Janinah Burnett’s artistry is profoundly carving her place as one of the most notable sopranos of our time, serving dramatic intent while producing exquisite sound. Currently making appearances as “Carlotta Giudicelli” in the iconic musical theater masterpiece Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, Ms. Burnett is no stranger to any performance venue. Beginning her professional performance career as Mimì in Baz Luhrmann’s presentation of Puccini’s La Bohème on Broadway, Ms. Burnett received tremendous acclaim winning the Los Angeles Stage Alliance’s “Ovation Award” with a record 82 consecutive sold-out shows.
Shortly thereafter, Ms. Burnett joined the Metropolitan Opera roster in 2008 for their productions of Carmen and La Bohème, and has since returned for Parsifal, Le Nozze di Figaro, La Rondine,The Enchanted Island, Iphigénie en Tauride, Elektra and Manon. Ms. Burnett made her MET debut as Bianca in La Rondine.
Recently, Ms. Burnett had the opportunity to sing a revival presentation of the opera VooDoo by Harry Lawrence Freeman, a prolific Harlem Renaissance composer. As the VooDoo queen “Lolo”, The New York Times says that “Ms. Burnett relishing Lolo’s cries of power and pain are the opera’s highlight”. Ms. Burnett also sang in Victory Hall Opera’s inaugural presentation of Der Rosenkavalier as Sophie for which she was featured on the cover of the Arts and Style section of the Washington post.
Ms. Burnett has made a great many performances on operatic stages internationally and domestically. Some of which include singing Lucy in Treemonisha in her debut at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris which led to her return to The Châtelet to sing Leila in John Adams’ I was looking at the ceiling and suddenly I saw the sky; Margru in Amistad at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A.; Micaëla in Carmen with the Michigan Opera Theatre and Arizona Opera; Mimì in La Bohème with Arizona Opera, Baltimore Opera, Manitoba Opera, and Nashville Opera; Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro with Lyric Opera Baltimore; Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Cleveland; Violetta in La Traviata with Opera Columbus; Claire in William Grant Still’s Troubled Island with New York City Opera; and Bess in Porgy and Bess at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, as well as with Cape Town Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Grand Rapids, The Princeton Festival, and in concert with The Israel Symphony Orchestra in Tel Aviv and Rishon LeZion with Mo. Asher Fisch; Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Norina in Don Pasquale with Connecticut Opera; and Pamina in Die Zauberflöte.
Other noted performances include reprising the role of Leila in John Adams’ I was looking at the ceiling and suddenly I saw the sky in her Teatro dell’Opera di Roma debut. Solo musical performances with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in their opening Gala; Leonard Bernstein’s Mass with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra; debuting the role of Harriet Tubman in the World Premier presentation of Harriet Tubman: When I Crossed that Road to Freedom with American Opera Projects and singing Marguerite in Faust with Opera Toledo. Ms. Burnett was named Artist of the Year at Syracuse Opera for her revered role debut as Leïla in Les Pêcheurs de Perles which she later reprised at Opera Carolina.
A former member of the sister group to Three Mo’ Tenors entitled Three Mo’ Divas, Ms. Burnett gave two performances of her own jazz arrangements with her band entitled The Janinah Burnet Quartet at the Cell Theater in NYC and gave a self titled, sold out solo jazz show at the Metropolitan Room. Ms. Burnett is a featured singer in the Spike Lee film Red Hook Summer, has performed on the Tony Awards, and is featured on the La Bohéme on Broadway cast recording.
In addition, Ms. Burnett is currently producing performances of her own writings juxtaposed with art songs, freedom songs, and spirituals entitled I, Too Sing America: A Lament for the Fallen which seeks to provide quality performances rooted in education, activism, committed artistic expression, and healing as well as producing an Album entitled “Love the Color of your Butterfly” produced by Grammy winning drummer Terreon Gully to be released late 2019.