Jessica Ann Best is a diverse cross-disciplinary artist, performing nationwide in opera, musical theater, concert, oratorio, recital, and jazz. Known for her interpretations and versatility; Best has premiered many new works including: Mrs. Otis and Madeline in Gordon Getty’s The Canterville Ghost and Usher House at LA Opera, The Stepmother in Anton Coppola’s, Lady Swanwhite with Opera Tampa, the International Carol Suites (soloist) by Mark Hayes, at Carnegie Hall, the roles of Bessie and Mary Rivers in Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre, (The Center for Contemporary Opera), Mrs. Foster in Shot, (Nickel City Opera), and the title role of Alice in Alice Ryley, by Michael Ching, commissioned by the Savannah Voice Festival.
Ms. Best has toured with Velvet Caravan; an award-winning, gypsy-jazz ensemble from Savannah Georgia; featuring concerts at the Iridum Jazz Club in New York City and Savannah Music Festival. She has been a featured artist with The Savannah Music Festival for the past five years and The Savannah Voice Festival for seven years. She has performed with The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Tampa, Gotham Chamber Opera, The Helena Symphony, Nickel City Opera, and Finger Lakes Opera. Ms. Best appears on the new recording of Louis Karchin’s Jane Eyre on the Naxos Label recorded in 2017 and released in 2019.
Best opened the 2020 season in a Broadway concert with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra under the director of Maestro David Wroe. Best joins the Miami Classical Music Festival on A Musical Extravaganza At Sea- as a leading guest artist. She makes her debut with Syracuse Opera as the Old Woman in Candide this February, and joins the New York State Ballet for An Evening of Duke Ellington. Best recently made her Birdland debut in The Lineup with Susie Mosher and has toured with the gypsy jazz ensemble, Velvet Caravan, and has been a featured artist with The Savannah Music Festival and The Savannah Voice Festival. Best returns to The Savannah Voice Festival in 2020 in the title role of Angelina in La Cenerentola. She will perform selections from Carmen in Binghamton, NY at the end of February and be featured artist at THE VOICE Gala in honor of Sherrill Milnes. Last summer she performed the First Prioress in Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Savannah Voice Festival under the baton of Maestro Andrew Bisantz and direction of Fabrizio Melano.
Ms. Best is also the Director of Camp VOICE at The Savannah Voice Festival; overseeing the program, teaching, and stage directing the productions. Best holds her own private vocal studio. Ms. Best has performed many oratorio and chamber works with the Rochester Oratorio Society and The Rochester Bach Festival. Best holds a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature from Nazareth College. Ms. Best is a proud member of AGMA and The Actor’s Equity Association.
“The first thing I noticed about Jessica was her infectious personality. She is positivity and professionalism wrapped up in a sophisticated, graceful woman. As a conductor and composer, working with her was a true pleasure. She owned the stage and the confidence she exuded matched the exquisite quality of her voice.”
-Mark Hayes, Composer
"Jess Best is a versatile and passionate singing actress. I was very moved by her portrayal of Alice Ryley in the premiere of my opera at Savannah Voice Festival.''
~Michael Ching, Composer
“Jessica Best, who is always fully prepared, totally committed and deeply expressive in her works, should be a role model for all young singers.”
-Fabrizio Melano, Stage Director, The Metropolitan Opera
“Ms.Best’s “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly,” (in Polish) was very moving in its innocence.”
-Jeffrey Williams, New York Concert Review