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 made her debut as Carmen in Carmen with Salt Marsh Opera in 2021; singing the title role again that fall with Buffalo Opera Unlimited. In September 2021; Ms. Best was a featured artist in a pops concert with the Buffalo Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro John Russell and tours with Michael Lasser and Alan Jones doing a broad series of programs featuring The Great American Songbook.
Ms. Best is the Director of Camp Voice this summer with the VOICExperience Foundation and is an artist with the Savannah Voice Festival. She recreated the title role of Alice Ryley this August and performed as a Festival Artist in several productions and concerts. Ms. Best has been a returning artist with Brad Simmons and Susie Mosher in her The Lineup at the Birdland Theater in New York, where she recently performed with Billy Stritch in June 2022 during her Lineup Performance. She 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 and the Savannah Voice Festival. Best has appeared as a guest artist 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. She is currently working with producer Greg Best on an EP of musical theater and popular works to be released this year.
This February and March, Ms. Best performed as a guest artist with the Nazareth Orchestra presenting Kahane's Emergency Shelter Intake Form, was a featured soloist with Yoshiko Arahata, singing compositions by Alma Mahler, Lili Boulanger, and Amy Beac; on Live From Hochstein, a live radio broadcast with WXXI Radio and Mona Seghatoleslami. Best performed Voices at the Cathedral with VoiceExperience! in late March, followed by a guest soloist in Handel's Messiah this April. Ms. Best will tour with Alan Jone and Michael Lasser this fall in the Great American Songbook.
Ms. Best is the Artistic Director of the Opera at Nazareth College, where she is also a professor of Song Literature and voice. Ms. Best 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