Soprano Michelle Johnson Makes Her OCP Debut in Title Role of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, April 20-29 at the Academy of Music

Live theater always keeps us on our toes, and this week was no exception as we were informed that soprano Ermonela Jaho will have to withdraw from our April production of Manon Lescaut due to medical issues. We are delighted, however, to announce that we have been able to cast a star of national significance who also enjoys local ties. Soprano Michelle Johnson, winner of the 2011 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will be stepping in to sing the title role in the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s Puccini masterpiece next month.

In her winning performance last year at the Metropolitan Opera, Johnson garnered praise from The New York Times, which reported, “There was a clear audience favorite … who brought gleaming sound to the meltingly lyrical aria … Ms. Johnson seems to have the vocal goods as well as star power.”   The accomplished soprano debuts in the title role of Aida later this summer at New York’s Glimmerglass Opera, and also enjoys engagement credits with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and Boston Symphony Orchestra. An Academy of Vocal Arts fourth-year resident artist, The Philadelphia Inquirer raved in 2011, “Though plenty of fine artists have come out of Philadelphia's Academy of Vocal Arts, few command the stage as completely as Johnson - not just with her voice but with an aura ….”

This much-anticipated production is led by Music Director Corrado Rovaris, and features a sumptuous production by designer John Pascoe with director Michael Cavanagh making his OCP debut.  The production also stars Thiago Arancam, Troy Cook, and Daniel Mobbs.

If you have not had the pleasure of hearing Michelle Johnson perform, CLICK HERE to hear her stunning performance at the Academy of Vocal Arts’ 2011 Giargiari Bel Canto Competition.  

And CLICK HERE to read a profile from The Philadelphia Inquirer that was completed on the heels of her Metropolitan Opera win last spring.

To view the full press release, including a note from soprano Ermonela Jaho, CLICK HERE.

Please join us in extending a warm welcome to our newest cast member!