Louisa Jonason
Butterfly at New York City Opera

Louisa Jonason as Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly at F/M Opera. Fargo, ND.

Chronology of Performances


Recital “Songs my Students Taught Me” featuring Ms. Jonason and her former students who are now working as professional singers. Walker Recital Hall at Mercyhurst College.


World Premiere of Emily Sings - written for Ms. Jonason by M. Joseph Rendulic. [ web site ]


World Premiere of song cycle - 6 Songs on the Poetry of Edna St Vincent Millay, Composer, Stephen Collanti, The Voice Studio, NYC, NY and later performances as part of “The Festival of New Music”, Mercyhurst College (2004).

Concert - Erie Historical Society 100th Anniversary celebration.


The Witch in Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel, The D’Angelo Opera Theater Performing Arts Center, Erie, PA.


Created role of The Queen in the world premiere of Seymour Barab’s Sleeping Beauty, April 1st in the Performing Arts Center, Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA. Dorothy Danner, Stage director, Richard Allen Clark, Conductor.

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Sleeping Beauty

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World premiere of What Can the Shadow-like Generations of Man Attain? for soprano and orchestra (W.B. Yeats’ Oedipus Rex) written for Ms. Jonason by Joyce Hope Suskind, D’Angelo Symphony Orchestra. Was previously heard along with other Suskind (Yeats) pieces for voice and piano in New York City in recital at the 92nd Street Y. and other locations.

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Sang new song cycle by Edie Hill at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) International Festival of Women Composers; Janet Bischof, Accompanist.

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Ms. Jonason’s project to promote the music of women composers culminated in several recitals in New York City including the New York Music Teacher’s Association’s New Composers Series at the Manhattan School of Music and appearances with other performers of “new works”, Weill Recital Hall, New York City.

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Sang title role of Madama Butterfly for the opening of The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center at Mercyhurst College Erie, Pennsylvania; Frank Collura, conductor.

Sang concerts in Minnesota as fund-raising event for Pelican Rapids Community Projects at Performing Auditorium, Pelican Rapids, MN

Guest soloist with the Erie Chamber Orchestra; Bruce Morton Wright, Conductor. Puccini and Mozart Arias, Italian songs.

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Madama Butterfly

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Soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Erie Philharmonic; Eji Oue, conductor. Maestro Oue’s farewell performance before becoming music director of The Minnesota Orchestra (Televised).

Soloist in Samuel Barber’s Knoxville, “Summer of 1915” with the D’Angelo Symphony Orchestra; Frank Collura, Conductor.

Santuzza in Masgcagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana at Mercyhurst Preparatory School Auditorium Erie, PA with tenor, Stephen Colantti as Turiddu and baritone, Les Young as Alfio. (Ms. Jonason appeared on the cover of Erie Times’ Showcase magazine and appeared on several radio programs to promote the production).

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Eiji Oue

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Cavalleria Rusticana

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Concert of arias and duets with Stephen Colantti, D’Angelo Symphony Orchestra, Central High School Erie, PA; Frank Collura Conductor.

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Soprano soloist in Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem with the Duke University Chapel Choir and the North Carolina Symphony at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Nedda in Leocavallo’s I Pagliacci and Santuzza in Mascagni’s Cavelleria Rusticana with the New Orleans Opera Association, New Orleans, Louisiana; Anton Coppola, Conductor; Arthur Cosenza, General Director.

Recitals in the New York area: New York Singing Teachers Association, NYSTA, Donnell Library, The Bohemain Club and more. All recitals include compositions written for Ms. Jonason (Yeats song cycle by Joyce Suskind).

Soloist with The Peoria Symphony, Peoria, Illinois. Concert included popular opera ensembles and arias (Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, Verdi’s Rigoletto and Puccini’s La Bohème); Fiora Contino, Conductor.

Sang title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Opera North, Lebanon, New Hamphshire; Louis Burkot, Conductor; Ron Luchsinger, Stage Director.

Covered Madama Butterfly, Cleveland Opera; David Bamberger, General Manager.

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Queen Isabella in the American premiere of Darius Milhaud’s Christophe Colombe in celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Milhaud’s birth and the Columbus quincentennial. Madame Madeleine Milhaud attended. Mrs. Matilda Cuomo, wife of Governor Mario Cuomo, served as Honorary Chair for these performances and surrounding events; Richard Barrett, Conductor; Edward Berkeley, Stage Director. Appearances on “The Listening Room”, WQXR radio, New York City, and various panel discussion in Albany and New York (New York Times review).

Nedda in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci with Il Piccolo Teatro dell’Opera; Anton Coppola, Conductor.

Mozart’s Requiem, and Bruckner’s Te Deum with the St. Phillip’s Choir in Brooklyn, New York; Hugh Knight, Music Director.

Title role in Madama Butterfly with the Chattanooga Symphony; Kenneth Kiesler, Conductor. (Opera News review).

Nedda in I Pagliacci with the Taipei City Symphony Orchestra at Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan; Chiu-Sen Chen, Conductor; King-Man Lo, Stage Director.

Interview for China Public Television, shown in January, 1993. (televised)

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Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Peoria Opera Company, Peoria, Illinois; Fiora Contino, Conductor (Opera News review).

Lady Melbourne in Virgil Thompson’s Lord Byron with the Monadnock Music Festival in New Hampshire; James Bolle, Conductor. Jack Larson (Jimmy Olson on Superman TV Series and librettist of Lord Byron), present to assist and advise in the recording of this opera for release on CD (New York Times review; Boston Globe review).

Recital in Gershwin Hall, Brooklyn College. Program included works by Vivaldi (With cello and harpsichord,) Brahms, Massenet, Barber and Ned Rorem.

Soprano soloist in the Verdi Requiem at Carnegie Hall, New York City with the Manhattan Philharmonic; Peter Tiboris, Conductor (New York Times review).

Soprano soloist in Hector Berlioz’ Les Nuit d’Ete at Lehman Auditorium at Brooklyn College, New York; Dorothy Klotzman, Conductor.

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World premiere reading of Robert DeGaetano’s opera, Moneta at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall, New York City; Jack Lee (Music Director, Broadway production of Grand Hotel), Director.

Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with the Metro Lyric Opera, Ashbury Park, New Jersey; Era Tognoli, Artistic Director; David Leighton, Conductor.

“Opera Pops and Sizzles” concert with the Dallas Opera. Included works from opera and Broadway; Jonathan Pell, Coordinator.

Alice Ford in Verdi’s Falstaff with the Monadnock Music Festival, New Hampshire; James Bolle, Conductor.

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Soloist in a Russian Language concert “Slava Russia”, including Rachmaninov’s The Bells and Russian folk songs with the Greenwich Choral Society of Greenwich, Connecticut; Richard Vogt, Conductor.

Title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with the Dallas Opera; Gary DiPasquasio, Conductor. Parts of this performance were recorded for PBS.

Santuzza in Macagmi’s Cavalleria Rusticana with the Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera Company; David Martin, Conductor (Opera News review).

Title role in Madama Butterfly and Margherita in Bioto’s Mefistofele with the New York City Opera; Imre Pallo and Christopher Keene, Conductors.

Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore with the Greater Miami Opera Association; Willy Waters, General Director; Stephen Crawford, conductor.

Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlo with the National Grand Opera; Anton Coppola, Conductor.

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Madama Butterfly

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Debut, Japan - Soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Japan Philharmonic; Kenichiro Kobayashi, Conductor. Soloist in the Messiah with the KAY Chamber Orchestra; Willis Page, Conductor; Kohten Okuda, Music Director (performed in Tokyo and other cities in Japan).

Concert at American Embassy in Tokyo, Japan, including arias and Christmas carols.

Title role in Madama Butterfly and Mimi in Puccini’s La Bohème with the Metro Lyric Opera; Era Tognoli, Artistic Director.

Elisabetta in Verdi’s Don Carlo with the Dallas Opera; Louis Salemno, Conductor; Nicola Rescigno, Artistic Director.

Title role in Madama Butterfly with the Jacksonville Lyric Opera, Jacksonville, Florida.

Madama Butterfly with the San Antonio Opera Theatre, San Antonio, Texas; Steve Larsen, Conductor.

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Don Carlo

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Title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with the New York City Opera National Company; Ted Taylor, Conductor; Anne Ewers, Stage Director. This production toured 26 states and Canada.

After these performances Ms. Jonason held the record for having sung the part of Madama Butterfly in more performances in more U.S. cities than any other soprano. Ms. Jonason’s daughter, Rebecka Bani Kerr, played the part of Madama Butterfly’s child, Dolore, in these performances.

Debut, Canada - Hamilton, Ontario as Madama Butterfly; Ted Taylor, Conductor (Feature Article, “Butterfly Soars” by Pauline Durichen in the Hamilton Record).

Madama Butterfly with the Triangle Opera Theatre, Durham North Carolina; Robert Ward (composer of The Crucible), President and Artistic Director.

Madama Butterfly with the Connecticut Opera; Doris Lang Kosloff, Conductor. Also, Guest Artist in concert for the Connecticut Opera Guild with Metropolitan Opera tenor, Alan Glassman.

Guest Soloist with the Greenwich Pops’ “Park Series at the Harbor” in Greenwich, Connecticut. Program included music by Copland and Bernstein.

Sang both Dalila and the Israelite Woman in Handel’s Samson, at Merkin Hall in New York City; David Labovitz, Conductor.

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Madama Butterfly

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Debut, Europe - l’Opera de Nice, France. Sang Vitellia in Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito with Anne-Sophie Von Otter and Jennifer Larmore as Annio; Wolfgang Goennenwein, Conductor; Filippo Sanjust, Director.

Title role in Bellini’s Norma with the New York City Opera; Richard Bonynge, Conductor. (covered Olivia Stapp)

New York solo recital debut in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center; Robert DeCeunyunck, Painist. Included works by Vivaldi, Spontini, Grieg, Barber and Mahler (New York Times review).

Elise Maynard in Yeoman of the Guard by Gilbert and Sullivan with the Dallas Lyric Opera; John Burrows, Conductor; Ron Luchsinger, Director.

Nedda in I Pagliacci by Leoncavallo with the Greenwich Choral Society; Richard Vogt, Conductor. Production was part of a concert series at the State University of New York at Purchase.

Toured New England states with the Boston Opera as Madama Butterfly; Sarah Caldwell, Artistic Director.

Sang Liú in Puccini’s Turandot with Linda Kelm in the title role at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia outside of Washington, D.C.

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Appearance in the fashion show “The Opera’s New Clothes”, proceeds to benefit the New York City Opera Costume Fund. Coordinators for this event were Beverly Sills and Mary McFadden. As a result of this show, Ms. Jonason was interviewed by US magazine and her picture appeared with Ms. Sills and Ms. McFadden in LIFE magazine.

Liú in Puccini’s Turandot, and Micaela in director Frank Corsaro’s controversial new production of Carmen by Bizet with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center; Christopher Keene, Conductor.

Madama Butterfly with the Dallas Lyric Opera, Dallas, Texas; John Burrow, Conductor.

Antonia in Offenbach’s Tales of Hoffmann with the Hawaii Opera Theater in Honolulu; David Morelock, Director. Also sang Mimì in the first act of La Bohème with tenor Barry McCauley at Hawaii Opera Theater’s “Operantics V”.

Title role in Madama Butterfly in Costa Mesa, California with Metropolitan Opera tenor Richard Leech as Pinkerton; Christopher Keene, Conductor (L.A.Daily Times review).

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Opera's New Clothes

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Madama Butterfly at Artpark, Lewiston, New York, with Richard Leech as Pinkerton; Christopher Keene, Conductor.

New York City Opera, Debut - Madama Butterfly. The New York Times said, “Louisa Jonason’s debut with the New York City Opera... went straight to the hearts of the audience. The young soprano elicited long and enthusiastic applause from the beginning of her performance to the end.”

That season, Ms. Jonason also sang both Margherita and Elena in the New York City Opera’s acclaimed production of Boito’s Mefistofele with Bruce Ferden conducting and covered the title role in Tosca and sang Peep Bo in Lotfi Mansouri’s new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado; designed by Beni Montresor.

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Title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly in Anchorage, Alaska at the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts; Neil Varon, Conductor.

Scheduled to make her official debut at Lincoln Center as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the New York City Opera when the company went on strike. Covered leading soprano roles in Puccini’s La Rondine, Mozart’s Magic Flute and Turandot.

Guest Artist in Lincoln Center’s “Meet the Artist” Program and Tour. Performed in this capacity from 1983 to 1989.

Broadcast on WCXR radio, New York, featured singers from the New York City Opera. Sang “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca. Beverly Sills was the hostess.

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International Operatic Debut as Madama Butterfly in Caracas, Venezuela; Alfredo Kugeles, Conductor.

Donna Anna in Don Giovanni; George Branson Gray, Conductor.

First season with the New York City Opera. Covered Tosca, both Margherita and Elena in Mefistofele (with Samuel Ramey as the devil), the title role in Cherubini’s Medea (sung by Grace Bumbry), and Madama Butterfly (Televised on PBS).

From 1982 to 1992 gave numerous performances in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, including a recital at the Chilean Embassy in New York, with the New York City Opera Community Concerts; Gerald Brown, Music Director.

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Covered Katia Ricciarelli in the title role of Verdi’s Luisa Miller at the Vienna State Opera, Vienna, Austria; Anton Guadagno, Conductor.

Title role in Puccini’s Tosca with the Manhassett Bay Opera Company; Robert Lawsen, Conductor.

Giorgetta in Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Cio-Cio San in Madama Butterfly with the DiCapo Opera Company.

Premiered and recorded “Three Songs” by Thomas Pasatieri for the Harkness Ballet of New York City; Gerald A. Brown, Pianist.

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Apprentice artist with the Santa Fe Opera. Was responsible for leading roles in Puccini’s Tosca and Strauss’ Salome; John Crosby, Conductor. Performed Act IV of Cilea’s Adriana Lecouvreur on the apprentice program; Bliss Hebert, Director. The press touted Ms. Jonason as “the most outstanding apprentice”.

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Before 1980

Norina in Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at the American Opera Center, Lincoln Center; Gian Carlo Menotti, Director; James Conlon, Conductor.

Title role in Giordano’s Fedora with the New York Lyric Opera; Victor DeRenzi, Conductor (New York Times review).

Madama Butterfly with the Virginia Opera. Marked the company’s first touring season (15 performances); Peter Mark, Conductor.

Hansel in Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel with the Fargo-Moorhead Civic Opera in its premiere season; James Christiansen, Conductor.

Hansel in Hansel and Gretel with the Bronx Opera at Hunter College in New York City; Michael Spierman, Conductor.

Pamina in Mozart’s Magic Flute with the Bronx Opera ; Michael Spierman, Conductor; Jack Eddleman, Director (Opera News review).

Soprano solo in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) with the Brooklyn Symphony.

Concert of German Lieder at the Liederkranz Club, New York City.

Solo recital from the Bronx Museum broadcast on WFUV radio. Recital included Mozart’s Exultate, Jubilate and Brahms songs.

Soprano solo in Mozart’ Requiem with the Hunter College Choir and Orchestra, New York City.

Nina Hagerup in tour of Forest and Wright’s Song of Norway, based on music of Edvard Grieg.

Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte with the New Haven Opera, New Haven, Connecticut; Yehudi Wyner, Conductor.

Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte with the Young Artists’ Opera in New York City.

Madama Butterfly with the Annapolis Civic Opera, Annapolis, Maryland; John Cooper, Conductor.

While associated with the Jersey City State College, Ms. Jonason sang the soprano solos in Honegger’s King David, gave three recitals at the Five Corners Library and a concert at Williams Auditorium.

Appeared on WNYC program, “Opera Stars of Tomorrow”; Norman Mervik, Host.

Finalist in Regional and Winner of District Metropolitan Opera Guild Auditions in the North Dakota/Minnesota region. Finals held at Northrop Memorial Auditorium, Minneapolis, MN.

Operatic concert with the Grand Forks Symphony Orchestra, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Thomas Fasse, Conductor.

Gave recitals and studied voice with Herman Simberg in Sussex, England. Studied repertoire with Gwen Catley and Adela Kowtowska.

Lieder concert at the University of Colorado; Hermann Reutter, Accompanist.

Operatic concert with the Brico Symphony, Denver, Colorado; Antonia Brico, Conductor.

Soloist with the Moorhead State University Choir. Sang Bach Cantatas, Cateloube’s Chants d’Auvergne, Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Brahms’ Zigeuner Lieder and much more; Ernest Harris, Conductor.

Gilda in Rigoletto opposite Metropolitan Opera baritone, William Olvis, and the title role in Puccini’s Suor Angelica with the Moorhead State University Opera Workshop; James Christiansen, Conductor.

Member of the Straw Hat Players Repertory Theater for two years; Dr. Delmar Hanson, Director. Board Member of the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Roles performed include Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, Lizzie in Nash’s The Rainmaker (Best Performance), Rossignol in Peter Weiss’ Marat/Sade (Best Supporting Actress Nomination), Wife, Couple #2 in Ionesco’s The Bald Soprano (Best Director), and Mrs. Puffy in B. Alan’s The Streets of New York (Best Comic Performance). Blackfriars Awards.

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