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Jessica Bachicha (Soprano)

Born: Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA

The American soprano, Jessica Victoria Bachicha, was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although born blind, she considers herself no different from other people. Ashe took her first music lessons at 12 and decided as a teenager to pursue a career in music. Her show business debut was at a school talent show in the second grade. She studied for four years with Leslie Umphries, concentrating on the integration of Baroque ideas with ancient Greek musical principles, creating a synthesis with modern composition. She was a 2003 National Federation of the Blind (NFB) scholarship winner, and in May 2004 earned a B.M in vocal performance and a B.A in foreign languages from the University of New Mexico. Afterwards, she spent a year doing research on music and theology at University of Leeds in Leeds in England. She obtained her Master’s in vocal performance at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where she studies with Patricia Craig. She was awarded the ILVR Scholarship by the conservatory's voice department which enabled her to take part in the Rising Star Singers Audition Preparation Program in Rising Sun, Indiana. In April 2005, she was the soprano soloist for New England Conservatory's performance of Ralph Vaughan Williams's Dona Nobis Pacem. She has performed as a soloist with the NEC Bach Ensemble and as a chamber musician with one of NEC's contemporary improvisation ensembles. In August 2005, she had the honour of being a soloist under the direction of Maestro Angelo Zanin, a faculty member of the Conservatory of Music of Venice, Italy.

As a student at a summer university in Rome in 2001, Jessica Bachicha was honored to have the opportunity to sing for His Holiness John Paul II during a private audience. She participated in the Spoleto Vocal Arts Symposium in Spoleto, Italy, and performed as soprano soloist in UNM's 2002 presentation of Gabriel Faur's Requiem. In the summer of 2003, she formed an ensemble called the July Octet that gave a series of concerts in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. In October 2003, she gave a lecture recital as part of her senior project for University of New Mexico's Honors Program. The debut performance of Miss Bachicha's "God's Grandeur," the recital concentrated on the integration of Baroque ideas with ancient Greek musical principles to create a synthesis in modern composition.

Jessica Bachicha now works part time at the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore while she pursues music. She has travelled extensively and performed in Italy and the UK. She has performed world premiers of composers including Joseph Santo and Renzo Banzato. Jessica, and played the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute at Catholic University and Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Bel Cantanti opera company. In May 2011, Bachicha graduated with her doctorate in Vocal Performance from the Catholic University of America. In January 2012, she made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall. The biggest challenge now, she says, is convincing people not to be afraid of her blindness and to give her a chance in what already is a highly competitive field.

Her first album “Illumination”, released on Eroica label in July 2004, is an eclectic mix of musical textures and styles, ranging in genre from Gregorian Chant and early Baroque to contemporary. The repertoire includes compositions by Heitor Villa-Lobos, Leonard Bernstein, Isabella Leonard, and her own composition, The Word Became Flesh. Her second album “Christmas Presence” was released on her own label in 2011.

Source: Eroica Classical Recordings Website; Library of Congress Blog (March 2012); North Country Chamber Players Website; Bits & pieces from other sources.
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




John Gibbons


BWV 51 [4th], BWV 202 [6th]

Links to other Sites

Jessica Bachicha (Official Website)
Jessica Bachicha - The Artist (Eroica)

Braille Music Scores Provide Lifeline to Blind Musicians (LOC)
North Country Chamber Players Guest Artist: Jessica Bachicha

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Last update: Sunday, May 28, 2017 15:55