Soprano Jessica Summers has performed throughout the UK and abroad both on stage and as a recitalist. Opera credits include: Miranda Gentle Giant (McNeff) (Royal Opera/Linbury Studo); Kitchen Boy Rusalka (English Touring Opera); Papagena Magic Flute (English Touring Opera); La Sirena La Liberazione di Ruggiero (F. Caccini) (St John Smith’s Square); Belinda Dido & Aeneas (Linden Baroque), La Musica Orfeo (Isleworth Baroque), Hot Box Girl Guys and Dolls (Pimlico Opera/inmates of Wandsworth Prison) and several productions for the education departments of ETO, the Royal Opera and Opera North.
Concerts include the Young Artists Recital Series at the Blackheath Halls, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Christ Church Spitalfields, Foundling Museum, Asylum Monologues with Juliet Stevenson at the National Portrait Gallery and Young Vic, Triptych (Nye Parry) in the Wellcome Wing at the Science Museum and performances with ensemble Mediva. She has given many recitals, performing mainly lieder and twentieth century repertoire.
Her oratorio experience as a soloist includes Fauré's Requiem, Dvorák’s Te Deum & Mass in D, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Missa Brevis K.275 & Exsultate Jubilate, Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Bach’s St John Passion and Carrissimi’s Jephte.
An alumna of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme where she studied contemporary performance (directed by Oliver Knussen & Colin Matthews), she has considerable experience in singing twentieth and twenty-first century music. Performances include Richard Causton’s Poems Almost of this World, George Benjamin’s A Mind of Winter, Berio’s Laborintus II (soloist 1), Birtwistle’s Ring A Dumb Carillon, Michael Finnissy’s Beuk O’Neucassel Sangs and concerts at the Brighton, Colourscape, Hoxton, King’s Lynn and York Late Music Festivals and the St Martin-in-the-Fields New Music Series. She has also given London, UK and world premières of several song cycles for voice and piano/ensemble by living composers. She has sung in masterclasses with Jane Manning OBE and has participated in workshops with Annabel Arden/Complicité on the music/theatre of Georges Aperghis.
Community music and music education are very important to Jessica. For several years she has led and sung in a wide range of schools and community workshops for the main national opera companies. In 2006 she devised and implemented a creative arts programme for rural schools in Belize on behalf of the Belize Ministry of Education. She currently has her own teaching practice in Cambridge (since 2006). She also teaches singing at The Perse School and the Centre for Young Musicians, Peterborough (PCYM), a division of the GSMD.
In 2016 she performed Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire with members of the Marsyas Trio and the Ligeti Quartet at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford. She has an ongoing performance project Living Songs (with pianist Jelena Makarova) incorporating songs written in the 21st century into programmes alongside more well known repertoire. Recent performances include the Three Choirs Festival with the Marsyas Trio, recitals at Ripon Cathedral, Aylesbury Lunchtime Music, All Saints' Hove and Brunel University (plus composers' workshop).
Future performances include St John's Smith Square with the Marsyas Trio and recitals in Norfolk, Nottingham, Kingston and London as well as a CD recording in Brno, Czech Republic. As part of continuing her professional development, she is currently on the PGCert course in Performance Teaching (Higher Education) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She studies singing with Marcus van den Akker.
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