Soprano and Salon/Sanctuary Founder and Artistic Director Jessica Gould enjoys consistent critical praise for compelling performances, innovative recordings, and pioneering research projects that view history through the prism of music. In recent seasons, Villa Finaly, the Florentine branch of La Chancellerie des Universités de Paris La Sorbonne, honored her with an invitation to embark on an annual residency to conceive, research, and perform original concert programs that celebrate the historical ties between France and Italy, and in 2019, the Scuola di Musica Antica Venezia at Palazzo Grimani invited her to commence on a residency in order to create interdisciplinary projects including Venetian baroque music and historical dance. In performance, she has been noted for "a dramatic intensity that honored the texts" (The New York Times), for an "expansive range, coloratura facility, and multi-hued, powerful sound" (Seen and Heard International), "an electrifying voice“ (Musicweb International) gorgeous melismatic singing” (Voce di Meche) and for "beautiful interpretation" (Lute Society of America Quarterly).
Recital appearances include guest artist on the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Faculty Series and the Rowan University College of Performing Arts with lutenist Nigel North, and L'Église de St. Jean Baptiste in Montréal with Pascal Valois, early romantic guitar. Among her recordings are the MV Cremona releases I Viaggi Caravaggio with lutenist Diego Cantalupi and At the Pleasure of Mazarin with Ensemble L'Aura Soave, and the New World Records CD Tell the Birds, in which Jessica joins forces with actor Roger Rees and the Paul Dresher Ensemble in works of composer Eve Beglarian. Forthcoming releases include baroque repertoire for the Da Vinci Classics label. American radio broadcasts of both live and recorded performances include WQXR, NPR, WWFM, WKCR, WPRB, and MPR, among others.
In her capacity as Artistic Director of Salon/Sanctuary Concerts, her original programming featuring repertoire from the 8th to 18th centuries has been praised as "impeccably curated" by Time Out New York, "highly original" by The New York Times, and "imaginative" by New York Magazine. Bilingual in Italian and English, she holds the honor of being the only American ever to have been invited to create original concert programs for four notable Florentine institutions – Palazzo Bardi, Palazzo Gondi, Palazzo Guicciardini, and L’Associazione per Boboli, among many others.
Chamber music performances include Ensemble L'Aura Soave, Ensemble Ricercare Antico, Musica Ricercata, The Guggenheim Works & Process Series with The Cassatt Quartet, The Beinecke Library at Yale University, The Clarion Society, Sinfonia New York, The Four Nations Ensemble, The Virginia Arts Festival, The American Philosophical Society, and as well as guest soloist appearances with numerous ensembles. Presenters abroad include Martedì in Arte at the Palazzo Davanzati, Casa Martelli, the Museo di Arte Sacra in Tuscany, Palazzos Bardi and Gondi, Scandicci Cultura, Villa La Pietra, Villa Finaly, and the Library of the Museo di San Marco (Florence), the Chiesa di Santa Barbara dei Librari, Primavera in Musica (Rome), the UK Lute Society (London) and Hengrave Hall (Bury St. Edmunds, UK).
From Ghetto to Cappella, her original program commemorating the 500th anniversary of the creation of the Venetian Ghetto, was selected by Carnegie Hall for inclusion in its La Serenissima Festival in 2017, and received the patrocinio of the Comune di Sabbioneta, Italy, where it was performed in the Teatro all’Antica, a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of three remaining Renaissance Theaters in the world, constructed in 1590. Previous to the Sabbioneta concert, From Ghetto to Cappella was presented by the Great Synagogue of Florence, Italy after being premiered in New York City at the St. Paul’s Chapel of Columbia University. The program, along with I Viaggi di Caravaggio, makes its French début in 2021 at the Festival de l'Unité d'Art Sacré de Gosnay.
Ms. Gould’s writing includes program notes for Carnegie Hall, the Clarion Society (New York City), the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia), the Da Camera Society (Los Angeles), NYU Villa La Pietra (Florence), Palazzo Grimani (Venice), and Villa Finaly La Chancellerie des Universités de Paris – La Sorbonne (Florence), among many other institutions and presenters. Her creative nonfiction works have been published in the literary journals Belle Ombre, The Blue Nib, and Exquisite Pandemic. Her original projects viewing history through the prism of music have received grants from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the Florence Gould Foundation (no relation), the Hampsong Foundation, the DuBose and Dorothy Heyward Memorial Fund, the Charles Schwartz Foundation for Music, the Krumholz Foundation, and NYU Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò, among others. She holds a BA from Macalester College in Art History, Music, and Political Science, and studied Fine Arts at the Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons School of Design, and the National Academy of Design.
"An extraordinary voice, very clear diction, rich and inimitable sound"
– Monica Huggett