Opera News | Sound Bites: Jana McIntyre

March 23, 2023

Carnegie Hall


Sound Bites: Jana McIntyre

Jana McIntyre gave a career-altering performance in July 2022, when she dazzled Bard SummerScape audiences as Aminta in Richard Strauss’s Schweigsame Frau. Under the lively leadership of conductor Leon Botstein, McIntyre made neat work of Aminta’s treacherously high music, winning praise from The Financial Times’s George Loomis for her “aplomb” in negotiating the stratospheric uncut score.

McIntyre says that when she first saw the Schweigsame Frau score, “I thought everyone had made a mistake and I was actually being considered for the smaller soprano role, to be quite honest. Aminta is insanity, truly—it’s like three soprano roles in one. But it was a dream role I didn’t know I had—it is hilarious and has a true depth of character. Bringing this piece to light and unpacking the details of its history was amazing—and of course Maestro Botstein brought a lot of his own knowledge and writing on [Frau librettist] Stefan Zweig to the process, which made our work in rehearsal even more intense.”

This month, McIntyre collaborates again with Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra when she takes on the title role in a Carnegie Hall concert of Strauss’s Daphne. “Daphne is totally different from Aminta. Daphne is pure goodness and innocence. She has deep feelings and connections, but when she speaks she’s not guarded. There are no double meanings to what she says. I am particularly attached to Daphne’s opening scene, and to the scene when Leukippos dies, right before the transformation. When she says, ‘O bleib, geliebter Tag—please stay, O beautiful daylight,’ that really shows her spirit as a nymph, her innocence and purity and lack of guile. The transformation scene is wonderful, but it is so much richer if you know how Daphne’s story begins.”

A graduate of UCLA and Manhattan School of Music, McIntyre will follow her ASO Daphne with a May run as Cinderella in Into the Woods for Tulsa Opera. “I was a young artist in Tulsa, so I am looking forward to returning there. Cinderella is my first Sondheim role. It’s weird to be carrying around scores for Strauss and Sondheim at the same time—they are at opposite ends of the spectrum. But I enjoy switching gears!”


Photo by Darío Acosta
Hair and makeup by Affan Graber Malik


March 23, 2023
Carnegie Hall