Jana Holesworth is a Canadian soprano born in Nova Scotia but raised in the Yukon – where her love for music was inspired from an early age. After numerous solo performances with the Borealis Children’s Choir, Jana began studying voice with Rachel Grantham and competing in local music festivals. In 2000, she performed as child soloist for the Whitehorse Arctic Winter Games theme song and in 2002, she represented the Yukon at the National Multicultural Honour Choir in Toronto (conducted by Dr. Doreen Rao).
In 2006, Jana moved to Lethbridge, Alberta, to attend the University of Lethbridge. In 2010, after initially completing a Bachelor of Arts degree (major in English, minor in French), Jana’s passion for performing motivated her to pursue vocal studies full-time. Jana enrolled in the U of L Bachelor of Music program, where she studied with Dr. Sandra Stringer Conlon until her graduation in 2013. Throughout her undergraduate degree Jana performed in several fully-staged operas produced in collaboration with the Lethbridge Symphony Orchestra. Her key roles include Sister Mathilde in Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites (2010), Laetitia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief (2011), Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute (2012) and Rosalinde in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus (2013). Additionally, Jana successfully competed in local competitions, including the Kiwanis Music Festival and N.A.T.S., and was the grateful recipient of several scholarships that helped fund her undergraduate degrees.
In order to further aid in her development, Jana has likewise participated in several summer programs. In 2012 she attended Opera Nuova’s One Week Intensive and in 2013 she performed Second Lady in Mozart’s The Magic Flute with Opera on the Avalon in St. John’s Newfoundland, as well as Oberto in Handel’s Alcina for Accademia Europea Dell’Opera in Lucca, Tuscany. Through these programs, she was privileged to receive expert instruction by renowned international vocal instructors and coaches including Theodore Baerg, Irena Welhasch Baerg, Jackalyn Short, Patricia Misslin, Steven Philcox, Vlad Iftinca, Michael McMahon, Kathryn LaBouff, Jenna Douglas, Paul Transue and Umberto Finazzi and participated in masterclasses with James Vaughn, Kathryn Harries and Leslie Dala.
In 2015, Jana completed her Masters of Music at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she studied Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Gail Pearson. Whilst completing her Masters, Jana benefited from exceptional opportunities for collaboration with other performance students and local opera companies, performing roles such as Micaëla (cover) in Bizet’s Carmen (Opera’r Ddraig, 2013), Gertrude in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (Opera’r Ddraig, 2014), The Fairy in Massenet’s Cinderella (Bute Park Opera, 2015), Pepik in Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, 2015), Queen Rhiannon in Hannah Noone’s The Magic Island (Island Opera, 2015) as well as premiering the roles of the Bakers Wife in Hannah Noone’s Spin it to Gold (Welsh Youth Performance Academy – Premier – 2016) and Cassie Robinson in Michael Lowe’s Columbine (REPCO – Premier – 2016).
In In addition to performing, Jana frequently works as a producer and director with local Cardiff companies Opera’r Ddraig, Opera in Situ and W.Y.P.A. In 2017, Jana will continue work with all three groups, bringing opera and musical theatre to people of all ages in the Cardiff community. Jana is also looking forward to working with London-based opera company Magnetic Opera on their upcoming performances of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Medium, in which she will perform the role of Mrs. Gobineau.