Biography

treble clefJane Christeson, mezzo soprano, has had a varied career in opera, oratorio and music theater. A native of Birmingham, Ms. Christeson holds an MM in Voice Performance from the University of Alabama, where she was a student of Edward White and was awarded a Graduate Council Fellowship. Prior to graduate school, she received the BM in Piano Performance in the studio of Amanda Penick, winning first place in the Birmingham Music Club Competition and second prize in the Jackson Symphony Concerto Competition. Ms. Christeson also earned a Postgraduate Performance Certificate in Voice from the University of South Florida as a student of Annetta Monroe. In addition, she has studied and coached with David Jones, Henri Venanzi, and Anthony Hose, and also with conductor James Lockhart in London and with German pedagogue Horst Gunther.

During the early years of her career Ms. Christeson was a regional finalist in the Metropolitan Opera Competition in both Alabama and Florida, and was a finalist and prize winner in several other vocal competitions, including the Southern Regional Opera, Mobile Opera, Boca Raton Vocal Competition, and McAllister Voice Competition of Indianapolis. She made her professional debut with Birmingham Civic Opera as Inez in Verdi's Il Trovatore before joining Cincinnati Opera, where she continued her professional training as an understudy for the ECCO! and Young American Artist Programs under James DeBlasis. She made her debut with Cincinnati Opera as the Monitor in Puccini's Suor Angelica, and continued to be featured in roles with the company, appearing on National Public Radio with Cincinnati Opera as well as the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble under the direction of Elmer Thomas.

As a solo artist, Ms. Christeson has appeared with the opera companies of Palm Beach, Orlando, Grand Rapids, Grande Theater (Atlanta), Treasure Coast, and Whitewater Opera of Indiana, and has appeared with Seaside Music Theater of Florida in several operatic roles as well as operatic and music theater productions. Her repertoire encompasses a wide range of operatic styles, including roles such as Madame Flora in Menotti's The Medium, Dorabella in Mozart's Cosifan Tutte, Suzuki in Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Mrs. Page in Nicolai's The Merry Wives of Windsor, and the Marquise in Donizetti's The Daughter of the Regiment. Her music theater credits include the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music, Lalume in Kismet, Mrs. Olsen in Street Scene, and Hattie in Follies. She has been a featured soloist with many orchestras and symphonies in the Midwestern and Southern United States in oratorio as well as orchestral concert works, performing as soloist with conductors such as Anton Coppola, Christopher Keene, Leo Dreihuys, Amerigo Marino, Anton Guadagno, Julius Rudel and Giampaolo Bracali. Most recently she was featured as a soloist with the Brevard Community Chorus in a tour of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and also performed the role of Ruth in the Orlando Ballet Production of Pirates! in both Orlando and Tampa.

Ms. Christeson's primary focus in recent years has been her career as a college voice teacher, and she taught at Northern Kentucky University and Daytona State College before joining the faculty of Stetson University as an Assistant Professor in 1996. She has been an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing as well as the College Music Society, is past president of the Stetson chapter of Pi Kappa Lamdba, and is a past governor of Florida for the National Opera Association. In addition to maintaining a voice studio, she has taught German Diction, Senior Seminar, and Music as a Profession, and also served as co-director and director of the Opera Theater for several years. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Voice and teaches courses in both Song and Opera Literature. She has appeared many times as a recitalist at Stetson accompanied by Michael Rickman and has performed with the Symphony Orchestra and the Wind Ensemble as a soloist in works by Mahler and Wagner. She has also sponsored a concert of music by African American composers annually since 1996 and presented a lecture recital on the music of African American female composers for the College Music Society. In the summer of 2008 she accompanied the Stetson Symphony Orchestra to Italy, where she performed as pianist at the William Walton estate on the island of Ischia in Walton's opera The Bear, directed by Robert Swedberg and conducted by Anthony Hose. At Stetson she is currently on the Senate Executive Committee and has also chaired the university committee on Faculty Sabbaticals and Summer Development Grants. She has traveled with Stetson students on several study tours in Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic as well as Italy.

bass clefMs. Christeson can be heard on CD recordings produced by Clear Note in Janacek's The Diary of One Who Vanished with tenor Stephen Ng and pianist Andrea Baiocchi and also as soloist in the Durufle Requiem, conducted by Alan Raines, with the Stetson University Concert Choir and Boyd Jones, organist. She is currently recording a CD of lieder and duets by Johannes Brahms, available in the spring of 2009.