MacKenzie, Jane Leslie
Jane Leslie MacKenzie. Soprano, b Revelstoke, BC, 15 May 1956; B MUS (Victoria) 1978. A pupil of Frances James, she went to England in 1978 to study with Morag Noble at Trinity College, London. She was a prize winner in the 1980 Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Competition and was recommended to sing for Elisabeth Schwarzkopf in her masterclasses at the Edinburgh Festival. Nicholas Goldschmidt, who heard her 1981 Canadian debut with the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, suggested that she enter the 1982 Guelph Spring Festival's National Vocal Competition, which she won. After establishing a reputation in international competitions, she performed with such British companies as Opera North and the Kent Opera and made her London debut in 1985 as Marzelline in Fidelio with the English National Opera.
In Canada, MacKenzie has been soloist in Handel's Solomon with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir in 1982, in Messiah with the Calgary Philharmonic and the Regina Symphony Orchestra in the 1983-4 season, and in Brahms' Liebeslieder at the 1983 Guelph Spring Festival. In 1986 she performed Pamina in productions of The Magic Flute in Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Vancouver and was a soloist in Messiah at the NAC. In 1988 she was the Governess in The Turn of the Screw for Vancouver Opera and she returned to the NAC to sing Mozart's Exsultate Jubilate with the BBC Scottish Symphony on a tour which included concerts in Sault Ste Marie and Toronto at Roy Thomson Hall.
In Britain her roles have included the Countess (Marriage of Figaro), Euridice (Orpheus and Euridice), Fiordiligi (Così fan Tutte), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Micaëla (Carmen), Anne Truelove (The Rake's Progress), and Mimi (La Bohème).
MacKenzie's voice is clean, substantial, and secure. After her performance in Don Giovanni for the Kent Opera, critic Tom Sutcliffe described her as 'the discovery of the show: an alluring well-focused voice, of complete technical assurance that is surely destined to be widely used and an excellent, attractive stage presence' (Manchester Guardian, 12 Mar 1983).