JULIA BULLOCK is recognized as an “impressive, fast-rising soprano… poised for a significant career” (The New York Times). Equally at home with opera and concert repertoire, she has captivated and inspired audiences through her versatile artistry, probing intellect, and commanding stage presence. Opera News extols, “Bullock's radiant soprano shines brightly and unfailingly… Most compellingly, however, she communicates intense, authentic feeling, as if she were singing right from her soul.”
As a voice of social consciousness and activism that she considers fundamental to her work on the stage, Julia Bullock is Artist in Residence of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and curates throughout the 2018-19 season thought-provoking performances and commissions. Whether examining current art exhibitions, or those from the Met’s singular history, Julia Bullock utilizes some of the museum’s most iconic spaces - from the steps of the Great Hall to The Cloisters - in order to illuminate narratives of our past, and provide a voice for stories that have been made silent.
A new dramatic dialogue between past and present finds its place at Paris’ Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord in the world premiere of Zauberland: An Encounter with Schumann’s Dichterliebe. A quintessential work of European Romanticism, Dichterliebe is infused with yearning for love and for landscapes that no longer exist; composer Bernard Foccroulle and writer Martin Crimp create sixteen new songs to be performed seamlessly alongside Schumann and Heine’s original work. Violence blazes across the Near East, and a young woman waits at a European border hoping to enter Zauberland ― a “magic world” of security and peace. But when she falls asleep, her dreams are haunted by strange images of the burnt-out city she has been forced to abandon. This new work that considers “Fortress Europe” and its eastern Mediterranean origin is performed by Julia Bullock and the brilliant French pianist Cédric Tiberghein, and is staged by one of Britain’s greatest living directors, Katie Mitchell.
No less compelling and timely is to be the world premiere of Fire Shut Up in My Bones at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in which Julia Bullock sings the roles of Destiny, Lonliness, and Greta. Composer Terence Blanchard teams up with screenwriter Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) for a haunting and tender coming-of-age story inspired by Charles M. Blow’s powerfully redemptive memoir, celebrated as “stunning” (Essence), “riveting” (Chicago Tribune), and “exquisite” (The New York Times).
Rounding out the season is a return to John Adams and Peter Sellars’ Girls of the Golden West in its European premiere at Dutch National Opera with Grant Gershon conducting the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, a debut with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra in performances of Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915, and a recital tour across North America with pianist John Arida.
Highlights from Julia Bullock’s international operatic career include a San Francisco Opera debut in the world premiere of Girls of the Golden West, the role of Anne Truelove in a new production by Simon McBurney of The Rake’s Progress, which served for her debuts at Festival d’Aix en Provence and Dutch National Opera, Kitty Oppenheimer in John Adams’ Doctor Atomic for a debut at Santa Fe Opera, and the title role of Purcell’s The Indian Queen at the Perm Opera House, The Bolshoi, and Teatro Real with Teodor Currentzis, and at English National Opera led by Laurence Cummings: the Peter Sellars production was captured and released commercially on DVD for Sony Classical. She has performed in South America as Pamina in Peter Brook’s award-winning A Magic Flute and her broad operatic repertoire also includes Le nozze di Figaro, The Medium, Cendrillon, The Cunning Little Vixen, and L’enfant et les Sortilèges.
On the concert stage, Julia Bullock opened the 2017-18 Boston Symphony Orchestra season under the baton of Music Director Andris Nelsons in songs of Bernstein, and she was invited by Sir Simon Rattle for debuts with the Berliner Philharmoniker in Saariaho’s La passion de Simone and with the London Symphony Orchestra in Delage’s Quatre poèmes hindous. She has sung the role of Pamina in Die Zauberflöte with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel and the music of Bernstein served Julia Bullock with debuts both at the New York Philharmonic with Alan Gilbert and at the San Francisco Symphony with Michael Tilson Thomas on the podium.
Shaped by artistic partner, Peter Sellars, truly inspired performances were achieved in the summer of 2016 at the Ojai Music Festival in collaboration with Roomful of Teeth and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in Kaija Saariaho’s La passion de Simone, in a new staging by Peter Sellars, and in the world premiere of Josephine Baker: A Portrait, which since has been developed and renamed, Perle Noire: Meditations for Joséphine. Composed and arranged by Tyshawn Sorey with accompanying poetry by Claudia Rankine, this theater piece was called by The New York Times, “a ritual of mourning, not a gay-Paree nostalgia trip, and …one of the most important works of art yet to emerge from the era of Black Lives Matter.”
Julia Bullock is a founding core member of the American Modern Opera Company (AMOC) and earned her Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, and her Master’s degree at Bard College’s Graduate Vocal Arts Program. She received her Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School. Accolades include the 2016 Sphinx Medal of Excellence, a 2015 Leonore Annenberg Arts Fellowship, the 2015 Richard F. Gold Grant from the Shoshana Foundation, Lincoln Center’s 2015 Martin E. Segal Award, First Prize at the 2014 Naumburg International Vocal Competition, and First Prize at the 2012 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Ms. Bullock integrates her musical life with community activism. She is proud to serve on the Advisory Board of Turn The Spotlight, a foundation created to identify, nurture, and empower leaders – and in turn, to illuminate the path to a more equitable future in the arts through mentorship by and for exceptional women, people of color, and other equity-seeking groups in the arts. Julia Bullock has organized and participated in benefit concerts in support of the FSH Society, which funds research for Muscular Dystrophy, the Medicine Initiative for New York’s Weill Medical Center, and the Shropshire Music Foundation, a non-profit that serves war-affected children and adolescents through music education and performance programs in Kosovo, Northern Ireland, and Uganda.