Jessica Rivera

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Jessica Rivera (born 1974) is an American soprano of Peruvian-American ancestry. She is a 1996 graduate of Pepperdine University, and earned her Master of Music degree in 1998 from the University of Southern California's Flora L. Thornton School of Music. Rivera's early work included singing in the chorus of Los Angeles Opera (LA Opera).

Rivera has become particularly known for her performances of the music of contemporary composers, such as John Adams and Osvaldo Golijov. At LA Opera, she sang the role of Anastasia in the 2003 world premiere of Deborah Drattell's opera Nicholas and Alexandra.[1] Her Santa Fe Opera debut in 2005 was as Nuria in the revised edition of Golijov's Ainadamar.[2] She sang on the subsequent Deutsche Grammophon recording of the opera.[3]

For his opera Doctor Atomic, Adams rewrote the role of Kitty Oppenheimer, originally a mezzo-soprano role, for soprano voice, and Rivera sang the rewritten part of Kitty Oppenheimer at De Nederlandse Opera,[4] and Lyric Opera of Chicago,[5] in 2007, and was the understudy for the 2008 production at the Metropolitan Opera.,.[6] She has sung several parts and roles in John Adams' works, including the soprano part in El Niño,[7] and the role of Kumudha in A Flowering Tree in the Peter Sellars production at the New Crowned Hope Festival in Vienna.[8] In the spring of 2012, Rivera will sing the solo role in the world premiere of a new work by Latin Grammy composer (and fellow Peruvian-American) Gabriela Lena Frank with the San Francisco Girls Chorus and the Berkeley Symphony under the baton of Joana Carneiro.


  1. ^ Bernard Holland (2003-09-17). "A Czarist Disaster As Musical Challenge". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
  2. ^ Bernard Holland (2005-08-01). "Haunted by the Deaths of Martyrs, a Century Apart". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
  3. ^ Richard Dyer (2006-05-28). "Recording liberates Golijov's Ainadamar". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
  4. ^ Anthony Fiumara (2007-06-12). "De bom slaat aan". Trouw. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
  5. ^ Matthew Westphal (2007-04-19). "Jessica Rivera to Play Kitty Oppenheimer in Chicago Lyric's Doctor Atomic". Playbill Arts. Retrieved 2008-01-01.
  6. ^ Anthony Tommasini (2007-12-17). "Tweaking a Definitive Moment in History". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-01-06.
  7. ^ Allan Kozinn (2007-08-20). "A Work Unbounded by Musical Categories". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-26.
  8. ^ Anne Midgette (2006-11-16). "Boy Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Love Blooms (Literally)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-12-26.

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