Nigerian-American soprano Francesca Chiejina is a graduate of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where her roles included Countess Ceprano Rigoletto, Lady-in-Waiting Macbeth, Voice from Heaven Don Carlo, and Ines Il trovatore. She also sang Micaëla La tragédie de Carmen at Wilton’s Music Hall, Melantho/Love The Return of Ulysses at the Roundhouse, and the soprano solos in Gorecki’s Third Symphony for the world premiere of a new work by renowned choreographer Crystal Pite for The Royal Ballet, and covered Ifigenia Oreste, Antonia Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Giannetta L’elisir d’amore, and Arbate Midridate, re di Ponto.
This season, Francesca performs Strauss’s Four Last Songs with Opera North and will headline the CBSO’s ‘Viennese New Year’ concert. She will premiere Odyssey, a new work by Jonathan Dove in Bristol and perform Strauss orchestral songs with the BBC Philharmonic.
On the concert platform she has recently sung Berg’s Seven Early Songs with the Sinfonia of London and John Wilson at the BBC Proms, Mozart’s Requiem with Crouch End Festival Chorus, Richard Strauss’s Four Last Songs with Imperial College Symphony Orchestra at Cadogan Hall, Bach’s St John Passion with Huddersfield Choral Society and Manchester Camerata, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the BBC Philharmonic and with the Royal Northern Sinfonia at the Sage Gateshead; Handel’s Messiah with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall; Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music at the Last Night of the BBC Proms; and Schubert’s Winterreise in recital at Blackheath Halls.
Recent operatic highlights include the title role in Semele (Blackheath Halls Opera); High Priestess Aida (Royal Opera House); Lauretta Il Trittico (Scottish Opera); Mimì La bohème (Nevill Holt Opera, English Touring Opera); Melissa Amadigi (English Touring Opera); Miss Jessel The Turn of the Screw (OperaGlass Works); the title role in English Touring Opera’s film of Elena Langer and Glyn Maxwell’s Ariadne; FreiaRhineGold (Birmingham Opera Company); Anne Trulove The Rake’s Progress (Blackheath Halls Opera); her debut with Capella Cracoviensis as Aldimira Sigismondo; her house and role debut as Clara Porgy and Bess at Grange Park Opera; her debut with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal (Serena Porgy and Bess); Cio-Cio San Madama Butterfly (scenes) at Guildhall School of Music and Drama; and Pamina Die Zauberflöte, Berta Il barbiere di Siviglia, Countess Le nozze di Figaro (scenes) and Alice Ford Falstaff (scenes), all at the University of Michigan.
Chiejina has participated in masterclasses with Martin Katz, Kamal Khan, Gianna Rolandi, Joyce DiDonato, Brigitte Fassbänder, Edith Wiens and Felicity Lott. Competition successes include reaching the finals of the inaugural Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018, the semi-finals in the National Mozart Competition and winning the GSMD English Song Prize, the GSMD Aria Prize, as well as second prize in the Classical Singer Competition. She was also a finalist in the 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Awards. She has received Loveday, Marianne Falke, Maurice H and Evangeline L Dumesnil, George Shirley Voice and Willis-Patterson Scholarships.
Chiejina studied at the University of Michigan with Martha Sheil and James Paterson, and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Sue McCulloch.