An 'American story' herself, Mezzo-soprano Jeniece Golbourne born in Upstate New York to Jamaican immigrants, is quickly gaining a reputation as a powerful force on the operatic stage. "A viperous Amneris " and an Azucena "of breathtaking intensity", critics and theatergoers alike marvel at this young singing actress - "She is listed as a mezzo-soprano, but there are few mezzos -- if any -- like her. She's the first singer this writer has heard who could rip the gilding off the walls of the Landmark. This woman has been given a true gift, and she is utilizing it to the hilt. Her range is almost frightening."
This season, 2010/11, Ms. Golbourne made her debut at Staatstheater Stuttgart as Federica in Verdi's Luisa Miller - "magnificent Amneris tone" , "a joy to listen to and watch." Last season she made her European debut at Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden as Azucena in Verdi's Il Trovatore. Critics praised her performance as "incredible", "moving and fascinating". "A light shines on the horizon of the vast German opera heaven: the mezzo-soprano Jeniece Golbourne made her European debut as Azucena in Wiesbaden's production of Verdi's 'Il Trovatore' - and WHAT a performance! This mezzo-soprano possesses not only a clear and beautiful voice in the low and high range, but deploys a virtually breathtaking spectrum of sounds with her chest voice... She does not play her role, she lives it through and through...This production of 'IlTrovatore' is worth it solely for witnessing Jeniece Golbourne."
Ms. Golbourne debuted the role of Azucena in Lillian Groag's production of Il Trovatore at Virginia Opera to great success and subsequently was invited to Eugene Opera's production of Il Trovatore. She then appeared in Mississippi Opera's production of Suor Angelica, as La Zia Principessa, and Cavalleria Rusticana, as Santuzza. Ms. Golbourne also appeared as Amneris in Verdi's Aïda with the Annapolis Chorale, Maddalena in Rigoletto with Opera New Jersey, and the title role of Carmen at both PORTopera's Anniversary Gala as well as the Opera Santa Barbara Granada Opening Gala with Valery Ryvkin. Next season, Ms. Golbourne and Lillian Groag will continue their special collaboration in a new production of Aïda at Virgina Opera.
With success in concert as well as opera she has also performed DeFalla's Sombrero de Tres Picos with Theo Alcántara, Handel's Messiah and Beethoven's Symphony No.9 with JoAnn Falletta and the the Virginia Symphony Orchestra as well as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Verdi's Requiem with the Würzburg Orchestra, and De Falla's Siete Canciones Populares Españolas with the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein Orchestra.
Ms. Golbourne hails form Rochester, New York where she began her musical studies with piano at a very young age. For five years she was a member of the Eastman School of Music's Bach Children's Chorus before joining Rochester's School of the Arts which holds alumni in both the Hollywood film industry and popular music. From there, Ms. Golbourne continued on to Westminster Choir College and Manhattan School of Music. While in the prestigious Westminster Symphonic Choir lead by Joseph Flummerfelt she regularly preformed and recorded under the batons of Kurt Masur, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Sir Colin Davis and Zdeněk Mácal with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra among others.
At Manhattan School of Music, alma mater of such famous mezzo-sopranos as Susan Graham and Dolora Zajick, Ms. Golbourne began her operatic foundation in such roles as Cornelia in Giulio Cesare, Hippolyta in Midsummer's Night's Dream, Third Lady in Die Zaberflüte, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly and finally Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict and the title role in Carmen. While there she also performed in the master classes of Fedora Barbieri, Marilyn Horne, Alberto Zedda, Martin Katz, Willie Waters, Peter Mark and Bo Skovhus.
Ms. Golbourne has been recognized as a Semi Finalist in the Competizione Dell'Opera in Dresden and is a 2009 Metropolitan National Council New York District Winner.