When mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano enrolled in Webster University, her goal was to be a choral conductor. But Webster’s Director of Vocal Studies Carole Gaspar had other ideas. At the end of Cano’s sophomore year, Gaspar suggested that she should pursue a career as a singer. Cano had already been in her first opera scene at Webster and had enjoyed it. “So I changed my major,” said Cano, “and started really focusing my energy on practicing and learning more of the craft of what singers need to know to be successful.”
After receiving her voice degree from Webster, Cano went on to get a master’s degree at Rice. She participated in Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’ Leigh Gerdine Young Artists Program and it was with that company that she got her first professional contract. Said Cano, “I’m very grateful to them for giving me my start and then having that experience helped me so much once I was actually in New York and began performing more regularly.”
Cano’s experience at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis resulted in more than just her early operatic experience. It was there that she met pianist Christopher Cano who is now her husband.
Cano was a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions winner and participated in the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Development program. She made her Met debut in the 2009-10 season. In addition to her opera work, she performs regularly with major symphony orchestras and in recitals across the country.
On October 25, Cano makes her Carnegie Hall debut in a recital with her husband. Before that, the Festus native returns to St. Louis on September 30th to perform the same program as the Carnegie recital to benefit Webster University’s James Moroney Nigh Scholarship Fund. Cano told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter how excited she is to perform at Carnegie. “It means the world to be invited to give a recital and we’re just so excited to have the opportunity, and also to bring the music to St. Louis to share it beforehand.”
Webster University Presents Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and Pianist Christopher Cano
Monday, September 30, 2013
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Boulevard
Webster University Website