A native of Bolivar, New York, soprano Joélle Harvey received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in vocal performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). She began her career training at Glimmerglass Opera (now The Glimmerglass Festival) and the Merola Opera Program.
The soprano begins the 2023-2024 season with an appearance at London’s Wigmore Hall, singing the role of Tirsi in Handel’s Clori, Tirsi e Fileno, with Harry Bicket leading The English Concert. She will sing Handel’s Messiah with the San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, North Carolina Symphony and Handel & Haydn Society, Fauré’s Requiem with the National Symphony Orchestra, and a program of Haydn and Mozart with H&H. Season debuts include the Houston Symphony, for Orff’s Carmina Burana, and the New World Symphony, for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Notably, Harvey joins two long-tenured Music Directors for their farewell seasons: Louis Langrée, leading the Cincinnati Symphony in Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, and the Kansas City Symphony’s Michael Stern, who conducts performances of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2.
Ms. Harvey’s 2022-2023 season brought appearances with a host of internationally-acclaimed organizations. She joined the New York Philharmonic as the soprano soloist in a gala performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, celebrating the opening of David Geffen Hall and conducted by Jaap van Zweden. She debuted with the Bamberg Symphoniker at the Lucerne Festival (Mahler’s 4th & Alma Mahler songs, conducted by Jakub Hrůša), Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Handel’s Solomon with Robin Ticciati), and the Minnesota Orchestra (Haydn’s The Creation with Paul McCreesh). The season also held returns to the Cleveland Orchestra (Schubert Mass in E-flat in Cleveland and at Carnegie Hall), Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Carmina Burana), the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (Mahler 2) and the Metropolitan Opera (Pamina in The Magic Flute). Notable chamber performances included a recital with baritone John Moore and pianist Allen Perriello for Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and appearances with the Chamber Music Societies of Lincoln Center and Palm Beach. She also made her Jacksonville Symphony debut, for Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem and debut with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s in an all-Handel program conducted by Bernard Labadie at Carnegie Hall. During the summer of 2023, she returned to the Glyndebourne Festival as the title role in a new production of Handel’s Semele, and to the BBC Proms, singing the Israelite Woman in Handel’s Samson with Laurence Cummings and the Academy of Ancient Music.
Ms. Harvey’s engagements during the 2021-2022 season included debuts at Opernhaus Zürich (Aristea in Pergolesi’s L’Olimpiade), the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, conducted by Jakub Hrůša), and The University Musical Society at University of Michigan (Handel’s Messiah). She joined Les Violons du Roy for further Messiah performances, returned to the North Carolina Symphony (Mahler’s Symphony No. 4), the Indianapolis Symphony (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9), and continued her close collaboration with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society with Haydn’s The Creation, led by Harry Christophers CBE in his final performances as H&H Artistic Director.
During the 2020-2021 season, Ms. Harvey filmed a performance of Villa-Lobos’ Bachianas Brasilieras No. 5 with The Cleveland Orchestra as part of their re-configured season, made her Cincinnati Symphony May Festival debut, performing Britten’s Les Illuminations and joined the Handel & Haydn Society for a filmed production of their annual Messiah concert. Additionally, she collaborated with Los Angeles Opera on Anna Clyne’s The Gorgeous Nothings, a setting of Emily Dickinson texts for their On Now initiative, and later in the summer joined the Elgin Symphony for Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915, and Bard Summerscape for performances of songs by Nadia Boulanger as well as excerpts of Brahms’ Liebeslieder Waltzes.
Other originally scheduled events included her company debut with the Opernhaus Zürich as Aristea in Pergolesi’s L’Olimpiade (postponed), Pat Nixon in Nixon in China with Washington National Opera (cancelled) and Los Angeles Philharmonic (cancelled), Kansas City Symphony for their Messiah (cancelled), L’oca del cairo with Mozartwoche Salzburg (postponed), a Schubert concert with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (postponed), the Brahms Ein Deutsches Requiem with San Diego Symphony and Edo de Waart (cancelled), and Mahler’s 2nd Symphony with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (cancelled).
An in-demand vocal soloist, the soprano regularly appears with the United States’ great orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic (Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah), the Cleveland Orchestra (Mahler’s 2nd & 4th, Bach’s B Minor Mass), the San Francisco Symphony (Fidelio, Beethoven Mass in C, Handel’s Messiah, Carmina Burana), and the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Nixon in China, Beethoven Missa Solemnis). She has closely collaborated with a celebrated list of conductors, including Leonardo García Alarcón, Harry Bicket, Harry Christophers, Jakub Hrůša, Louis Langrée, Michael Tilson Thomas, Edo de Waart and Franz Welser-Möst.
On the operatic stage, Ms. Harvey appears regularly at the Glyndebourne Festival, having bowed in 7 roles, including Handel’s Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare), Mozart’s Susanna (Le nozze di Figaro) and Donizetti’s Adina (L’elisir d’amore). She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as Pamina in The Magic Flute, her Royal Opera, Covent Garden debut as Susanna, and appeared as Galatea in Acis and Galatea and Zerlina in Don Giovanni with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. Other opera performances include Flora in The Turn of the Screw with Houston Grand Opera, Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress with Utah Opera, as well as Zerlina and Eurydice in Telemann’s Orpheus with New York City Opera.
Joélle Harvey is closely associated with Boston’s Handel & Haydn Society, where her varied appearances have included Michal in Saul, Dalilia in Samson, and Iphis in Jephtha, as well as London’s The English Concert (Almirena in Rinaldo, Tigrane in Radamisto, Handel’s Messiah). She made her solo Carnegie Hall recital debut in 2019 with pianist Allen Perriello, and has appeared at the BBC Proms as the Mater Gloriosa in Mahler’s 8th Symphony, Servilia in La clemenza di Tito and as a soloist in Bach’s B Minor Mass. She performed John Adams’ El Niño at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and with the London Symphony Orchestra, in a performance conducted by the composer. Other career highlights include appearances with the Saint Louis Symphony (Mahler 2), Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Mozart Requiem), Toronto Symphony (Mahler 2), and repeat appearances with the orchestras of Cincinnati, Kansas City, Milwaukee, North Carolina, and Indianapolis.
A celebrated chamber musician, Ms. Harvey has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Music @ Menlo, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Tafelmusik, Les Violons du Roy, Cappella Mediterranea, Arcangelo and the Pygmalion Ensemble.
Joélle Harvey received Second Prize in Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers. She was the recipient of a First Prize Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation and a Sara Tucker Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. She is a recipient of the Shoshana Foundation’s Richard F. Gold Career Grant, and was also presented with the John Alexander Memorial Award and the coveted Sam Adams Award for Achievement in Acting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM).