Top opera role for Cahir woman Jennifer - just 18 months after starting formal training

A talented young opera singer from Cahir will perform in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” at the National Concert Hall in Dublin this weekend just 18 months after beginning her formal training as a classical singer.

A talented young opera singer from Cahir will perform in Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” at the National Concert Hall in Dublin this weekend just 18 months after beginning her formal training as a classical singer.

Jennifer Davis from the Cashel Road in Cahir will be singing the rôle of the Countess in Lyric Opera’s production of the famous opera this Saturday and Sunday night, February 16 and 17.

The 26 year-old lyric soprano, who is daughter of Brendan and Maggie Davis, will be singing alongside a number of Ireland’s top opera stars including Claudia Boyle (Susanna), John Molloy (Figaro), Sharon Carty (Cherubino), Miriam Murphy (Marcellina) and Sarah McCourt (Barbarina).

The rôle of the Count will be sung by the English baritone James Cleverton.

The RTE Concert Orchestra conducted by David Jones will provide the music and the production is being directed by Lyric Opera’s Vivian Coates.

This will be Jennifer’s fourth opera in the past six months. Last September, she sang the rôle of Susanna in Glasthule Opera’s production of The Marriage of Figaro. This was her first ever performance in an opera as she only began her formal classical training as a singer in September 2011. Irish Times critic Michael Dervan singled out her performance for praise in his review of the show: “Star of the evening for me was the knowing Susanna of Jennifer Davis, a young singer who sounded as if she were made to sing Mozart.”

She next sang as the High Priestess in Lyric Opera’s production of Aida in the Gaiety Theatre and just a few weeks ago sang the rôle of the Governess in the DIT Conservatory of Music’s production of Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw”.

In this production, she was joined by another local singer, Kelley Lonergan from Clonmel, who sang the rôle of Mrs Grose.

Jennifer and Kelley are both studying at the DIT Conservatory where they have the same singing teacher—Colette McGahon-Tosh.

They also sang together in a concert at the University of Limerick’s concert hall just before Christmas with the Irish Chamber Orchestra.

It has been a busy and successful year for Jennifer, who is a former student of Cahir Girls NS and Colaiste Dun Iascaigh.

After several wins at the Feis Ceoil in March last year, she was asked to perform in a number of concerts and recitals.

She was also selected to take part in Opera Theatre Company’s Young Associate Artists program and, much to Jennifer’s delight, her friend Kelley Lonergan has been selected for this year’s OTC program.

Jennifer also took part in the prestigious Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna, in July, where she progressed to the semi-finals.

As well as all of this performing, she has to find time for her Masters in Performing Arts course at the DIT Conservatory of Music and trips back to Cahir to teach her own students to help fund her college work.

Jennifer’s passion from singing comes from her mother Maggie, who is a singing teacher and trained Jennifer at home. She completed an English degree in UCD before deciding to develop her singing talent.

Her proud dad, Brendan, said Jennifer became interested in classical singing after performing the role of Yum, Yum in St Mary’s Choral Society’s production of the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta The Mikado in Clonmel in 2010.

For further information on tickets for the Marriage of Figaro log onto: www.nch.ie or telephone: (01) 417 0000. More information on the opera is available on: www.lyricoperaproductions.com.