New Zealand soprano Jenny Wollerman completed her postgraduate studies with four years at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. After graduating in 1991 with a Master of Music in Opera, she undertook further study at the Banff Centre in Canada and the Britten-Pears School in Aldeburgh, England, before returning to pursue her career in Australia and New Zealand.
She has since appeared throughout Australasia, as well as in Britain, Belgium, Ireland and Taiwan, performing with the New Zealand, Tasmanian, Adelaide, West Australian and Taiwan Symphony Orchestras.
She has performed with all of the opera companies in New Zealand, appearing as Léïla, Mimì, Fiordiligi, Pamina, Eurydice, Catherine in Bitter Calm, Johanna in Sweeney Todd, and for New Zealand Opera as Micaëla in Carmen, Xenia in Boris Godunov, and Mimì in La Boheme.
She has been a soloist in six New Zealand International Arts Festivals, in a diverse range of works including Gluck's Orphée et Eurydice conducted by Jane Glover, Handel’s L’Allegro with the Mark Morris Dance Company, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Wagner’s Parsifal with Sir Donald McIntyre.
Other notable engagements have included Léïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles for the State Opera of South Australia, Brahms' Requiem at the Sydney Opera House, Lutoslawski’s Chantefleurs et Chantefables with the Tasmanian Symphony, Carmina Burana with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and Ravel’s Shéhérazade song cycle in Perth and Adelaide, with the West Australian and Adelaide symphony orchestras.
Premieres of works include John Psathas’ Orpheus in Rarohenga, Christopher Blake’s opera Bitter Calm, The Lord of the Rings Symphony in 2003, at the premiere in Wellington conducted by the composer, Howard Shore, and in Taipei, Taiwan conducted by John Mauceri.
She is noted for her recital work, performing her ‘Water of Life’ programme with pianist Bruce Greenfield in the Wellington, Christchurch and Taranaki festivals.
Recent performances have included Vector Wellington Orchestra’s ‘Afternoon in Provence’ outdoor concert, Mozart’s Requiem with the NZSO under the baton of Nicholas McGegan, Handel’s Messiah, Karl Jenkins' The Armed Man and John Tavener’s Lament for Jerusalem. Stravinsky's Pulcinella and Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate on tour with the Vector Wellington Orchestra.
Other singing related activities:
teaches classical singing at the New Zealand School of Music located at
Victoria University of Wellington. In 2005 both the 1st and 2nd prizes
in the prestigious Lexus Song Quest went to her university students.The
winner, Madeleine Pierard, has gone on to further study in the UK, and
enjoys a burgeoning career.
2007 Jenny was asked to undertake a major research project for the Kiri
Te Kanawa Foundation, looking at the study and career scene for young
New Zealand singers in the UK. The resulting research report has been
published by the Foundation and is available for download from their website
Photo by Monty Adams