Jennifer Larmore is an outstanding American mezzo soprano who parlayed operatic success in Europe into international stardom during the 1990s. Known for excelling in the coloratura roles of Rossini and Handel, she has also moved into the early nineteenth century bel canto repertory, as well as the operas of Mozart and Richard Strauss. Especially since 2000, Larmore has been a very active recitalist, and she has recorded widely for the Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, and Deutsche Grammophon labels.
Originally from Atlanta, Larmore studied at the Westminster Choir College, and then privately with John Bullock and Regina Resnik. She made her professional debut at Santa Barbara's Music Academy of the West as Rosina in Rossini's The Barber of Seville — appropriate, considering that Rosina has since become her signature role, one that she has performed more than 500 times. Three years later, a last-minute audition led to a contract at the Nice Opera. There, her vocal talents, energetic acting, and natural beauty quickly established her as an emerging star, and during the next decade she performed dozens of leading roles with major European houses.
In the mid-'90s Larmore returned to the United States, making her Chicago Lyric Opera debut in 1993, winning the prestigious Richard Tucker award in 1994, and debuting as Rosina at the Metropolitan Opera in 1995. Since then she has been a regular attraction at the Met, singing everything from Handel's Giulio Cesare to Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. With her frequent collaborator Antoine Palloc, she has made several international recital tours, including appearances in Amsterdam, Paris, Madrid, Hong Kong, and London, as well as most major American cities.
Larmore's Giulio Cesare on Harmonia Mundi (with René Jacobs), L'étoile, a collection of French arias, and Call Me Mister, a celebration of mezzo soprano "pants" roles, are notable among her recordings. A particularly unique venture has been her satellite radio program Backstage with Jennifer Larmore, on which she proves herself a witty and insightful interviewer and commentator.