Mary Jane began her professional career as a teacher and throughout her performing career she has maintained her love of, and dedication to, sharing her knowledge with students. As a student herself, she had the privilege of studying under Loretta Corelli, wife of renowned tenor Franco Corelli. She strives to pass along to her students not only a solid technical foundation, but also her deep love for opera, as well as all of the arts. Whether teaching applied music or opera workshop, developing apprentice programs, or assisting with opera’s community engagement efforts, she is first and foremost guided by this passion.
Ms. Johnson’s intense teaching style stems from her belief in the dramatic and transformative power of the human voice, and the results can be seen in the successes of her students. She holds her students to the same standard of professional excellence that has been a hallmark of her own international opera career; she expects her students to deliver their best every day in terms of effort, technique, musicality, and artistry, because she expects the same of herself. Furthermore, she encourages her students to become as well-rounded as possible in many areas of the business, including, but not limited to, arts management, vocal pedagogy, arts administration, and general music business. Having seen firsthand the highly competitive world of opera performance, she knows that a successful career depends on more than just a beautiful voice; each singer must be a savvy businessperson, and developing a wider skill set is essential in today’s opera world.