Summer of 1915 Sinfonia Gold Coast 2010
Various Resident Artist Recital Opera Theatre of St. Louis 2008
Various New Artists Gala Florida Grand Opera 2006
Orff Carmina Burana Florida Northwest Symphony 2005
Mozart Great Mass in C Minor Sacramento Choral Society 2001
Honeggar King David Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble 2000

In The Press


“‘My colleagues and I are delighted to welcome Katherine Jolly to our faculty,’ said [Department of Voice chair Mary Ann] Hart. ‘She brings a portfolio of strengths that includes not only her numerous opera credits, but training as an actor, a long background in classical piano and research interests in the science behind performance anxiety and the effects of yoga on music performance. I was so happy to see how she made immediate connections with our students during her visit to campus. They loved her positive energy and were very enthusiastic about her master class.'” – Read the full press release HERE


“Just in my neck of the woods I know of a terrific Cleopatra. Her name is Katherine Jolly and she is on the Voice faculty at Indiana University. […] All of these are beautifully-trained American singers who have talent, voice and acting chops.” – Rafael de Acha, No More Castrati


“As the Fairy Godmother (in silver lamé (sic) housedress, apron and red Lucille Ball wig), coloratura soprano Katherine Jolly delights with her endlessly flowing trills, runs and roulades.” – Variety


“Katherine Jolly, also making her HGO debut, employed tender and expressive soprano vocals to make her portrayal of Iris poignant and unforgettable.” – Operaworld.com


“Katherine Jolly used her agile, light, lyric soprano to superb effect in showpieces from Mozart’s Entfürung aus dem Serail, and Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos.” – The New York Times


“Jolly’s voice enraptured the audience, as she sang the ethereal Domine Deus.” – Sacramento Press


“As young lovers, Nanki Poo and soprano Katherine Jolly were attractive and believable…hers was lighter, sweeter, gentler.” – Virginia Pilot