"Exhilarating... A new level of sophistication and black humor."

- Art In America

"Snapper sings the voice as limit... unbearably raw, a flayed shred of human need, desire, pain.  Every pore of my skin opens, a venus flytrap lusting for light and noise."

- Amelia Jones, The Drama Review

"...we may be lulled into believing that we are completely disconnected from the broadcast suffering that we watch from the comfort of our homes, so we can persuade ourselves that music, fleeting and seemingly intangible, causes no lasting consequences. Snapper rearranges these beliefs through […] an approach to technique that deliberately harnesses physical responses to terror in a music-dramatic operation. "

-Nina Eidsheim, Voice Studies: Critical Approaches to Process, Performance and Experience

Full Bio


Coloratura-in-exilio Juliana Snapper is an internationally recognized contemporary opera singer, recitalist, live performance artist, experimental theater director and voice scholar. She is best known for original techniques developed to extend the sonic and expressive palate of the operatic voice. Her career was propelled early on by a Grammy for her contribution to the Best Ensemble in Opera Recording, and by winning the Blanche Thebom/Metropolitan Opera award for Outstanding Young Singer of the Year in 1990. 


She currently holds degrees in vocal performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and an MA in critical musicology from the University of California, San Diego, where she continued on to complete a Ph.D dissertation on innovative operatic vocalism, supported in part by grants awarded by the UCSD Center for the Humanities and the American Association of University Women. She has also received generous funding from the Arts Council of Great Britain, the Durfee Foundation, the Knight Foundation, and the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, among others, for the production of her original large-scale works.


Her works have included "Judas Cradle" (2005-2008), known for its inverted arias, which toured England, Ireland, Scotland, Canada, and culminated with productions for Performa ‘05, New York, and the REDCAT, Los Angeles, as well as "You Who Will Emerge From the Flood" (2008-2011), recognized as the first underwater opera, which toured Manchester, Porto, Warsaw, Geneva, Montreal, Ljubljana, and various US cities where she transformed unlikely sites - a Victorian bathhouse, a Soviet Olympic Training pool, the Standard’s rooftop pool Los Angeles, and a dunk tank at the PS1/MoMA in New York - into functioning opera houses. 


Juliana Snapper has been a featured soloist at the Guggenheim, the Pulitzer Foundation, the Getty, the Walker Art Center, the New York Museum of Modern Art and the Ojai Festival Main Stage. Her body of work has been the topic of research in academic journals, such as: The Drama Review, and in books from the Oxford, Princeton, and Duke University Presses. In 2014, the Huffington Post named Snapper as being one of “Fourteen Artists Who Are Transforming the Future of Opera.”