Janeanne Houston has been praised by the Seattle Times as a “radiant voiced and very communicative” singer, by Gramophone as “Unfailingly responsive and dedicated”, by Classical Voice of North Carolina as a “magnificent singer” with “a beautiful voice and stunning interpretive skills” and The Journal of Singing remarked “such praiseworthy singing” and “a flawless sense of style.”
One of the region’s busiest artists, in November of 2005 she created the death-defying role of Konstanze in Mozart’s Abduction from the Seraglio for Tacoma Opera, and this season, another Mozart heroine, the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro for Helena Symphony. This past April she sang Poulenc’s Gloria under the baton of legendary choral conductor Rodney Eichenberger in Benaroya Hall, and in June Mahler’s Fourth Symphony with Orchestra Seattle. She toured a recital of world premieres chamber works for soprano and oboe in New York state in fall of 2007, and returned to sing the world premiere of Judith Lang Zaimont’s Remembrance with Portland Symphonic Choir.
Other recent regional performances have included Tacoma Symphony’s performance of Rachmaninov’s The Bells, Lake Union Civic Orchestra’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Carmina Burana with Choral Union, Messiah with the Bellevue Philharmonic, and for Bremerton Symphony, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Beethoven’s Ninth. She was also heard in Carmina Burana in a Benaroya Hall performance with Rainier Symphony, Messiah with Helena Symphony under Alan R. Scott, and in Verdi’s Requiem with Kirkland Choral Society. In previous seasons, she has been a guest artist with many distinguished choral and orchestral organizations including Seattle Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Northwest Chamber Orchestra, Northwest Sinfonietta, Eugene Symphony and Opera, Great Falls Symphony, and Spokane Symphony. Among the works she has performed many times are the Verdi Requiem, the Brahms German Requiem, Haydn’s Creation, and Mozart’s Mass in C-Minor. She has worked under the batons of many fine conductors including, in addition to the above, Gerard Schwarz, James DePreist, Sidney Harth, Dean Williamson, Charles Bontrager, Christophe Chagnard, Fusao Kajima, Richard Sparks, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya, with whom she sang the Mater Gloriosa in the first Oregon performance of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony in 2002.
She sang the role Mother Mary with the late Jerome Hines near the end of his career, in his Biblical opera I am the Way and has also shone in other operatic roles which include Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Violetta in La Traviata, Blanche in Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Micaela in Carmen.
A passionate advocate of song recitals, she has been a guest artist on many concert series, and will sing again as soloist and recitalist at the Messiah Festival of Music and Art at Bethany College in Kansas in April of 2009.
In recent years, she has also turned to making recordings, and seven have been released since 2001. In August of 2007, she is featured on a new Naxos release of orchestral works by composer Dan Locklair. She sings a triptych for soprano and string orchestra titled Lairs of Soundings, which is based upon texts by Northwest poet, Ursula LeGuin. The work was recorded last fall with the Slovak Radio Radio Orchestra in Bratislava , Slovakia , with Kirk Trevor conducting. Also in the fall of 2008, a recording for Zimbel Records titled Songs of the Cotton Grass features Ms. Houston with oboist Shannon Spicciati performing the cycle of the same name by composer Hilary Tann. In January 2006, Ms. Houston released a new recording of world premieres by living composers titled The Shining Place (Elmgrove Productions).Other recordings include The Irish Songs of Sir Hamilton Harty (Deogloria), So Great a Joy 2001, Living Mysteries 2002, and So Much Beauty 2004 (Elmgrove Productions). In 2004 her work was featured in two 12 minute works for soprano on the Albany Records release Chamber Works of Dan Locklair. Her recordings have been broadcast on radio stations across the country, and were featured on the syndicated radio program With Heart and Voice and New Releases on Minnesota Public Radio.
Ms. Houston has been a finalist and a second place winner in the Northwest Regional Metropolitan Opera auditions, and won a Crystal award in the Scammon vocal competition in Denver in 2002.
Born in Kansas City, Ms. Houston spent her childhood years in Myanmar, India, and the Philippine Islands. She received her education at Ottawa University and the University of Washington, and is presently a member of the voice faculty at Pacific Lutheran University. She is the Founding and Managing Member of Northwest Artists, a musicians’ cooperative, and Elmgrove Productions.