"A mezzo-soprano of immense brilliance and versatility"
- Mathias Nofze, General Anzeiger Bonn
"Jennifer Panara was very impressive as “Isolier” in the Rossini, and is obviously ready to sing leading roles anywhere."
- Jonathan Pell, dallasopera.org
"Jennifer Panara was winning as Violetta's friend Flora."
- James R. Oestreich, The New York Times
Described as possessing a "characterful and beautifully knit mezzo” (Opera News) and "winning" stage presence (The New York Times), Jennifer Panara, mezzo-soprano recently completed her fourth year as a member of the Ensemble at Theater St. Gallen, Switzerland, where the 2022/2023 Season's engagements included Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Jeannette (L'amant anonyme), Lisette Soer (The Time of Our Singing), Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte), and concerts featuring Canteloube's Chants d'auvergne to open the season with the Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen. Upcoming engagements for the 2023/2024 Season include Hélène Allatini in the world premiere of Tobias Picker's Lili Elbe, Hedwige (Guillaume Tell), and performances of Respighi's Il tramonto with members of the Sinfonieorchester St. Gallen.
Since joining the Ensemble of Theater St. Gallen in 2019, Jennifer has performed roles including Sesto Pompeo (Giulio Cesare), Paula (Florencia en el Amazonas), Siébel (Faust), Oreste (La belle Hélène), Dodo McNeill (Breaking the Waves), and Flora Bervoix (La traviata). In February 2022 Jennifer debuted with Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln in a live recital broadcast with the E-Mex Ensemble entitled "Make America schräg again!" featuring works by Florence Price, Ruth Crawford-Seeger, and Moondog, among others. In the 2020/2021 Season, she was scheduled to make her role debut as Maria Rainer in the Swiss premiere of The Sound of Music, as well as her debut in the Kölner Philharmonie with Gürzenich-Orchester Köln in 2020 performing alongside tenor Rolando Villazón, both of which were cancelled due to COVID-19.
In the 2018/2019 Season, Jennifer was a member the Ensemble of Staatstheater Mainz, where she performed the leading role (Infantin Isabella) in the staged German premiere of Paul Abraham’s Märchen im Grand-Hotel, as well as Princess Clarice in Prokofiev’s The Love for Three Oranges and Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. 2017/2018 Season engagements included her debut with Theater Hagen as the Fox in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen, which received critical acclaim describing her “naturally and authentically produced” and “beautifully colored mezzo voice [which] made the love duet with the Vixen a highlight” (Online Musik Mazazin; Theater Pur). As the Secretary in Menotti’s The Consul with Opera Saratoga, her performance also garnered praise for its “exquisite shading and subtlety” (La Scena Musicale).
Recent, notable company and role debuts include: Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro) with North Carolina Opera; Mae (Ricky Ian Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath) with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis; Third Dryad (Rusalka) with Minnesota Opera; Siébel (Faust) with Annapolis Opera; and Handel’s Messiah with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Additionally, Jennifer was a 2016 Quarterfinalist in Plácido Domingo’s Operalia: The World Opera Competition, held in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Other operatic roles performed include: Stéphano (Roméo et Juliette), which drew praise for her “delightful” and “spirited” portrayal of Roméo’s pageboy (San Francisco Classical Voice); the title role of Handel’s Rinaldo; Isolier (Le comte Ory); Prince Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus); Mercédès (Carmen); Zweite Dame (Die Zauberflöte) and Kate Julian (Britten’s Owen Wingrave). Jennifer’s awards include the Donald & Luke Graham Memorial Award from The Santa Fe Opera, Second Prize at Brava! Opera Theater’s 2016 National Vocal Competition, and Second Prize at Opera at Florham’s 2017 Vocal Competition.
Jennifer has participated in young artist programs with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Santa Fe Opera, and Opera Saratoga. A native of Medford, New Jersey, Jennifer holds an Artist Diploma in Opera from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, as well as degrees from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Eastman School of Music.