Isola Jones, Mezzo Soprano
Isola Jones is internationally recognized as an extraordinary singing artist. Making her professional
debut in the Verdi Requiem with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, within two years she made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the role of Olga in Eugene Onegin. As a leading artist at “The Met,”
Ms. Jones was paired with operatic legends, Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Leontyne Price,
Joan Sutherland, and performed under the baton of Richard Bonynge and James Levine. Ms. Jones
has the honor and distinction of being the only African-American artist to have sung over 500
performances at the Metropolitan Opera.
Among the many leading roles she has performed in her distinguished career are Giulietta in Les Contes D’Hoffmann, Ulric in Ballo in Maschera, Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino, Amneris in Aida, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly, Maddalena in Rigoletto, and Dalila in Samson and Dalila. But it is her portrayal of Carmen, her signature role, for which she is best known.
This acclaimed artist can be heard on a number of opera and concert recordings such as Die Fliegender Holländer, Decca London label, Cavalleria Rusticana, RCA records, Mahler’s Symphony # 8 and
Les Noces both on Decca London label with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Georg Solti and James Levine, respectively. Ms. Jones first recording was Porgy and Bess with Lorin Maazel conducting the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra, which won the Grammy Award for the Best Opera Recording of 1976.
Ms. Jones has also appeared in 10 “Live from the Met” telecast productions including: Rigoletto, La Forza del Destino; Manon Lescaut; Francesca Da Rimini; The 100th Anniversary Gala of the Metropolitan Opera all of which are available on DVD through the Met Opera Shop on line. Ms. Jones again, has the honor and distinction of being the first featured African-American artist to
appear in a “Live from the Met” telecast.
The Metropolitan Opera released a new DVD (unavailable on any other format) of the original telecast of Rigoletto featuring Isola Jones, Cornell MacNeil, Ileana
Cortrubas, Justino Diaz, and Placido Domingo. In August, 2009 the Metropolitan Opera released another DVD of the original telecast of Cavalleria Rusticana featuring Isola Jones, Tatiana Troyanos and Placido Domingo. The Metropolitan Opera released another DVD of Rigoletto in January 2015 featuring Isola Jones, Louis Quilico, Ara Berbarian and Luciano Pavarotti.
Ms. Jones has sung with the following opera companies: Arizona Opera, Baltimore Opera, Calgary Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Dallas Opera, Denver Opera, Greensboro Opera, Hong Kong Opera, Hungarian Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Seattle Opera,
Spoletto Festival, and at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Opera.
Ms. Jones was presented with the prestigious Merit Award from her Alma Mater, Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. She earned a Master’s Degree of Science in Education from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesotta and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Providence College in Rhode Island.
You may also find Ms. Jones listed in Faces of Arizona and Pathways to the Arts, which are collectable art books of Arizona’s famous artists and patrons created by Michel Sarda.
She was honored to participate in the world premier of James DeMars’ The Blessingway Songs along with iconic Native American flutist, R. Carlos Nakai. Ms. Jones can be heard singing the title role of Guadalupe, Our Lady of the Roses, which is available on Canyon Records.
In 2009 was honored with the Living History Award for Excellence and Extraordinary Service in the Performing Arts by the Phoenix Chapter of the Links Inc., Jack and Jill of America Inc., and Gamma Mu Boulé Fraternity.
On March 25, 2012 Ms. Jones was honored as one Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women which is now a permanent part of the Arizona Centennial Celebration under the auspices of the Arizona Historical Society.
Ms. Jones was the recipient of the 2015 Positively Powerful Woman Award for Arts and Cultural Leadership sponsored by Triad West Inc. which specializes in leadership, alignment and breakthrough performance through diversity and inclusion.
Ms. Jones will sing in the world premiere of Kokopelli, the Opera on June 3, 2016 at the Tempe Center for the Arts.
The crowning achievement of her academic career is an earned doctorate from Arizona State University on May 9, 2016: Dr. Isola Jones.