Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Jennifer Aylmer

Jennifer Aylmer

Associate Professor of Voice, soprano

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


American soprano Jennifer Aylmer has developed a sterling reputation for her beautiful voice, compelling stage portrayals and impeccable musicianship. The New York Times has hailed her for her, “awesome accuracy,” while The Chicago Sun-Times has recommended that listeners, “bask in the aural delight of Aylmer’s dazzling shifts from regal command to cool insouciance and fatally attractive seduction” Recent performance highlights include Ms. Aylmer’s 2019 return to Opera Theater of St. Louis as Virtù in Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea and performing with Lyric Fest! on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Series at the Kimmel Center, in their Tribute to Leonard Bernstein, featuring his daughter, Jaime Bernstein. She also appeared on Carnegie Mellon’s Chamber Music Series in “A Viennese Soirée” featuring guest pianist John O’Conor. With CMU’s Contemporary Ensemble, Ms. Aylmer performed Reza Vali’s Folk Songs No. 8, under the direction of Daniel Curtis. Future performances include Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy with Lubbock Symphony, and recital and cabaret performances with Stonington Opera House (Stonington, Maine), and with Lyric Fest!

Equally accomplished in oratorio, concert, and an especially sought-after recitalist, Ms. Aylmer has been featured with many distinguished orchestras and organizations, including the Utah Symphony Orchestra, with the Mark Morris Dance Group with the White Light Festival, Haydn Orchestra in Bolzano, Italy, Cincinnati Symphony, Orchestra, the Alabama Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, Oklahoma Symphony Orchestra, Phoenix Symphony, San Diego Symphony, the Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and at the Beijing Music Festival. She sang Eurydice in Gluck’s Orphée et Eurydice with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall opposite Ewa Podles and made her San Francisco Symphony debut singing Bernstein’s Arias and Barcarolles with Michael Tilson Thomas. Ms. Aylmer has also been a frequent guest artist with the New York Festival of Song, and at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum with baritone Randall Scarlata and pianist Laura Ward in their “The Music of Tin Pan Alley” programs, and has also been presented across the country as a solo recitalist by the Marilyn Horne Foundation.

Ms. Aylmer is particularly noted for her work in newly composed American music, including her 2005 Metropolitan Opera debut as Bella in the world premiere of Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy, and appearances with Kyo-Shin-Arts in NYC, and the newly formed contemporary ensemble, NAT 28, in Pittsburgh, PA. Other premieres in the operatic arena include Martha in Kirke Meachem’s John Brown with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Rowena in Augusta Read Thomas’ Ligeia and as Cynthia Reid in Bernard Rands’ Belladonna both with the Aspen Music Festival, and at Houston Grand Opera, and she created the role of Amy in Mark Adamo’s Little Women. She may also be heard on the 2012 release “The Opera America Songbook” on Kevin Puts’ new composition: “You need song.”

Other notable roles of Aylmer’s career at the Metropolitan Opera include Papagena in the first world-wide HD broadcast of The Magic Flute, Bertha in Il barbiere di Siviglia and covering roles in Hansel and Gretel, Cenerentola, and in Shostakovich’s The Nose. Some additional highlights of her career include leading roles in Handel’s Orlando, Flavio, Semele, and Acis and Galathea, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Pasquale, Die Zauberflöte, Le nozze di Figaro, The Grapes of Wrath, Der Rosenkavalier, The Medium, The Merry Widow, Filthy Habit, The Bartered Bride, Street Scene, Falstaff, The Turn of the Screw, Il matriomonio segreto, L’occasione fa il ladro, Rigoletto and A Streetcar Named Desire with such companies as Dallas Opera, New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera, Florentine Opera, Opera Boston, Atlanta Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Orlando Opera, Utah Opera, the Aspen Festival, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Kentucky Opera, Berkshire Opera. Austin Lyric Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera.

A native of Long Island, Ms. Aylmer holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Westminster Choir College and was a member of both the Juilliard Opera Center and the Houston Grand Opera Studio Programs. Her many honors and awards include the Alice Tully Hall Vocal Arts Debut Recital (from the Juilliard School), a Career Grant from the Sullivan Foundation, the Richard F. Gold Career Grant, an award from the National Society of Arts and Letters, and the Catherine Filene Shouse Career Grant from the Wolf Trap Opera Company.