Born in Liverpool, BBC New Generation Artist Jennifer Johnston read Law at Cambridge University and practiced as a Barrister, before graduating from the Royal College of Music’s Opera Course with Distinction. She was a member of both the National Opera Studio, where she was sponsored by Opera North, and the Britten Pears’ Young Artists Programme, and she continues to study with Lillian Watson. Named by the BBC Music Magazine as a Rising Star and the Financial Times as the Face to Watch in Opera, she is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Wingate Scholarship, Second Prize in the Montserrat Caballé International Singing Competition and two Susan Chilcott Scholarships.
Her operatic engagements have included her debuts at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Title role/Dido and Aeneas) and the Salzburg Festival (Carmi/La Betulia Liberata, released on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon), Wellgunde & cover Fricka/Das Rheingold for Opera North, Dido/ Dido and Aeneas for Opera de Lille and in Madrid, Suzuki/Madame Butterfly, Irene/Tamerlano, Mercedes/Carmen and Hansel/Hansel and Gretel all for Scottish Opera, Giovanna Seymour/Anna Bolena for the Tower of London Festival, Title Role/Agrippina for Cambridge Handel Opera and Mrs Herring/Albert Herring for the Aldeburgh Festival, and Lucretia/The Rape of Lucretia for the Dartington Festival.
She is a member of the Prince Consort with whom she has recently given recitals at the Wigmore Hall including a Stephen Hough world premiere, Brighton Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, Perth Festival, a residency and recital at the Aldeburgh Festival, and the release of discs of Rorem, Brahms and Hough for Linn Records.
Recent concert and recital engagements include appearances at the Aldeburgh Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival and Opera North, and with the RPO, the Philharmonia, BBC Scottish National Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The English Concert and Akademie Für Alte Musik under Haitink, Slatkin, Spano, Bicket, McGegan and Cleobury. On disc, she has recorded Britten’s song cycle ‘A Charm of Lullabies’ with Malcolm Martineau for Onyx Classics.
Her engagements in the 2011-12 Season include Wellgunde & cover Fricka/Das Rheingold and Waltraute & cover Fricka/Die Walküre for Opera North, Elgar's Sea Pictures with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra & Brabbins, Debussy's Le Martyr de Sebastién with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Fischer, Berg’s 7 Early Songs with the BBC Philharmonic & Bach, Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales & Dausgaard, Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra & Hill, Mahler 2 with Orquestra Sinfonica do Estado de Sao Paulo & de la Parra and also with the Hallé & Hill, Beethoven 9th Symphony with the RPO & Warren Green, Bach's St Matthew Passion with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Van Zweden, two recordings for Champs Hill Records and numerous solo recitals, including at Kings Place with Graham Johnson, at the City of London Festival, and at both the Cheltenham Festival and Opera North with Joseph Middleton.
Her future engagements include her German opera debut, appearances with the BBCSSO, BBCNOW, RLPO and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras and her solo recital debut at the Wigmore Hall with Joseph Middleton.