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Jennifer Welch-Babidge — Marzelline
Hailed by critics worldwide for her complete performances as both singer and actor, American soprano Jennifer Welch-Babidge is in constant demand for her sparkling vocal technique, natural stage presence, and both her dramatic and comic acting ability. Opera News lauds recent performances, “Jennifer Welch-Babidge served up some ravishing soubrette-singing. Her voice is agile and beautifully projected, with a lavish bloom and a silvery edge; she clearly loves the stage.”
Ms. Welch-Babidge’s 2005-06 season included a return to the Metropolitan Opera as Marzelline in Fidelio and appearances with Houston Grand Opera as Norina in Don Pasquale and Opera Carolina as Leila in Pearl Fishers. She also appears again with the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, with James Levine conducting. She then sings Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 in Nashville and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the San Francisco Symphony, and finishes the season with Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Utah Festival Opera (where she has previously been seen as Gilda in Rigoletto and Liu in Turandot. Her future engagements include a return to the San Francisco Opera in the fall of 2006 as Adele in Die Fledermaus as well as both Moses und Aron and Fidelio with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and James Levine.
Frequently appearing on the Metropolitan Opera stage, her roles with the company include Marzelline in Fidelio, Chloe in Queen of Spades, Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, and Freia in Das Rheingold. She has also appeared at Carnegie Hall with the Metropolitan Opera Chamber Ensemble and James Levine. In recent seasons, her acclaimed performances encompass the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor at New York City Opera, Opera Colorado, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Greensboro Opera Company. She made her San Francisco Opera debut as Blondchen in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and has sung Konstanze in the same opera with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Also at Opera Colorado she appeared as Gilda in Rigoletto and with Opera Pacific, sang her first performances of Violetta in La Traviata. Ms. Welch-Babidge made her debut in Japan as Adele in Die Fledermaus with Seiji Ozawa at the Saito Kinen Festival.
Ms. Welch-Babidge is a recipient of many awards, including the prestigious ARIA Award and Richard Tucker Career Grant, both in 2001. She was also a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in the spring of 1997 subsequently joined the company’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. The soprano’s other honors include a Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Music Foundation and an award from the William Mattheus Sullivan Foundation.
Ms. Welch-Babidge, a native of Aulander, North Carolina, is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts with a Master's degree in vocal performance. She lives in Utah with her husband, Darrell, and their two sons, John Chandler and Joseph.