School of Music

Jessica Ann Best

Biography

“Jessica is a rising star whose cross-genre appeal pushes beyond opera into musical theater and jazz, where she charms audiences with the luminosity of her instrument.” -Rob Gibson. Music Director, The Kessler Collection.

Jessica Ann Best is a diverse cross-disciplinary artist, performing nationwide in opera, musical theater, concert, oratorio, recital, and jazz. Known for her interpretations and versatility; Best has premiered many new works including: Mrs. Otis and Madeline in Gordon Getty’s The Canterville Ghost and Usher House at LA Opera, The Stepmother in Anton Coppola’s, Lady Swanwhite with Opera Tampa, the International Carol Suites (soloist) by Mark Hayes, at Carnegie Hall, the roles of Bessie and Mary Rivers in Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre, (The Center for Contemporary Opera), Mrs. Foster in Shot, (Nickel City Opera), and the title role of Alice in Alice Ryley, by Michael Ching, commissioned by the Savannah Voice Festival.

Ms. Best made her debut as Carmen in Carmen with Salt Marsh Opera in 2021; singing the title role again that fall with Buffalo Opera Unlimited. In September 2021; Ms. Best performed in a pops concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro John Russell and tours with Michael Lasser and Alan Jones doing a broad series of programs featuringThe Great American Songbook.

Ms. Best will return as Director of Camp Voice this summer with the VOICExperience Foundation and as an artist with the Savannah Voice Festival. Ms. Best has been a returning artist with Brad Simmons and Susie Mosher in her The Lineupat the Birdland Theater in New York. She has toured with Velvet Caravan; an award-winning, gypsy-jazz ensemble from Savannah Georgia; featuring concerts at the Iridum Jazz Club in New York City and Savannah Music Festival. She has been a featured artist with The Savannah Music Festival and the Savannah Voice Festival. Best has appeared as a guest artist with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Tampa, Gotham Chamber Opera, The Helena Symphony, Nickel City Opera, and Finger Lakes Opera. Ms. Best appears on the new recording of Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre on the Naxos Label recorded in 2017 and released in 2019. She is currently working with producer Greg Best on an EP of musical theater and popular works to be released this year.

This February and March, Ms. Best will sing as a guest artist with the Nazareth Orchestra as they present Kahane's Emergency Shelter Intake Form. She will also be featured in a recital with Yoshiko Arahata, singing compositions by Alma Mahler, Lili Boulanger, and Amy Beach. This program will also be featured on Live From Hochstein, a live radio broadcast with WXXI Radio and Mona Seghatoleslami.

Ms. Best is a Professor of Voice at Nazareth College in Rochester and holds her own private of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from Nazareth College. Ms. Best is a proud member of AGMA and The Actor’s Equity Association.

School of Music Responsibilities

  • Applied Voice

Education

  • Northwestern University, M.M.
  • Nazareth College, B.M.

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Mezzo-soprano Jessica Ann Best ’06 loves that as a musician, she has many jobs—performer, teacher, director. Here’s a glimpse behind the scenes at her life.

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