Jennifer Larmore is an American mezzo-soprano, a Grammy winner with over 100 recordings to her name, a Chevalier of the French government, Richard Tucker winner, Hall of Famer and an author! Add straight actress to the list with her appearance in a new Netflix series entitled King the Land to be aired in July/August 2023. She has a wide-ranging repertoire, having begun with coloratura roles from the Baroque and bel canto then adding music from the Romantic and Contemporary periods.
She began her career at Opera de Nice in 1986 with Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and went on to sing at virtually every major opera house in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Paris Opera, Tokyo, Berlin Deutsche Oper, and London Covent Garden.
She is a two-time Grammy Award winner who has recorded widely for the Teldec, RCA, Harmonia Mundi, Deutsche Grammophon, Arabesque, Opera Rara, Bayer, Naive, Chandos, VAI and Cedille labels in over one hundred CDs to date as well as DVDs of “Countess Geschwitz” in Lulu, Jennifer Larmore in Performance for VAI, Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Netherlands Opera), L'Italiana in Algeri (Opera de Paris), La Belle Hélène (Hamburg State Opera), Orlando Furioso (Opera de Paris) and Jenufa (Deutsche Oper Berlin). She has recorded three charming books on tape for Atlantic Crossing Records with stories by Kim Maerkl entitled Mozart's Magical Night with Hélène Grimaud and the Bavarian State Orchestra, Puccini’s Enchanted Journey with story by Kim Maerkl, and The King’s Daughter with story and music for flute and string orchestra by Kim Maerkl with the flute player Natalie Schwaabe.
With the pianist Antoine Palloc, she has made many International recital tours, including appearances in Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, Vietnam, Vienna, London, San Juan, Prague, Melbourne, Brussels, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Lisbon, Sao Paolo, Athens and Copenhagen, as well as all the major American venues. Symphonic repertoire has played a large role in this mezzo’s career with the works of Mahler, Schoenberg, Mozart, de Falla, Debussy, Berlioz and Barber featuring prominently. Miss Larmore has enjoyed great collaborations with world orchestras under the direction of Muti, Lopez-Cobos, Bernstein, Runnicles, Sinopoli, Masur, von Dochnanyi, Jacobs, Mackerras, Nelson, Spinosi, Abbado, Barenboim, Bonynge, Maazel, Osawa and Guidarini.
Jennifer’s repertoire has expanded to include roles such as "Marie" in Berg's masterpiece Wozzeck, which she sang to great success at the Grand Théâtre de Genève. Berg is now a specialty of Miss Larmore, with her having sung “Countess Geschwitz” in Berg's Lulu at Covent Garden in the Christof Loy production with Antony Pappano, then again in Madrid. At Paris Opera Bastille she sang in the Willy Decker production and she reprised the role yet again in a new production of William Kentridge with Lothar Zagrosek conducting for the Nederlandse Opera, and at the Rome Opera. She has also become well known for "Kostelnička Buryjovka" in Janacek's Jenůfa which she performed with Donald Runnicles at Berlin Deutsche Oper. The DVD of this production was nominated for a Grammy. She reprised her "Kostelnička" in this same production for the New National Theater in Tokyo. “Lady Macbeth” in Verdi’s opera Macbeth is a role she debuted in a striking new production of Christof Loy at the Grand Théâtre de Genève, then in the Bob Wilson production in Bologna and Reggio Emilia. Her first “Eboli” was in the French version of Don Carlos at the Caramoor Music Festival in New York, with Will Crutchfield conducting, and she sang “Jocasta” in Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex at the Bard Festival. Adding to her growing list of new repertoire, Miss Larmore debuted the role of "Mère Marie" in Les dialogues des carmélites at the Caramoor Festival, New York. She went back to her roots with "Ottavia" in Monteverdi's l'Incoronazione di Poppea at the Theater an der Wien in October 2015 and returned there in December 2016 for her debut in the role of "Elvira" in Mozart's Don Giovanni. Debuts for more new roles came in 2017 with the title role of La Belle Hélène at Hamburg State Opera, and then "Anna 1" in Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins for the Atlanta Opera. In 2018 she debuted the role of "La Dama" in Hindemith's Cardillac for the Maggio Musicale in Firenze, "Fidalma" In Il Matrimonio Segreto for Opera Köln, and "Marcellina" In Le Nozze di Figaro in Tokyo. Engagements in 2019 included concerts in Grenoble, Olten and Magève with OpusFive, "Marcellina" in Paris at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, and she returned to Opera Köln in the title role of a new production in her on-going collaboration with Doucet/Barbe of La Grand Duchesse de Gérolstein.
2020 was an interesting year, but also because she debuted “Herodias” in Salome for the Atlanta Opera before going into lockdown. Continuing with their collaboration, in 2021, Jennifer sang "Genevieve" in their new production of Pelleas et Melisande in Parma. She will reprise her powerful "Herodias" at the New National Theater in Tokyo in May, 2023.
Miss Larmore, in collaboration with the double bass player Davide Vittone, created an ensemble called Jennifer Larmore and OpusFive. This a string quintet offering programs that are entertaining and varied with Songs and Arias, Cabaret/Operetta and Movies and Broadway. They have given concerts in Seville, Pamplona, Valencia, Las Palmas, Venice, Amiens, Olten, Aix en Provence, Dublin, and Paris. At the Magève Festival in August, 2018 they presented a World Premiere work by composer Scott Eyerly, called Creatures Great and Small on the theme of animals. In July of 2022, Jennifer and OpusFive performed at the Liestal Stimmen zu Gast Festival in a program entitled America!
Throughout her career Jennifer Larmore has garnered awards and recognition. In 1994 Jennifer won the prestigious Richard Tucker Award. In 1996 she sang the Olympic Hymn at the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympics in Atlanta. In 2002, “Madame” Larmore was awarded the Chevalier des arts et des lettres from the French government in recognition of her contributions to the world of music. In 2010 she was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in her home state of Georgia. In addition, to her many activities, travels, performances and causes, author Jennifer Larmore is working on books that will bring a wider public to the love of opera. Her book "Una Voce" is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and Lulu.com and explores the world and psychology of the performer: web site: jlarmorebook.com.
Miss Larmore is widely known for teaching and giving master classes and in 2018, she went to New York's Manhattan School of Music, Santiago, Chile, Luxembourg, Atlanta, and to the new Teatro Nuovo at Suny Purchase College, New York. She began the New Year 2019 with master classes for the Atlanta Opera and Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, GA. In March, 2019 Miss Larmore gave master classes and workshops at the École Normale and for the Philippe Jaroussky Academy in Paris. In 2020 she gave classes at the École Normale, Atlanta Opera, Kennesaw State University, Luxembourg, and on ZOOM for the Kiefersfelden Master Classes and Utah Valley University. In 2022 classes were in Malta, Tirol, Lausanne, Sion, Martina Franca and Valencia! In 2023 she begins the year with a master class at the Eva Lind Akademie in Achenkirch, Austria!
Miss Larmore lives in Paris with her husband and little Opera dog Buffy.
Photo credit: Ribaltaluce