A native of Bolivar, New York, soprano Joélle Harvey has established herself as a noted interpreter of a broad range of repertoire, anchored by Handel, Mozart, and new music.
Ms. Harvey’s engagements during the 2021-2022 season include debuts at Opernhaus Zürich (Aristea in Pergolesi’s L’Olimpiade), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, conducted by Jakub Hrůša), and The University Musical Society at University of Michigan (Handel’s Messiah). She joins Les Violons du Roy for further Messiah performances, returns to the North Carolina Symphony (Mahler’s Symphony No. 4), the Indianapolis Symphony (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9), and continues her close collaboration with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society, returning for Haydn’s The Creation, led by Harry Christophers in his final performances as H&H Artistic Director.
During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Harvey filmed a performance of Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 with The Cleveland Orchestra as part of their re-configured season, made her Cincinnati Symphony May Festival debut, performing Britten’s Les Illuminations and joined the Handel & Haydn Society for a filmed production of their annual Messiah concert. Additionally, she collaborated with Los Angeles Opera on Anna Clyne’s The Gorgeous Nothings, a setting of Emily Dickinson texts for their On Now initiative, and later in the summer joined the Elgin Symphony for Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915, and Bard Summerscape for performances of songs by Nadia Boulanger as well as excerpts of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes.
Other originally scheduled events included her company debut with the Opernhaus Zürich as Aristea in Pergolesi’s L’Olimpiade (postponed), Pat Nixon in Nixon in China with Washington National Opera (cancelled) and Los Angeles Philharmonic (cancelled), Kansas City Symphony for their Messiah (cancelled), L’oca del cairo with Mozartwoche Salzburg(postponed), a Schubert concert with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (postponed), the Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with San Diego Symphony and Edo de Waart (cancelled), and Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Marin Alsop (cancelled).
Original engagements for Ms. Harvey’s COVID-19 shortened 2019-2020 season featured important debuts, as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with both the Metropolitan Opera (performed) and Santa Fe Opera (cancelled). She returned to the Cleveland Orchestra for Mahler’s 4th Symphony as well as Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, which she was also slated to perform with the Handel & Haydn Society (cancelled). Mahler’s 2nd Symphony featured prominently this season, for which she was scheduled to return to both the St. Louis Symphony (performed) and the New York Philharmonic (cancelled), the latter with performances in New York and on tour conducted by Jaap van Zweden. She was scheduled to return to the San Francisco Symphony for Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem led by Michael Tilson Thomas (cancelled), and was to appear with the Santa Barbara Symphony for Beethoven’s Mass in C (cancelled). Her season also included appearances with the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society for their Emerging Voices series, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for a concert in Alice Tully Hall featuring songs of Schubert, Chausson, and Harbison.
The works of Gustav Mahler figured substantially in Ms. Harvey’s 2018-2019 season engagements. She returned to the Cleveland Orchestra as the soprano soloist in his 2nd Symphony, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst and performed in Cleveland and on tour to several venues. She also performed the work for her debut with the Toronto Symphony, in performances led by Matthew Halls. With the San Diego Symphony, she was reunited with conductor Edo de Waart for Mahler’s 4th Symphony, on a program also featuring Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915. She was also presented by Carnegie Hall in recital with pianist Allen Perriello, as part of the Great Singers: Evenings of Song series. With the British ensemble Arcangelo, Ms. Harvey toured several U.S. cities, in performances with Artistic Director Jonathan Cohen. In June, she made her mainstage debut with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. The season also included appearances with the New York Philharmonic (Mozart’s Requiem), Utah Symphony (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony), Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (Bach St. John Passion), North Carolina Symphony (Mozart arias and Mass in C Minor), Music of the Baroque (Bach Coffee Cantata), and Handel & Hadyn Society (Mozart’s Requiem).
Ms. Harvey began the 2017-2018 season in concert with the Knoxville Symphony, performing Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915. She subsequently made her Pittsburgh Opera debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, and joined The English Concert as Almirena in Rinaldo. Further concert appearances included 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 returned to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera for her role debut as Cleopatra in Sir David McVicar’s iconic production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare, conducted by William Christie. She also appeared at the BBC Proms as the Mater Gloriosa in Mahler’s 8th Symphony.
In the previous season, Ms. Harvey joined the Milwaukee Symphony as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Pat Nixon in Nixon in China, and returned to the Glyndebourne Festival Opera as Servilia in La clemenza di Tito, a role which she also performed at the BBC Proms. In concert, she appeared with the Mostly Mozart Festival for Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and his Requiem, which she also sang for the Kansas City Symphony and the Utah Symphony. Additionally, she joined the Cincinnati Symphony for Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, sang Handel’s Messiah with the Handel & Haydn Society and the National Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony for Mahler’s Das klagende Lied, and 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.
Ms. Harvey’s varied appearances during the 2015-2016 season included Michal in Saul with the Handel & Haydn Societyand 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’s Messiah 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 Opera for the role of Eurydice in Telemann’s Orpheus. She concluded the season in a debut with Glyndebourne 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 Proms and 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.
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”. 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 the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
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. 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 the Orchestra of St. Luke’s at the Baryshnikov Arts Center.
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 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 was 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. 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.