Oregon native Jessica Hall enjoys an active career in Minneapolis and around the United States with a diverse background including roles as pianist, assistant and offstage conductor, coach, and chorus master on the music staff of more than 40 opera productions with Minnesota Opera, Portland Opera, Opera Memphis, Brava! Opera Theater, USC Opera, Opera UCLA, Pacific Opera Project, Rogue Opera, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, and Aspen Opera Theater, among others.
She has played under noted conductors Osmo Vänskä, Michael Christie, Joseph Colaneri, George Manahan, David Agler, Brent McMunn, Steven Osgood, Nicholas Fox, Anne Manson and Robert Spano, and worked in the vocal departments at USC, UCLA, Chapman University, Pasadena City College, and Scripps College. Previous faculty positions include the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and OperaWorks in Los Angeles.
She has performed in concert with Rod Gilfry and Marie Lenormand and participated in master classes and residencies with celebrated pianists, singers, and composers such as Marilyn Horne, Martin Katz, John Churchwell, Jeremy Denk, Anthony Dean Griffey, Nathan Gunn, Jake Heggie, Eric Owens, Denyce Graves, and Ricky Ian Gordon. While at Opera Memphis she performed with the PRIZM Chamber Ensemble, and she could be heard on NPR performing excerpts from the opera Glory Denied by Tom Cipullo.
At Minnesota Opera she was selected to be principal pianist and coach for two world premieres, The Shining by Paul Moravec and Dinner at Eight by William Bolcom. Leading up to the premiere of Dinner at Eight she was the pianist for previews at Opera America’s New Works Forum in NYC. During a preview on Twin Cities Public Television composer William Bolcom said “Jessica Hall is fantastically multi-talented. I’ve never seen a rehearsal pianist who is able to find all the styles she can and she manages to make her piano sound like an orchestra”.
She spent two summers as an opera coaching fellow with the Aspen Opera Theater Center and was a 2015 Vocal Piano Fellow at the Music Academy of the West. Jessica earned a Graduate Certificate, Master of Music, and Doctorate of Musical Arts degrees in Keyboard Collaborative Arts with emphases in musicology, opera coaching, and vocal literature from the University of Southern California under the guidance of Alan Smith. While there she was the Pianist/Opera Teaching Assistant for three years and garnered numerous awards including the Gwendolyn Koldofsky Scholarship and Music Merit Full Tuition Scholarships. Upon completion of her Doctoral studies she was named Outstanding DMA Graduate of the Keyboard Collaborative Arts Program. She earned a BA in Music and a BM in piano performance from the University of Washington.
This past summer Jessica returned as principal accompanist and continuo at Portland Opera for its productions of Man of La Mancha and Così fan tutte. She returns to Minnesota Opera for her third season as a Resident Artist.