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Mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano to Perform at the 2022 Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival

Critically acclaimed mezzo-soprano, Jennifer Johnson Cano, will be an exciting newcomer at the 2022 Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival (June 10-18). Cano will open each of the first week’s three concerts, performing arias from Bach cantatas to the accompaniment of the Festival’s instrumentalists. In addition, she will perform works by Brahms, Chausson, and Ravel. Cano has performed in over 100 productions at The Metropolitan Opera and has been lauded as a “consummate actress” (The Wall Street Journal). She also is acclaimed for her song recitals. The New York Times enthused over her 2016 recital at the Morgan Library, stating:

Dramatic intelligence and imagination suffused every note of Ms. Johnson Cano’s performance. Endowed with an attention-grabbing dark mezzo, its depths bracing like strong coffee, she seems to thrive in the role of a storyteller.

The Festival’s artistic directors, cellist Marcy Rosen and violinist Catherine Cho, were especially pleased to engage Jennifer Johnson Cano in order to showcase the vocal component of the chamber music repertoire. The powerful blending of voice and instruments will be highlighted in the Bach cantatas, especially the intertwining of Cano’s rich mezzo with Peggy Pearson’s oboe in Bach’s expressive melodies. And in Ravel’s unabashedly emotional Chansons madécasses, scored for voice, piano, flute, and cello, Cano’s singing becomes the principal instrument in a quartet of independent voices.

Jennifer Johnson Cano performs each season with major orchestras and conductors. She has toured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and performed with the New York Philharmonic. In February, she sang in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and in the New York premiere of Marc Neikrug’s chamber opera, A Song by Mahler, presented by the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society. This March, along with Renée Fleming and Kelli O’Hara, she starred in Kevin Puts’ The Hours with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Johnson Cano is a native of St. Louis. She won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition and made her Met debut in the 2009-10 season. Among her honors is taking First Prize in the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. 

“The beautiful thing about what I do for a living is I get to crawl around in the skin of people I don’t initially see myself in,” Cano says. “I get to explore a world and a way of thinking which is very different from my own. That’s the joy and the challenge of being an actor, trying to not hide yourself but to immerse yourself in another human being’s experience.”

Program selections are subject to change. For further details on the 2022 Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival and to purchase tickets, visit

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