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Renowned for her distinctive dramatic voice and passionate artistry, American mezzo soprano Jill Grove has garnered critical acclaim throughout America and Europe for her distinguished portrayals of the heroines of German and Italian opera. She is equally at home with the world's leading orchestras. Highlights of Ms. Grove’s 2014-2015 season include her company debut with Michigan Opera Theatre as Klytemnestra in Elektra, followed by her reprise of Jezibaba in Rusalka with New Orleans Opera, a role that garnered her critical acclaim this past season at Lyric Opera of Chicago in a new production directed by Sir David McVicar and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Ms. Grove returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago as part of Lyric Unlimited, a new educational initiative that expands community engagement through artistic innovation, performing in the world premiere production of The Property at several venues in the Chicagoland area. Ms. Grove also makes her company and role debut with Utah Opera as Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress under the baton of Thierry Fischer. Ms. Grove’s previous season featured her return to Canadian Opera Company as Auntie in Peter Grimes, as well as appearances with the Phoenix

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Renowned for her distinctive dramatic voice and passionate artistry, American mezzo soprano Jill Grove has garnered critical acclaim throughout America and Europe for her distinguished portrayals of the heroines of German and Italian opera. She is equally at home with the world's leading orchestras.

Highlights of Ms. Grove’s 2014-2015 season include her company debut with Michigan Opera Theatre as Klytemnestra in Elektra, followed by her reprise of Jezibaba in Rusalka with New Orleans Opera, a role that garnered her critical acclaim this past season at Lyric Opera of Chicago in a new production directed by Sir David McVicar and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Ms. Grove returns to Lyric Opera of Chicago as part of Lyric Unlimited, a new educational initiative that expands community engagement through artistic innovation, performing in the world premiere production of The Property at several venues in the Chicagoland area. Ms. Grove also makes her company and role debut with Utah Opera as Baba the Turk in The Rake’s Progress under the baton of Thierry Fischer.

Ms. Grove’s previous season featured her return to Canadian Opera Company as Auntie in Peter Grimes, as well as appearances with the Phoenix Symphony in Verdi’s Requiem conducted by Michael Christie, the Houston Symphony in Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, the Santa Fe Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, and performances of Handel’s Messiah with the International Music Foundation and Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass with the Grant Park Music Festival, both in Chicago.

Operatic highlights of past seasons include performances at the Metropolitan Opera as Erda in Götterdämmerung and Das Rheingold, Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Madelon in Andrea Chénier, Pantalis in Mefistofele, Emila in Otello, Mary in Die Fliegende Holländer, Auntie in Peter Grimes, the Muschel in Die Ägyptische Helena, and Cornelia in Giulio Cesare.  Additional highlights include performances with Lyric Opera of Chicago as Klytemnestra in Elektra, the Witch in Hansel und Gretel, Amneris in Aida, Erda in Götterdämmerung, Countess Geschwitz in Lulu, and the Nurse in Die Frau ohne Schatten; with San Francisco Opera as Jenny Reefer in Virgil Thompson’s The Mother of Us All conducted by Donald Runnicles; with Santa Fe Opera as Dame Quickly in Falstaff, Muschel in Die Ägyptische Helena, and Ursule in Béatrice et Bénédict; with Dallas Opera as the First Norn in Götterdämmerung; with Los Angeles Opera as Erda in Siegfried, Ottavia’s nurse in L'Incoronazione di Poppea, and Zita in Gianni Schicchi with Woody Allen directing; with San Diego Opera as Amneris in Aida; with New Orleans Opera as Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera; and Amneris in Aida with Canadian Opera Company in a new production directed by Tim Alberry.  In Europe, Ms. Grove has performed the role of Haushälterin in Die Schweigsame Frau with Théâtre du Châtelet; the Deaconess in Szymanowski’s Krol Roger; Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera with Welsh National Opera; the Sorceress in Dido and Aeneas with Philharmonia Baroque; Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera with Teatro Carlo Felice; and Erda in Siegfried and the First Norn in Götterdämmerung with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich under the baton of Kent Nagano.

Highlights on the concert stage include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, National Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Utah Symphony, and Houston Symphony in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9; Verdi’s Requiem with the Toronto Symphony under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, Tucson Symphony, and Calgary Philharmonic; Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with the Houston Symphony under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach and with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Mariss Jansons conducting; Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky with the National Symphony under the baton of Hans Graf; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, the Bergen Philharmonic, and the Norddeutsche Rundfunk under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach; performances of Handel’s Messiah with the Toronto Symphony under the batons of Nicolas McGegan and Sir Andrew Davis, and with the National Arts Centre Orchestra under the baton of Trevor Pinnock; Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 with the San Francisco Symphony conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas; Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Minnesota Orchestra; Brahms’ Alto Rhapsody with the American Classical Orchestra; and Verdi’s Requiem with the Dallas Symphony conducted by Jaap van Zweden. 

Ms. Grove's recordings include Ulrica on a Chandos recording of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera, Auntie in Peter Grimes on the London Symphony Orchestra Live label with Sir Colin Davis and in a new production by John Doyle at the Metropolitan Opera (available on EMI DVD), Magdalene in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg under the baton of James Levine and issued on DVD by Deutsche Grammophon, as well as the Muschel in Strauss's Die Ägyptische Helena with the American Symphony Orchestra opposite Deborah Voigt on Teldec. As a member of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, she sang Tisbe in La Cenerentola opposite Cecilia Bartoli which was released by Decca/London.

Ms. Grove is the winner of the 2003 ARIA award, a 2001 Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant, a 1999 George London Foundation Career Grant, a 1997 Sullivan Foundation Career Grant, a 1996 winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a 1996 recipient of a Richard Tucker Foundation Study Grant, and a 1995 recipient of a Richard F. Gold Career Grant.

Ms. Grove was a member of the Merola Program at San Francisco Opera and the Houston Grand Opera Studio. She attended the Music Academy of the West, the New England Conservatory, and Stephen F. Austin State University. She received a Distinguished Alumna Award from the latter university in 2006.

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Reviews

"Lyric has assembled a fine supporting cast, led by the chilling Klytaemnestra of mezzo-soprano Jill Grove. Bald-headed and costumed grotesquely with heavily bejeweled bosom and pleated gold skirt, Grove makes her character seem to reek of moral decay as she recounts her unrelenting nightmares. She brings prodigious power to her disconnected utterances - set to some of Strauss' most daringly dissonant music - and her very lowest notes in particular are crushing in their brutal force"

Mike Silverman, The Associated Press

"Taking on the role of the mother from hell is American mezzo-soprano Jill Grove, doing splendidly by music she actually sings rather than screams in the time-dishonored Klytemnestra tradition. Macfarlane has made her up as a bald-pated battle ax in a ludicrously oversized bustle who must support her bloated frame on a staff. Grove attacks her music and stage business with cackling gusto"

John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune

"Grove’s Klytämnestra, a sci-fi-looking creature with bald head and impossibly buxom torso, was equally vivid. Tormented by wild dreams, turning to Elektra for magic rituals to soothe her fears, her Klytämnestra revealed a convincing vulnerability beneath her harsh surface"

Wynne Delacoma, MusicalAmerica.com

"I have never heard the Nurse's music [Die Frau ohne Schatten], which requires the near impossible, a contralto-cum-dramatic soprano, better sung than by Jill Grove"

Hugh Canning, The Sunday Times