Founder, teacher, and Winnipeg born soprano, Jessica Kos-Whicher graduated with a Bachelor of Music and Post-Baccalaureate diploma in vocal performance under the guidance of Tracy Dahl and Monica Huisman at the University of Manitoba. Her dedication to nurturing her own voice through performance and the importance she has placed on music education, has naturally led her down the path of teaching. Her ability to connect, engage, and inspire confidence in students at every stage of their development has brought her recognition within the music community and beyond.
Trained in both Opera and Musical Theatre, some of Jessica's favourite roles include: Micäela in Carmen (Opera NUOVA), Gretel in Hansel and Gretel (University of Manitoba School Tour), Scene study of Blanche in scenes from Dialogue des Carmélites, Papagena in Die Zauberflöte and Frasquita in Carmen (University of Manitoba Opera Theatre), and Tzeitel in Fiddler on the Roof (Collège Sturgeon Heights Collegiate). In her debut with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Jessica was a soloist for the Adventures in Music concert series, conducted by Richard Lee.
Some of Jessica’s choral highlights include: Handel’s Messiah and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the University of Manitoba Singers. Most recently, she appeared as Tatiana in Opera NUOVA's production of Eugene Onegin conducted by Gordon Gerrard. Other recent highlights include Pamina in The Magic Flute...Retold with Manitoba Underground Opera, Elle in Poulenc's La Voix Humaine with Opera NUOVA and L'UniThéatre in Edmonton, AB, and Sister Rose in Opera NUOVA’s production of Dead Man Walking under the baton of Rosemary Thomson, Susannah in Susannah (Opera NUOVA Scenes), and Almirena in Rinaldo with the University of Manitoba Opera theatre conducted by Julian Pelicano. Jessica also made an appearance at the 2015 Winnipeg New Music Festival in Waiting for May ’68.
Awards + Recognition
An avid competitor in the Winnipeg Music Festival, Jessica was runner-up for the Rose Bowl in 2015, 2013 and 2012, and recipient of the Reg Hugo memorial trophy in 2014 and 2016 for best performance of an opera aria. Past achievements within this competition include the Tudor Bowl and the Richard W. Cooke Trophy (2011), the Alma Wynn Trophy (2009), the W.H. Anderson Memorial Trophy (2007) and the Ladies Orange Benevolent Association Trophy (2006). Jessica was also the recipient of Manitoba Registered Music Teacher’s Association Scholarship (2013), Shirley Penner Scholarship (2011) and Susan Drayson Memorial Scholarship (2007) for performances through the Associated Manitoba Arts Festival. In 2011, Jessica was a finalist in the Zita Bernstein Competition for German Lieder and was the recipient of that award. In 2014 Jessica was the recipient of the Manitoba Registered Music Teachers Association award for best performance at a senior level. In November 2014, Jessica competed in the MET National Council Auditions and was one of the encouragement award recipients. In May 2017, Jessica was awarded the Manitoba Arts Council Travel/Professional Grant for the second time. Jessica is the recent North Dakota-Manitoba Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions district winner and will advance to the Upper Midwest Regional Finals in St. Paul, MN for the second year in a row (February 2017).