After having worked as a microbiology analyst for several years, the Dutch soprano Johannette Zomer studied at the Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam with bass Charles van Tassel, where she was awarded her Performance Diploma. She later received coaching from Diane Forlano (London), Claudia Visca (Wuppertal) and Marlena Malas (New York). Her repertoire ranges from medieval music through all music of the baroque and classical eras, including opera, but also Lieder, French Romanticism and Contemporary music.
Johannette’s concert appearances are also many and various. She has worked with Baroque specialists such as Philippe Herreweghe, Ton Koopman, Frans Brüggen, Gustav Leonhardt, René Jacobs, Reinard Goebel, Ivor Bolton, Thomas Hengelbrock and Paul McCreesh, but has also worked with conductors including Kent Nagano, Daniel Harding, Ivan Fischer, Marcus Creed and Valery Gergiev. She regularly gives recitals accompanied by theorbo player Fred Jacobs and fortepiano specialist Arthur Schoonderwoerd.
Johannette made her opera debut as Tebaldo in Verdi’s Don Carlo with the Nationale Reisopera in October 1996. Since then she has made regular appearances in roles including Belinda, Pamina, La Musica, Euridice, Dalinda and Ilia, and also as Amanda in Ligeti’s Le Grand Macabre and Mélisande in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande.
She contributes regularly to CD-recording projects. A few of her most recent releases are the Bach Cantatas disc with the English ensemble Florilegium, for which she won an Edison Award, the cd With Endless Teares with theorbist Fred Jacobs, showing the development of English 17th Century Song and the cd Love & Madness, a disc with Händel aria’s together with Bart Schneemann, oboe (all on Channel Classics).
This season she will perform in solo Bach cantatas with the Helsinki Baroque Orchestra led by Skip Sempé, also a B minor Mass at the Gulbenkian in Lisbon, and she will travel to Tokyo to perform in several Messiah performances under Masaaki Susuki. Later this season she will perform Boccherini’s Stabat Mater in Montreal with the Arion Orchestre Baroque and in Bergen, Norway she will participate in Haydn’s Seven Last Words under Juanjo Mena.
“a born Pamina; a shining, moving Pamina” (Volkskrant)
Pelléas et Mélisande
‘’Johannette fits in with her honest and almost declamatory style perfectly in this production; She demonstrates her continuous development in the ‘Sopranfach’ with a firm and radiating performance of the female lead” (Trouw)
“Auch sängerisch steht an diesem Abend vieles zum Besten…die brillante Johannette Zomer in wechselnden Rollen” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeiting)
Bach Cantates/Edison award
“The star of this recording is indisputably Johannette Zomer, she sings the solo cantata “Mein Herze schwimmt in Blut’ with staggering ease and sparkling sound. She has left behind the predicate ‘promising singer’ a long time ago…” (Jury-statement Edison Award)
With Endless Teares
“The ancient Greeks created in their Myths the Sirens, alluring female voices whom one could not resist, addicted to the beauty of the voice. When one hears Johannette Zomer, one begins to understand how such Myths could develop”.
“….Sublime: quite simple the finest celebration of seventeenth-century English song on the market…” (International Record Review)
Love and Madness
“a flawless, faultless and emotional moving recording….”
“the soprano voice and baroque oboe caress, play and tease each other: sometimes it is hard to make a distinction between the two, they complement and perfect each other…”