Shelley Jackson


"...she is inevitably upstaged by the soprano glamour of Shelley Jackson's Mary Crawford."

George Hall, The Stage

"Shelley Jackson's big, forceful soprano was the perfect conduit for Mary Crawford's self-confidence and thrill-seeking..."

Claire Seymour, Opera Today

"Shelley Jackson as Micaëla sings 'Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante' exquisitely"

Sam Smith, MusicOMH

"Jackson's voice sparkled with a diamond-like brilliance in 'Quando m'en vo'"

Rick Perdian, Seen and Heard International

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Winner of the second prize at the 2017 Maria Callas International Grand Prix, American soprano Shelley Jackson is quickly establishing herself as a rising star on the international opera stage. This season, Shelley debuts as Manon and Donna Anna Don Giovanni at the Salzburg Landestheater, and sings Anna Bolena in a revival of their production in Karlsruhe.

Last season, highlights included the title role in Anna Bolena at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe – her German house debut – as well as a return to the Grange Festival as Mary Crawford in the premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Mansfield Park, the role of Mimì La bohème at Dorset Opera, and a concert of verismo arias and duets with the Hamilton Philharmonic in Canada.

Other recent roles include her house debut as Mimì La bohème at the Salzburg Landestheater conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, her house debut at the Teatro Massimo, Palermo as Micaëla in Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen, and her UK debut, also singing Micaëla, as part of the the inaugural season at the Grange Festival. She also returned to Santa Fe Opera as the Italian Singer in Capriccio, directed by Tim Albery, and to cover the role of Juliette in Roméo et Juliette.

Shelley is a recent graduate of the International Opera Studio at the Opernhaus Zürich, where she made role debuts as Musetta in a new production of La bohème and Micaëla in Carmen. She holds an undergraduate degree from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University in Vocal Performance, a Masters in Opera from the Temple University Boyer College of Music, and a performance certificate from the Academy of Vocal Arts. In addition, she spent two years of vocal study and role preparation with Mirella Freni at Centro Universale di Bel Canto (CUBEC) in Modena, Italy.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Massenet Manon (title)

Salzburger Landestheater (October 2018)

Shelley Jackson vocally fulfils the requirements for the title role … Since her national theatre debut as Mimì a year and a half ago, the voice of the US soprano has once again evolved. Moving between a silvery piano and powerful top notes, she sets the coloratura unerringly. Her warm timbre allows her voice to flow rich in nuances.

Florian Oberhummer, Salzburger Nachrichten

American Shelley Jackson is vocally convincing in the title role in Salzburg.

Peter Jungblut, BR Klassik

Vocally, Shelley Jackson’s Manon has earned herself laurels. With her vivid, clear soprano she revives the core structure of the music. Her strongest moments are in her emotion in the delicately sung "Je ne suis que faiblesse ... Adieu, notre petite table". In the scene of seduction, "N'est - ce plus ma main", when she succumbs to Des Grieux again, her voice elicits impressive colour and detail.

Elisabeth Aumiller, Dreh Punkt Kultur

Puccini La bohème (Mimì)

Dorset Opera Festival

Shelley Jackson’s Mimi, Paul Putnins’ Colline and Ross Ramgobin’s Schaunard were especially notable.

George Hall, Opera Now

Shelley Jackson was a captivating Mimì, a delicate and charming presence which became deeply moving in the third act. Vocally, she showed well-integrated registers with a beguilingly full lower voice and secure top notes. It’s a nicely sized voice, but there’s a flair for nimble pianissimo which was sensibly deployed.

Dominic Lowe, Bachtrack

Leading the cast is Shelley Jackson, whose refulgent soprano imprints Mimi on the audience’s collective memory.

George Hall, The Stage****

Donizetti Anna Bolena (title)

Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe, June 2018

The encounter with Shelley Jackson proved to be something of a revelation. In the bravura role [of Anna Bolena] the young American soprano, making her German debut, gave a superbly exciting performance. With brilliantly immaculate coloratura, pinpoint articulation in the passagework and fluid, perfectly even runs she proved herself a bel canto virtuoso who could also captivate with expressive tone. What is more, her musicianship is exceptionally refined, with phrasing, dynamic shading, featherlight soft singing and a range of nuance that marked her out as a singing tragedienne of a high order. She was just as convincing in Anna Bolena’s melancholy lyricism as in her desperate outbursts and, in the second act, her heroic expression of hurt pride.

Gabor Halasz, Die Rheinpfalz Pfälzer Tageblatt

In the B premiere, Shelley introduced herself as a title heroine who fulfilled all the highest hopes, and not just because vocally and visually she is reminiscent of Kathleen Cassello, unforgotten in Karlsruhe. An engaged artist with a very good technique and moreover a voice of a volume to make her the ideal partner for Ewa Plonka, who repeated her acclaimed Giovanna from the A premiere.

Badische Neueste Nachrichten

Shelley Jackson imposes herself by her stage presence in Anna, which she inhabits with elegance, queenly bearing, and radiant dignity. While in worried tremors, overflowing furor or ravaging torment, the soprano comes out well of the difficulties of the role with a lot of expressiveness.

Catherine Jordy, Forum Opéra

Dove Mansfield Park (Mary Crawford)

The Grange Festival, September 2017

Among a cast of mostly young singers I would single out Martha Jones's Fanny, Henry Neill's Edmund, and Shelley Jackson's Mary Crawford.

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

...she is inevitably upstaged by the soprano glamour of Shelley Jackson's Mary Crawford.

George Hall, The Stage

In the role of her captivating, disruptive soprano rival, Mary Crawford, Shelley Jackson seemed too sweet-natured, but the galvanising gleam on her tone was worthy of a prima donna.

Yehuda Shapiro, Opera Magazine

Shelley Jackson's big, forceful soprano was the perfect conduit for Mary Crawford's self-confidence and thrill-seeking...

Claire Seymour, Opera Today

Shelley Jackson's big, shining soprano meant that Mary Crawford swept all before her...

Peter Reed, Classical Source

Bizet Carmen (Micaëla)

The Grange Festival, June 2017

Dressed like a Madonna in soft blue, Shelley Jackson sings with moving tenderness as she woos Don José.

Rebecca Franks, The Times

Shelley Jackson is indeed a force to be reckoned with in this role, with a big, juicy lyric soprano that conveys wholesomeness and sensuality at the same time. She's feisty enough to pull a blade on the cat-calling soldiers when she first appears.

Katherine Cooper, Bachtrack

Shelley Jackson as Micaëla sings 'Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante' exquisitely.

Sam Smith, MusicOMH

Puccini La bohème (Mimi)

Salzburg Landestheater, February 2017

The ensemble is of high quality: Shelley Jackson's Mimì is sensitive, nuanced, and touching.

Helmut Christian Mayer, Kurier

...above all Shelley Jackson, gifted with a profound dramatic sense, as Mimì...

Rita Argauer, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Shelley Jackson beautifully produced very fine lines and deep-drawn feelings.

Hans Langwallner, Kronen Zeitung

For the company tour in its own city the house had excellent forces... Shelley Jackson (Mimì) with her distinctive dark, easily appealing soprano is more lyrical.

Markus Thiel, Der Neue Merkur

Strauss Capriccio

Santa Fe Opera, August 2016

Soprano Shelley Jackson and tenor Galeano Salas are wonderfully wacky as the pair ... Jackson hits the spirits while Salas inhales the cake.

Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones

Shelley Jackson and apprentice Galeano Salas exude charm and petulance as the Italian singers.

John Stage, Santa Fe Reporter

Galeano Salas and Shelly Jackson made notable contributions as the Italian Singers.

James Sohre, Opera Today

Puccini La Bohème (Mimi)

Opernhaus Zürich, November 2015

Shelley Jackson's conniving Musetta was entirely lovable for her distinctive ‘chutzpah’ and her convincing acting skills – as seductress, wily operator, and finally, compassionate friend to the consumptive Mimì.

Sarah Batschelet, Bachtrack

Jackson's voice sparkled with a diamond like brilliance in Quando m'en vo'. In Act IV, as she tells of Mimi's collapse and later offers a prayer, her singing brought a tear to the eye.

Rick Perdian, Seen and Heard International

...the young American Shelley Jackson had a strong appearance, equally believable both as the fun-loving showgirl and in prayer as Musetta.

Susanne Kübler, Tages Anzeiger/ Der Bund

Christian Jost Rote Lanterne (Song-Lian)

Opernhaus Zürich, March 2015

The soprano Shelley Jackson from the International Opera Studio sings Song-Lian, clear, bright and brilliant ... Her voice shines like the bulb in a flashlight searching through the drama’s overwhelming darkness.

Tom Hellat, Tages- Anzeiger

the young American Shelley Jackson offers a balance of exciting sureness and incredible force.

Éric Pousaz, Opéra Magazine

Shelley Jackson grew throughout in an impressive manner: a sizable soprano of the utmost radiance.

Heinz W. Koch, Badische Zeitung/ Opernwelt

Shelley Jackson Concert Repertoire


Missa Solemnis
Symphony No. 9


German Requiem


Les nuits d’été


Songs of the Auvergne


Stabat Mater




Stabat Mater




Petite Messe Solonelle
Stabat Mater





Shelley Jackson Opera Repertoire


Carmen (Micaëla)


Anna Bolena (Title role)


Susannah (Title role)


Faust (Marguerite)
Roméo et Juliette (Juliette)


I pagliacci (Nedda)


La bohème (Mimì / Musetta)
Gianni Schicchi (Lauretta)
Turandot (Liù)


Manon (Title role)


Eugene Onegin (Tatyana)
Iolanta (Title role)


La traviata (Violetta)

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