Acclaimed for having “summoned up sonorities that were rich, warm, dark, and comforting” (San Francisco Examiner) and for her “elegance of technique” and “vivid vocalism” (Baltimore Sun), mezzo-soprano Janna Elesia Critz is a rising solo performing artist, early music, and chamber musician.
She appears regularly with groups like The Thirteen, Mountainside Baroque, New Consort, and The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Recent performances include Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, Beggar’s Opera, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Dido and Aeneas, and Johann Sebastian Bach’s Jesu, der du meine Seele. In 2015 Critz was awarded The Virginia Best Adams Fellowship by The Carmel Bach Festival, and was a joint recipient of the 2015 American Prize in Chamber Music with vocal ensemble, New Consort. Janna was also the first-place recipient of The 8th Biennial Bach Vocal Competition sponsored by The American Bach Society and The Bach Choir of Bethlehem.
Other solo debuts include Handel’s Messiah with Tempesta di Mare, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott with The Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Requiem with The Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and Richard Einhorn’s Voices of Light, a modern oratorio, with The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Some of her opera roles have included Ottavia from Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, Cornelia from Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Zerlina from Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and Mallika from Delibes’s Lakmé.
Future performances include Madrigals by Michael East with Les Canards Chantants, Handel’s Serse with The In Series in Washington D.C., and solo performances of sacred cantatas with Bach Festival Leipzig. Janna holds degrees in voice and early music from Furman University and The Peabody Conservatory of Music, and currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.