SPU Faculty member Janene Nelson makes directorial debut with LMC Opera Jan 14 and 21

Janene Nelson, SPU vocal faculty and LMC performing member makes directorial debut with LMC opera this month with performances on January 14 at the West Seattle Library and January 21 at Mirabella in South Lake Union, Seattle. Ms. Nelson leads a cast of four singers and one pianist presenting a historical timeline tracing opera from its genesis through the early classical era of Christoph Willibald Gluck. Other notable debut performances include Seattle Opera teaching artist Darrell J. Jordan, baritone and noted Baroque specialist, Lisa Cardwell Pontén of the St. James Cantorei. Biographies of all three artists are below.


Janene Nelson is a Seattle-area mezzo-soprano whose “gorgeously sung” performances range from opera and oratorio to early music. Her operatic roles include Dorabella, Third Lady, Prince Orlofsky, Miss Todd, and Nicklaus, and her recent oratorio performances include Mozart’s Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, and J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor. Janene was a founding member of the early music ensemble Vox Resonat from 2011-2014 and sang with the Oregon Bach Festival for seven seasons as a member of the Berwick Chorus. She holds a doctorate in vocal performance and arts administration from the University of Oregon and is currently on the voice faculty at Seattle Pacific University.

In demand as a recitalist and concert soloist, Darrell J. Jordan’s  recent solo concert engagements have been with Amherst Early Music Festival, the Odyssey Chamber Music Series, Rolla Choral Arts Society, Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri, the Missouri Symphony, the Southside Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Toledo Symphony. Opera credits include Winter Opera Saint Louis, St. Louis Opera Collective, Haymarket Opera Company, Gateway Opera, the Institute for 17th Century Music, the Show-Me Opera, Lawrence Opera Theatre. He will make his Puget Sound Concert Opera debut in the fall of 2017. Additionally, Mr. Jordan is on the Teaching Artist roster for the Seattle Opera. He can be heard as the baritone soloist on the album St. Lawrence Psalter. He is a member and co-founder of the nationally recognized professional vocal chamber ensemble, Vox Nova.

Lisa Cardwell Pontén has performed throughout the Pacific Northwest, both as a soprano soloist and a professional choral singer. She has had solo appearances with ensembles such as Northwest Sinfonietta, Seattle Baroque Orchestra, Seattle Pro Musica, Northwest Chamber Chorus, Baroque Northwest, Opus 7 and The Tudor Choir. She is a regular member of Opus 7 Vocal Ensemble, The Emerald Ensemble and the St. James Cathedral Cantorei. Lisa also records soundtracks for film and video games, maintains a private voice studio for teenagers and adults, and frequently adjudicates for contests and competitions. One of her very favorite summer activities is serving on the faculty of Midsummer Musical Retreat, a camp for amateur adult musicians on the Whitman College campus in beautiful Walla, Walla, WA. Lisa received her Masters of Music in Early Music Performance from Indiana University.