Paris Opera Awards reviews

American soprano Jennifer O’Loughlin has triumphed by winning three awards. With the virtuosity of her voice, agile and rich in substance and characterization, she won 2nd prize Female, the Audience Prize, and the Maria Callas Prize, awarded for the best interpretation.

Forum Opera, Christophe Rizoud, January 29, 2013
“Jennifer O’Loughlin, c’est la folie !”

Pizzicato, Remy Franck, January 10, 2013
Le triomphe de Jennifer O’Loughlin

Christophe Rizoud, January 29, 2013
“There are nights like this when one couldn’t be happier. Trills, sforzati, vocalization legato and staccato, brilliant, high notes, and super high notes. Jennifer O’Loughlin dares everything, and she succeeds. Better still, she gives meaning to each effect, and the madness of Lucia captivates the audience ending in wild applause.”


“The final of the Paris Opera Awards last Friday at the Salle Gaveau, saw the triumph of Jennifer O’Loughlin.  With two arias, (“O, Zittre Nicht” and “Il dolce suono”), the young American soprano, who currently lives in Vienna, won the jury and public. Rare in a contest, we even saw at the end of Lucia’s Mad Scene, a part of the room stand up to show its enthusiasm. With a voice that is sustained, even, and agile, Jennifer O’Loughlin is better than a mere coloratura. Virtuosity and brilliance indeed belong to her vocal vocabulary,  but it is her  strong central register that gives this piece that extra something. It is the music as a mode of artistic expression, rather than a vocalise, which she uses as a means of characterization. This expressive ability, coupled with a great stage presence earned her, in addition to the Audience Award, the Maria Callas Prize for the best interpretation.” (Christophe Rizoud)

“For the sake of justice and fairness without doubt, the jury’s decision surprised the public. First prize was awarded to Mary Jean O’Doherty, who sang the aria “Where is the young Hindu” from Lakmé remarkably.  Jennifer O’Loughlin had to settle for second prize while the cries of a public showed its disapproval. But they were soon smiling again when it was announced that the Maria Callas Prize and Audience Prize and price were both won by Jennifer O’Loughlin, approving with a round of applause. The audience had obviously found their diva tonight and displayed it loudly. This young soprano is on course to have a beautiful career, which is our wish for her.” (Nicole Bourbon)

Interview with Peter Blaha, Bühne Magazine

The Best of All Opera Worlds

JENNIFER O'LOUGHLIN is once again singing Cunegonde in Bernstein's Candide, which became a major triumph for the Volksoper last year.

In "Glitter and Be Gay" all hell breaks loose. Unparalleled coloratura fireworks are ignited. After Jennifer O'Loughlin finished this aria, the Volksoper transformed itself into a witches' cauldron. Ovations flared up, cheers of jubilation and bravo wanted to go on forever. How did she experience this moment personally? "Wow! It was an amazing feeling. And it was fun." And it will be continued: The Volksoper is reincorporating its hit from last year, a concertante production of Leonard Bernstein's Candide with the texts by Loriot read by Robert Meyer in between, into its program. And Jennifer O'Loughlin will of course also be there.

For eight years, she was a member of the Volksoper Ensemble, and as a regularly appearing guest, she continues to feel connected to the opera house. "The Volksoper has become my artistic home. And I can only say thanks for all the beautiful jobs which have been entrusted to me here." Among them are Valencienne, with which she made her debut, Susanna, Konstanze, Musetta, Frau Fluth, Orff's Kluge, Titania in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream, yet above all Zerbinetta and Gilda, with which she thrilled audiences and critics alike every bit as much as with Cunegonde in Candide. That she not only sings the Queen of the Night ravishingly but also a deeply moving Pamina is only possible because her voice has a round, colorful midrange in addition to an excellent high register. Shouldn't that push her to sing Violetta in La Traviata, for which she has precisely the optimal prerequisites? "Sure, Violetta is my dream. Yet it would still be too early. Beforehand I'd like to sing Lucia and other, less dramatic roles from the bel canto repertoire. You have to be mature, not only vocally but also dramatically."

Jennifer O'Loughlin was born in Pittsburgh. Being highly musical, she learned piano and clarinet and once played with Lorin Maazel, then music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. At the age of nine, she became a member of the Children's Festival Chorus, with which she got her first taste of the opera stage. "I still remember marvelling at the Musetta singer." She decided to become a singer herself at age fifteen, when she sang Mable in a student production of Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance. "I knew that this was exactly what I wanted to do."

Onstage, Jennifer O'Loughlin is not only a great singer, she also knows how to captivate the audience dramatically. In part, this is a gift, she convincingly states, and in part it's also hard work. "You have to learn to express feelings with the body." She quickly brought discipline and hard work to her studies.

In 2002, she graduated from the Manhattan School of Music and in 2003 she was already in Europe, where she soon performed on stages in addition to the Volksoper: at the Ludwigsburg and Bregenz Festivals, at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, as Susanna at the Salzburg Festival, as the Queen of the Night at the Vienna State Opera. Regardless of which role she sings, if there is a literary model—such as Victor Hugo's novel Le roi s'amuse for Rigoletto or Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor for Nicolai's eponymous opera, reading these works becomes part of studying the role for her. Naturally, she has also read Voltaire's Candide, in which belief in the best of all possible worlds is shaken. Question: Is she an optimist or a pessimist? "A realist!" she says unhesitatingly. "But I always try to see the positive side of things."

Peter Blaha

Reviews for Candide

Der Neue Merker, Peter Dusek, January 22, 2012
“The star of the evening was the American soprano Jennifer O’Loughlin as Kunigunde or as Berstein called her- Cunegonde. She trumps with high coloratura, bewitches with her beautiful middle voice, has the corresponding ‘low notes,’ and spreads so much humor, warmheartedness, and high spirits that a good portion of the resounding success of Candide is owed to her.”

Der Standard, Ljubisa Tosic, January 24, 2012
“Jennifer O’Loughlin gives Cunegonde theatrical brilliance particularly with the coloratura embossed aria Glitter and be Gay which led to a never ending applause because something also vocally special happened.”

Kronen Zeitung, Karlheinz Roschitz, January 24, 2012
“Jennifer O’Loughlin is the lovely Cundegonde, who peppers her famous coloratura aria to the audiencewith vocal security and temperament.”

Kurier, Peter Jarolin, January 24, 2012
“Jennifer O’Loughlin is an excellent Cundegone with secure coloratura who also brings a real character to the stage.”

Die Presse, Walter Weidringer, January 24, 2012
“…As the charming Cunegonde, Jennifer O’Loughlin sang every single written high note. With the seasoned Kim Criswell, she delivered a delightful duet. (We are women)”

Interview with Wilhelm Sinkovicz, Die Presse, December 14, 2010

An interview with the soprano star in the Volksoper ensemble, discussing athletic stage experiences, high notes and a singer’s classical bedtime reading. She has never be afraid of the demands of major roles.

“It was good training,” Jennifer O’Loughlin said, who has primarily athletic memories of her first performance at the Vienna Volksoper. “I was engaged as of September 1 and my first role was Valencienne in The Merry Widow – and the first thing I had to do was learn the cancan.”

The American singer has never been afraid of the vocal demands of major roles. Marie in Lortzing’s Tsar and Carpenter and Susanna in Mozart’s Figaro have been among those debut roles, the ultimate challenges in the lyrical fach. O’Loughlin has already jumped in as Susanna at the 2007 Salzburg Festival. That same year she also won a prize at Wigmore Hall’s lied competition in London, which predicted a bright future for her in all genres of the art of song.

She has an audition presented at the Zurich Opernstudio to thank for her engagement in Vienna. “Normally that just means, ‘Thank you. You’ll hear from us.’ And then you never hear anything.” With Jennifer O’Loughlin it was different. From the moment she left the stage she was engaged to sing at the Volksoper. “Since then I’ve had the privilege of singing about fifteen different roles.” And perhaps her most spectacular success has been with the tricky Zerbinetta in Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos: “I could still work on this role with Ernst Märzendorfer. He was strict yet very nice to me because I listened to him attentively. What he had to say was unbelievable!”

What especially attracted the Viennese public to the young artist on the occasion of her Zerbinetta debut was that she not only can sing ridiculously difficult coloratura notes beyond a high C, she sings the entire role with a beautifully rounded, full soprano voice. “Already early on I had sung not only the Queen of the Night but also Pamina in The Magic Flute,” O’Loughlin said, “because my midrange worked well. That’s always considered difficult with young sopranos. For me it wasn’t a problem. When I got the opportunity to cover Zerbinetta at the Met, the Ariadne singer told me, ‘When someone hears you singing this aria they’ll think you’re a lyrical soprano.’” Before the high notes come…

Endowed with such vocal abilities, O’Loughlin naturally dreams of the most important of all tasks in her fach: “At some point I’d like to sing Lucia di Lammermoor,” she said. “I’ve already been asked about Violetta in Verdi’s Traviata. That would be a step further than I’m at now. I’d like to study it for another two or three years.” Then Jennifer O’Loughlin would not longer have a fixed contract at the Volksoper, although hopefully she will continue to perform here as a guest artist.

As Gilda for instance: “As preparation I’m currently reading Verdi’s original model by Victor Hugo.” What else is on her night stand? “Of course Shakespeare’s Merry Wives of Windsor,” since she will sing Frau Fluth in the forthcoming premiere of Otto Nicolai’s eponymous work. “Technically it’s definitely not so difficult, but the aria is a jewel. And acting in such a comedy is fun.”

Volksoper: The Merry Wives of Windsor, premiere December 18
(“Die Presse,” print edition, 12/14/2010)

Reviews for Frau Fluth in The Merry Wives of Windsor at the Vienna Volksoper

Der Neue Merker, Michael Koling, December 20, 2010
“Special praise above all is owed Jennifer O’Loughlin for her performance (Frau Fluth), who once again proven her vocal abilities and finally for once also was the planned premiere cast.”

OÖNachrichten, Karin Schütze, December 20, 2010
“… Jennifer O’Loughlin is convincing with her clear and effortless soprano voice…”

Kurier, Peter Jarolin, December 21, 2010
“The highlight, soprano Jennifer O’Loughlin, produces as a very knowing, ‘men-duping’ Frau Fluth. This trio is extremely funny, and keeps the plot moving.”

Kronen-Zeitung, Karlheinz Roschitz, December 20, 2010
“Jennifer O’Loughlin is a vocally dominating Frau Fluth.”

SN, Ernst P. Strobl, December 20, 2010
“As a dynamic Frau Fluth, Jennifer O’Loughlin is very secure with the coloratura…”

Österreich, Karl Löbl, December 20, 2010
“also vocally perfect Frau Fluth (Jennifer O’Loughlin).”

Kurier, Peter Jarolin, December 20, 2010
“… and Jennifer O’Loughlin as a vocally paramount Frau Fluth stands out in a good ensemble.”

WHL/APA, December 20, 2010
“From the standpoint of singing there were above all two trump cards: Jennifer O’Loughlin mastered the role of Frau Fluth with her bell-like voice.”

Der Neue Merker, Dr. Georg Freund, December 20, 2010
“Two excellent singers dominated the scene: Jennifer O’Loughlin sang the demanding role of Frau Fluth with sparkling coloratura and brilliant high notes, looked lovely and acted, as far as the staging allowed, also very charmingly. One of the two high points of the evening was her great, very amusing aria ‘Nun eilt herbei’…”

Reviews for Konstanze in The Abduction of the Seraglio at the Vienna Volksoper

Der Neue Merker, Renate Wagner, June 15, 2010
“Renata Wagner bought herself a ticket to the ‘B cast’s premiere’ of ‘Die Entführung aus dem Serail’ at the Vienna Volksoper during which the ‘second cast’ Konstanze, Jennifer O’Loughlin, proved herself to really be the first.

“The role must be sung by a born coloratura soprano and Jennifer O’Loughlin is just that. She has an exquisitly pure and clear voice that is simply ideal for Mozart. As for the difficulty of the role, one could imagine this to be the endless legati in the aria ‘Traurigkeit’ during which one must continuously maintain the internal tension of the phrases. To do so is just as tricky as the coloratura passages which receive so much attention. Since Jennifer O’Loughlin is ‘a natural’, she can do both. It is then especially admirable that she presents ‘Martern aller Arten’ not as a virtuoso aria, but as a piece shaped by and through its musical content.”

Krone Zeitung June 23, 2010, author V.P.

“Jennifer O’Loughlin is not merely a vocally commanding and brilliant Konstanze with magnificently dramatic coloratura. (Martern alle Artern) She is also convincing in her portrayal of a woman caught between two men who at times can be down right aggressive as she struggles to defend her rights. Her strength of will is equal to that of the Bassa Selim.”

Reviews for Gilda in Rigoletto at the Vienna Volksoper

Oberoesterreichische Nachrichten, Michael Wruss, October 19, 2009
“Jennifer O’Loughlin was remarkable as Gilda. She was the only one to fulfill both the vocal and dramatic demands of her role and to carry the audience away to rapturous applause. This is a Gilda to remember.”

Der Neue Merker, Renate Wagner, October 19, 2009
“Anyway he [Duca] should have chosen her simply because of her voice, since it is wonderful! One never has to worry about the young dramatic coloratura soprano. She sings with confident cantilena, secure coloratura, broad lyricism, and rapturous drama– magical Verdi!”

Der Neue Merker, Peter Skorepa, October 19, 2009
“Thus Jennifer O’Loughlin’s Gilda became the only shining light of the evening with her youthful soprano. It is a voice capable of coloratura and pure high notes in addition to remarkable pronunciation. Only for her had one wished that the production would have been done in the original language – and in the duet with the Duca, she swept him away with Verdian cantilena.”

Die Presse, Walter Weidringer, October 19, 2009
“Jennifer O’Loughlin was the only singer to master her role truly impressively. Recently successful as Zerbinetta, she definitely approaches the musically complex role of Gilda from the coloratura side. Nevertheless, she offers plenty of voice in addition to her light upper register and silvery sound.”

Wiener Zeitung, Christoph Irrgeher, October 20, 2009
“As Gilda, Jennifer O’Loughlin not only presented graceful musical phrasing, but also acting talent.”

Österreich, Karl Löbl, October 19th, 2009
“Jennifer O’Loughlin was the only one whose voice and expression fit her role (Gilda) perfectly. She is a person who ignites our compassion.”

Kurier, Marion Hauser, October 19, 2009
Sigrid Hauser raves about Ms. O’Loughlin saying, “When Jennifer sings, one thinks he is hearing a voice from heaven.”

Reviews for Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos at the Vienna Volksoper

Der Neue Merker, Peter Skorepa, June 25, 2009
“Her (Zerbinetta’s) experiences with the world of men were expressed with the erotic rejoicing coloratura and remarkable high notes of Jennifer O’Loughlin. Her soprano has a dramatic core and can thus avoid soubrettich gestures.”

Die Presse, Von Wilhelm Sinkovicz, September 2009
“The Zerbinetta of Jennifer O’Loughlin is a small miracle of precision -even unto the precisely defined sixteenths and thirty-second of the murderous coloratura. A single note in the vocal fireworks of the vast central Rondo was not quite clean, a sensational record, God knows, not only in the Volksoper!”

Die Krone Zeitung, Karlheinz Roschitz, September 23, 2009
“Zerbinetta charms.”
“Jennifer O’Loughlin’s magical Zerbinetta received a huge ovation.”

Radio Stephansdom-Interview November 2009

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Reviews for Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Vienna Volksoper

Der Neue Merker, Peter Dusek, February 11, 2009
“Jennifer O’Loughlin’s sweet soprano sound and a beguiling appearance were ideal for the role of the fairy queen, Tytania.”

Opera News, Larry Lash, Fall 2006
“American soprano Jennifer O’Loughlin, the company’s reigning Pamina, made a ravishing Tytaniain her role debut. Her substantial, creamy voice has the coffee coloring we associate with the young Leontyne Price or, more recently, Renee Fleming, so it’s a bit of a surprise to hear her effortlessly spin Britten’s challenging melismatic, high coloratura passages. In an international cast whose diction was all over the place, O’Loughlin’s every syllable could be understood.”

Reviews for Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte at both the Vienna Staatsoper and the Vienna Volksoper.

Der Neue Merker, Kurt Klach, June 24, 2009 (Vienna Staatsoper)
“Jennifer O’Loughlin was completely convincing in the vengeance aria which was duly rewarded by the audience.”

Der Neue Merker, Sieglinde Pfabigan, December 12, 2008 (Vienna Staatsoper)
“Jennifer O’Loughlin was capable of releasing the coloratura and extreme top notes of the Queen like a flash of lightning while still offering plenty of middle voice for the calmer passages of her arias.”

Der Neue Merker, Anton Wendler, February 14, 2009 (Vienna Volksoper)
“Jennifer O’Loughlin sang her high notes as Queen of the Night with stupendous certainty.”

Die Krone Zeitung, V.P., September 17, 2008 (Vienna Volksoper)
“Jennifer O’Loughlin as The Queen of the Night was a hit with fast coloratura. Brilliant.”

Reviews for Musetta in La Bohème at the Vienna Volksoper

MERKER, Peter Dusek, April 28, 2009
“Jennifer O’Loughlin’s Musetta is a class event. The voice is more powerful than the Mimi’s (which is seldom the case) – she has temperament and charisma, and not since Mirjana Irosch have I seen the famous waltz scene be so seductive and alluring. Fantastic!”

U-Express, Nadia Weiss, November 17, 2003
“‘Young star’ Jennifer O’Loughlin did justice in every regard to Musetta’s passion.”

Review of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Salzburg Festival 2007

Opera News, Larry Lash
“A much-needed ray of sunshine, Jennifer O’Loughlin, subbing for Diana Damrau on a day’s notice, offered a dreamy, lusciously-sung Susanna, bringing color and spontaneity to every word of recitative. In her Salzburg debut, the twenty-nine-year-old American’s sensuous, seductive, playful “Deh, vieni” was the evening’s highlight.”

Reviews of Pamina at the Grand Théâtre de Génève

Neue Züricher Zeitung, December 18, 2007
“…and here the Geneva Opera comes up with a high-ranking cast: …. Increasingly impressive Jennifer O’Loughlin as Pamina…”, December 19, 2007
“…and a mischievous yet touching Jennifer O’Loughlin with a velvety voice as Pamina…”

Comments are closed.