A native of Bolivar, New York, soprano Joélle Harvey has quickly established herself as a noted interpreter of a broad range of repertoire, specializing in Handel, Mozart, and new music. She is the recipient of a 2011 First Prize Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, a 2009 Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation, and a 2010 Encouragement Award (in honor of Norma Newton) from the George London Foundation.
Ms. Harvey begins the 2017-2018 season in concert with the Knoxville Symphony, performing Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915. She subsequently makes her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and joins The English Concert as Almirena in Rinaldo. Further concert appearances include a return to the New York Philharmonic for Handel’s Messiah, and an appearance with the Laguna Music Festival for a concert of music by Brahms and both Clara and Robert Schumann. In the summer of 2018, she returns to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera for her role debut as Cleopatra in Sir David McVicar's iconic production of Handel's Giulio Cesare.
Last season, Ms. Harvey joined the Milwaukee Symphony as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Pat Nixon in Nixon in China. In concert, she appeared with the Mostly Mozart Festival for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and his Requiem, which she also sang with the Kansas City Symphony and the Utah Symphony. Additionally, she sang Handel’s Messiah with the Handel & Haydn Society and the National Symphony, joined the San Francisco Symphony for Mahler’s Das klagende Lied, and appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra and Concertgebouw for John Adams’ El Niño. She also appeared in concert with the LA Chamber Orchestra and the North Carolina Symphony. She concluded the season with a return to Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Servilia in La clemenza di Tito, a role she also performed with the BBC Proms.
In the 2015-2016 season, Ms. Harvey’s varied appearances included Michal in Saul with the Handel & Haydn Society and Inès in a concert performance of La favorite with Washington Concert Opera. She also joined the Indianapolis Symphony, Virginia Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy in concert.
During the 2014-2015 season, Ms. Harvey’s numerous engagements included repeat appearances as Sicle in Ormindo with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, Galatea in Acis and Galatea with the Killkenny Festival, and role debuts as Marzelline in Fidelio with San Francisco Symphony and Anne Trulove in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress with Utah Opera. On the concert stage, she appeared with the Cleveland Orchestra (Bach B minor Mass), Tafelmusik, Handel & Haydn Society (Messiah and St. Matthew Passion), LA Philharmonic (Missa Solemnis), North Carolina Symphony (Messiah), Dallas Symphony (Mozart Requiem) and the Pygmalion Ensemble (Mozart Mass in C minor).
Ms. Harvey’s 2013-2014 season included her debut with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in London as Sicle in Ormindo, further performances with the Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Serpetta in La finta giardiniera, Adina in L’elisir d’amore with the Glyndebourne Festival Touring Company, and the Dallas Opera for Miranda in Death and the Powers, as well as appearances on the concert stage with The Handel & Haydn Society (Dalila in Handel’s Samson), New York Philharmonic (Handel’s Messiah), San Francisco Symphony (Beethoven’s Mass in C),Milwaukee Symphony (Schubert’s Mass No. 6) and the Kansas City Symphony (Handel’s Messiah).
During the 2012-2013 season, the soprano was engaged to sing Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro on tour with the Glyndebourne Festival and also with Arizona Opera; two appearances with the San Francisco Symphony: Handel’s Messiah, conducted by Ragnar Bohlin, and music from Peer Gynt, conducted by Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas; the role of Tigrane in performances of Radamisto at Carnegie Hall and in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Harry Bicket and The English Concert; the Mendelssohn and Bach Magnificats for her debut with The New York Philharmonic; and Iphis in a United States tour of Handel’s Jephtha with Harry Christophers and Handel & Haydn Society. She concluded the season in a return to Festival d’Aix-en-Provence for Zerlina in a revival of Dmitri Tcherniakov’s production of Don Giovanni, conducted by Marc Minkowski.
In the summer of 2011, Ms. Harvey made her role and company debut with Festival d’Aix-en-Provence as Galatea in Acis and Galatea under the direction of Leonardo García Alarcón. The 2011-2012 season found performances of Galatea at the Teatro La Fenice in Venice; Handel’sMessiah for her debut with the Kansas City Symphony, and in a return to the San Francisco Symphony; Michal in a performance of Handel’s Saul at London’s Barbican with Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, which she also recorded with the company; and a return to New York City Operafor the role of Eurydice in Telemann’s Orpheus. She concluded the season in a debut withGlyndebourne Festival Opera in a revival of Jonathan Kent’s acclaimed production of The Fairy Queen. She also performed Bach’s B Minor Mass with The English Concert at the BBC Promsand in Leipzig.
The soprano’s 2010-2011 season included a return engagement with the San Francisco Symphony as the soprano soloist in Carmina Burana, performances of Handel’s Messiah in Spain with Harry Bicket and The English Concert, Belinda in Dido and Aeneas at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Sophie in Werther with Washington Concert Opera under the baton of Antony Walker, and creating the role of Miranda in the world premiere of Death and the Powers at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
The soprano performed the role of Miranda in a workshop of Tod Machover’s new opera Death and the Powers in September 2009, and subsequently made her debut at New York City Opera as Zerlina in Christopher Alden’s new production of Don Giovanni. She appeared as Flora in The Turn of the Screw for her debut with Houston Grand Opera, and returned to Eugene Opera to sing the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. The spring of 2010 found Ms. Harvey at Atlanta Opera, where she covered Pamina in Die Zauberflöte and sang matinee performances of the role. She also performed the Pergolesi Stabat Mater with theOrchestra of St. Luke’s at the Baryshnikov Arts Center. Ms. Harvey bowed at Glimmerglass Opera in the summer of 2010 as Seleuce in the U.S. professional stage premiere of Händel’s Tolomeo, where critic David Shengold declared she “dazzled physically and vocally”.
During the 2008-2009 season, Ms. Harvey made company debuts with Dallas Opera as Barbarina in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro, Portland Opera as Flora in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw, and Eugene Opera as Eurydice in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld. On the concert and recital platforms, Ms. Harvey made debuts with the San Francisco Symphony as Leila in performances of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Iolanthe conducted by George Manahan, and with Steven Blier and the New York Festival of Song at Merkin Concert Hall and the Caramoor Festival. In the summer of 2009, Ms. Harvey returned to Glimmerglass Opera to sing the role of Belinda in Jonathan Miller’s new production of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas.
In the summer of 2008, Ms. Harvey performed the role of Zerlina in Catherine Malfitano’s critically acclaimed production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni with San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program. As a member of Glimmerglass Opera’s 2007 Young American Artists Program, Ms.Harvey performed the role of Cupid in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld to great critical acclaim and covered soprano Lisa Saffer in the role of La Princesse in Philip Glass’ Orphée.
Ms. Harvey received Second Prize in Houston Grand Opera’s 2008 Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers. She is a recipient of the Shoshana Foundation’s 2007 Richard F. Gold Career Grant, and was also presented with the John Alexander Memorial Award and the coveted Sam Adams Award for Achievement in Acting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).
Ms. Harvey received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in vocal performance from CCM, where she performed the roles of Amor in Cavalli’s L’Egisto, Emmie and Flora in, respectively, Britten’s Albert Herring and The Turn of the Screw, Poppea in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Sophie in Massenet’s Werther, and Nannetta in Falstaff.
Headshot by Arielle Doneson.