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26.1.15

Rest in Peace, Jennifer Holbrook

The news of the tragic death of the gifted young soprano Jennifer Holbrook rippled through the community of singers and musicians who knew her in Baltimore and Washington this past week. Described by her colleagues as "a beautiful and outrageously talented singer and mother" and a "wonderful colleague and friend," Jennifer was an accomplished alumna of the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

While I did not have the privilege of knowing her personally, I do remember quite well some of the outstanding performances I heard her give in the area in the last several years. She was beyond radiant as the soloist in the Cantilena from Villa-Lobos's Bachiana Brasileira No. 5 with the cello section of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at their season-opening gala in 2010, which I reviewed for the Washington Post, and she gave what I called "the standout performance of the evening" in the lead role of Catherine Reid's new opera The Yellow Wallpaper, which I reviewed from the Peabody Chamber Opera in 2008. She was singled out in many other performances by Baltimore Sun critic Tim Smith and others, in performances with Baltimore Concert Opera, Chesapeake Chamber Opera, and Opera Bel Cantanti, among others.

On behalf of Jennifer's friends and colleagues, as well as all those who have listened to her sing over the years, we extend our deepest condolences to her family, especially her partner, Billy Davenport, and their two-year-old daughter, Eleanor.

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