American mezzo-soprano Janine Hawley has achieved accolades for her critically acclaimed performances of roles ranging from Carmen to Cherubino in opera houses throughout the United States. Ms. Hawley has distinguished herself in several productions of Carmen, where Opera News noted that "she placed her stamp on Bizet's Gypsy at her first entrance, a tough provocative Carmen providing the sensual centerpiece for the evening, negotiating all the arias with lithe grace, her portrayal gaining in tragic stature as the opera reached its climax." She has worked with the Washington Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, New Orleans Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Boston Lyric Opera, Tulsa Opera, Connecticut Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Charlotte Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, Sacramento Opera, Chautauqua Opera, among others. Other roles performed have been Elizabeth in The Crucible, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel, Komponiste in Ariadne auf Naxos, Nicklausse in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Stèphano in Romèo et Juliette, Siebel in Faust, Isabella in L’Italiana in Algeri, Angelina in La Cenerentola, and Suzuki in Madame Butterfly, receiving great critiques that praise her lush quality, dark timbre, technical facility and charming stage presence.
Beginning her career in Musical Theatre, Ms. Hawley performed in regional theaters across the country in Candide, Naughty Marietta (Paper Mill Playhouse), Sweeney Todd (Paul Gemignani conducting, NYCO), Music Man (with Bob Gunton, NYCO), Carousel (Augusta Opera, Monomoy Theater, Cape Cod), Quilters (Monomoy Theater, Cape Cod), A Little Night Music (Piedmont Opera), Desert Song, Guys and Dolls, The Sound of Music, and Hello Dolly! Concert performances are an equally important aspect of Ms. Hawley's art and conductors are drawn to her impressive musicianship, mastery of styles and sensitive interpretations. She has worked with the famed Detroit Symphony, Vancouver, Colorado, North Carolina, Omaha, Winston-Salem Symphonies and in such concert venues as Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Weill Recital Hall. Ms. Hawley made her international debut with the Jerusalem International Symphony singing Mahler’s famed Second Symphony in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Distinguishing herself in the repertoire of Mahler, in the last few seasons she added the Kindertotenlieder and Rückert Lieder to her symphonic work, which includes Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Valdosta (GA), Fargo-Moorhead and Fairfax (VA) Symphonies and the Third Symphony with the Hartford and Chautauqua Symphonies (NY) and Louisville Orchestra. The Louisville Courier-Journal stated “Hawley proved an astute interpreter, not giving too much voice too soon yet eliciting a dark, potent vocal color. In a single song, she provided a miniature dissertation of how to rip open one’s heart, filling the void with sounds of desolate, unforgettable beauty.” Other notable engagements include the New York premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's autobiographical cantata, Landscapes and Remembrances, in celebration of the composer's birthday with the Little Orchestra Society. Her Carnegie Hall debut was as soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria, and she returned to sing Handel’s Messiah, both with John Rutter conducting.
Ms. Hawley is currently Associate Professor of Voice and Assistant Dean for Academics and Administration at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. She teaches voice in the School of Drama, Acting for Singers in the School of Music and runs the Musical Theatre Professional Focus group in the Drama Summer Intensive for high school students. She is also director of the School of Drama community program, Acting Out, where she teaches the advanced Musical Theatre class and produces a yearly musical presentation.