Described as “vocally resplendent,” “powerful,” and possessing “impeccable coloratura” (San Francisco Chronicle), soprano Alisa Jordheim is praised for her compelling and vocally assured performances in opera, concert, musical theatre, new music, early music, and recital. Jordheim’s recent portrayal of Soeur Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites at the Caramoor International Music Festival was met with great acclaim: Sister Constance was “beautifully taken here by the sweet-voiced, endearing soprano Alisa Jordheim” (The New York Times) and “winningly performed by Alisa Jordheim in a soprano of surprising depth and color” (Musical America). Of her recent triumph as Gilda in Rigoletto with San Diego Opera, the San Diego Union-Tribune writes: "Soprano Alisa Jordheim makes an astonishing role and company debut as Gilda. Despite her petite size, she has a huge crystalline voice that she effortlessly pirouettes through perfect coloratura acrobatic and piercing high notes." Jordheim was recently named an outstanding young singer to watch in "40 under 40: A New Generation of Superb Opera Singers," an article curated by Operavor and WQXR New York Public Radio.
This season, Jordheim returns to Pacific Symphony for her role debut as Musetta in La Bohème, returns to Florentine Opera for Berginella in Offenbach's Songbird, makes her London debut in concert with the Voces8 Foundation, returns to Amarillo Opera in recital, sings Ein deutsches Requiem with NEWVoices, and records vocal works by composer Rami Levin on the Acis label. Last season, the soprano returned to the role of Gilda in Rigoletto with both Pacific Symphony and Amarillo Opera, made her role debut as Adele in Die Fledermaus in a return to Central City Opera, premiered Lori Laitman's Wertheim Park with Music of Remembrance in Seattle, performed Carmina Burana with the Green Lake Festival of Music, and made her Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra debut singing Mahler's Symphony No. 4 and Prangcharoen's Endless Tears.
In the 2021-2022 season, Jordheim sang her first performances of Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera, joined the George Enescu Festival as Erste Zofe in Der Zwerg, returned to San Diego Opera as Despina in Così fan tutte, returned to the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra for Messiah, and returned to Central City Opera for Gilda in Rigoletto. She recently made her role and company debut as Clotilde in Pacini's Maria, regina d'Inghilterra with Odyssey Opera, debuted Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow with the New Philharmonic, and appeared in concert with the Bochumer Symphoniker, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and the New York Opera Society. Additional engagements in the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 seasons were to include her first performances of Norina in Don Pasquale with Boston Midsummer Opera and Rossini's Stabat Mater with the La Jolla Symphony, and Gilda in Rigoletto with Virginia Opera, but all were canceled due to COVID-19.
Other recent operatic engagements include: Gilda in Rigoletto with San Diego Opera, Ninetta in La gazza ladra with Teatro Nuovo at Lincoln Center, Cunégonde in Candide with Palm Beach Opera, Erster Knappe in Parsifal with Opéra national de Paris, Venus in Venus & Adonis and Belinda in Dido & Aeneas with Florentine Opera, The Girl/Luna in The Rose Elf with The Crypt Sessions/The Angel's Share in NYC, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Boston Midsummer Opera, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro in a return to the Milwaukee Symphony under the baton of Edo de Waart, Serpetta in La finta giardiniera with On Site Opera and Atlanta Opera, Yum-Yum in The Mikado with the New Philharmonic, Lola in the world premiere and commercial recording of Sister Carrie (available on the Naxos label), Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites at Caramoor, Satirino in La Calisto with Cincinnati Opera, Marzelline in Fidelio with Madison Opera, Nannetta in Falstaff with Emerald City Opera, and Micaëla in Carmen with the Columbus Symphony/Opera Columbus. Jordheim is the voice of Bel in the animated short film Over the Horizon, written and directed by David Pierson, which is currently in post-production.
On the concert stage, Jordheim has sung Torke’s Book of Proverbs at the Grant Park Music Festival, the title role in Gisle Kverndokk and Aksel-Otto Bull’s Letters from Ruth with the New York Opera Society at the National Gallery of Art, Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Insanae et vanae curae with Ensemble Pygmalion at the Chapelle Royale du Château de Versailles, further performances of Mozart’s Requiem with Baltimore Symphony, Mozart's Mass in C Minor with the Bel Canto Chorus, Brahms’s Ein deutsches Requiem with the Las Vegas Philharmonic, Bach’s St. John Passion with Madison Bach Musicians, Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 with the Madison Symphony Orchestra, Handel’s Messiah with Madison Bach Musicians, Bestienne in Bastien und Bestienne with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Greeley Philharmonic, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Fox Valley Symphony, Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate with the Milwaukee Symphony and Fox Valley Symphony, Bach’s Cantata No. 29 with the Dayton Philharmonic, and has appeared in a variety of programs with the New Philharmonic, Mainly Mozart Festival in Miami, and the New York Opera Society.
As a former participant in San Francisco Opera's prestigious Merola Opera Program, Jordheim sang Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, and “Dal tuo gentil sembiante” from Mozart’s Ascanio in Alba in the Merola Grand Finale. As a Central City Opera Apprentice Artist and Studio Artist, Jordheim sang Flora in The Turn of the Screw, Ellen in Oklahoma!, Fredrika in A Little Night Music, Sirena in Rinaldo for one of the company's family performances, and was a featured dancer in Orpheus in the Underworld. As a member of the Florentine Opera Studio, she sang the roles of Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Frasquita in Carmen, and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro.
Jordheim is the winner of both the Rose Bampton Award and a Career Development Grant from The William Matheus Sullivan Musical Foundation, as well as the Irwin Scherzer Encouragement Award from the George London Foundation. She is the winner of the Kaleidoscope International Vocal Competition, two-time winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions, 2nd place winner of the Classical Singer Competition, winner of the Bel Canto Regional Artists Competition, and winner of the Edith Newfield Scholarship in the Musicians Club of Women Music Scholarship Competition. She was the recipient of the Central City Opera Young Artist Award, recipient of a Central City Opera Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program Award, and a finalist in the Kurt Weill Foundation's Lotte Lenya International Competition.
A Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the American Scandinavian Foundation, Jordheim studied and conducted research on singing diction in the Scandinavian languages at the University of Oslo in 2013-2014. She frequently performs recitals of songs by Scandinavian composers, has published an article on Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish singing diction in the NATS Journal of Singing, and has completed English and IPA translations of numerous songs by Scandinavian composers. She is also an advocate of new music for voice, having premiered works composed for her by Lori Laitman, Douglas Pew, Joanne Metcalf, Josh Deutsch, and Rodney Rogers. An acclaimed interpreter of Lori Laitman's music, Jordheim recently recorded Laitman's song cycle, Five Lovers, on the composer's Living in the Body CD, which is available in hard copy and all forms of digital download and streaming on the Naxos label. Laitman's newest CD release from Acis Productions includes Jordheim singing Fresh Patterns, a song cycle written for her, along with soprano Patrice Michaels and pianist Andrew Rosenblum.
Jordheim is a native of Appleton, Wisconsin, and she completed her first two years of undergraduate study at Lawrence University where she studied with Patrice Michaels. She earned her Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in Voice Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) as a student of William McGraw, and her DMA cognate field is Scandinavian song and diction. At CCM, she performed the roles of Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Lucia in The Rape of Lucretia, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte, Une Pâstourelle in L'enfant et les sortilèges, and the partial role of Mademoiselle Silberklang in Der Schauspieldirektor. Jordheim currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with her husband, David Cohen, who plays Associate Principal Trumpet in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.