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LA Ladies Who Soar - May's Inspirational Woman Spotlight on Jill Grove

Jill Grove is an American mezzo soprano who has garnered international acclaim for her passionate mastery of German and Italian opera heroines. Her Metropolitan Opera house roles include er Levine, Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Madelon in Andrea Chenier, opposite Plácido Domingo.

She has starred on stages including Paris’ Theatre du Chatelet, the Netherlands Opera, Genoa’s Teatro Carlo Felice, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera, bringing her powerful artistry to the major opera houses throughout the U.S. and Europe.

She regularly collaborates with the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, has recorded Ulrica on a Chandos recroding of Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera and Auntie in Peter Grimes on the LSO Live label under Sir Colin Davis, among others. She received the 2003 ARIA award and the 2001 Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant.

“I have never heard the Nurse's music [Die Frau ohne Schatten], which requires the near impossible, a contralto-cum-dramatic soprano, better sung than by Jill Grove.”

Is the sterling review from The Sunday Times’ Hugh Canning in 2007.

This season Jill returned to the Los Angeles Opera, starring as the First Norn in Götterdämmerung and as Erda in Achim Freyer’s monumental Ring cycle, with James Conlon conducting. On the concert stage, Jill will perform the role of Erda in Siegfried with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia and will also sing in Mahler’s Symphony no. 3 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, conducted by Mariss Jansons.

Jill currently lives in Studio City but was born and raised in Galveston, TX. She is happily married with a 2-year old son and wife who travels with her often and two dogs.

JILL: I come from a small town in Texas, pretty much as far away from opera as you can get. Through a very curious and fortunate series of events, I found myself in Boston at the New England Conservatory studying for my Masters in Voice. I never finished, I left to join the Houston Opera Studio a semester before I would have graduated and never looked back.


CINDY: What does success mean to you?


JILL: My ideas of success and happiness are pretty simple. I try to stay focused on the bigger picture and not get too caught up in the details of life. I try to be grateful for everything I have. If I can go to sleep at night and know I did the best I could, even if I failed, I'm successful. Now, of course I don't always achieve this zen state, but I do know that is where my happiness is and if I am far away from those thoughts, I know how to get back there.


CINDY: What has contributed to your success?


JILL: I think my down to earth attitude has helped me stand out. It’s becoming much more prevalent in the opera world to find artists that are in touch with the reality of how fortunate we are to not only have a the talent, but have the fortune to make our career doing what we love.


CINDY: What about you is distinctly Jill?


JILL: Vocally I have a pretty distinctive sound and I think I bring a very tangible emotional expression to my work. I try to find the human character in the midst of the grandeur of opera.


CINDY: What makes L.A. a great place for women?


JILL: There are so many opportunities here for women. Anything you could possibly be interested in is right here and there is a place and community for all different types of women. We all don't fit one mold and as long as you don't allow yourself to be defined by someone else's ideas you are good to go!


CINDY: What do you see as roadblocks to L.A. women?


JILL: For the most part, themselves. But I do recognize that a lot of women are in impossibly complicated situations. We are meant to be so many things to so many people and I feel that we are still meant to do it all with a great deal of grace and our bodies and makeup perfect. The more we continue to take that pressure off ourselves and start to demand that others accept and respect us for exactly who we are, the sooner we can knock down all the stereotypes that have kept women so contained for so long.


CINDY: Words of wisdom you’d like to share with L.A. women?


JILL: Words of wisdom implies that I am wise and I would not dare say that. I would only offer that women are amazing, they have a source of strength and energy that many do not believe they have. I would love to see every woman living the life she wanted and not the life she thinks she is supposed to live.

Fun Fact About Jill:

If she could morph into a fashion piece, she would become a pair of sunglasses, "I would love to see the world through someone else's eyes every once in a while."

You can still purchase tickets to see Jill live on stage at the LA opera house in the much talked about Los Angeles performances of Richard Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen

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