Winner of a 2008 Sullivan Foundation Award, Janinah Burnett’s timeless vocal quality and poignant portrayals in signature roles such as Pamina in Die Zauberflöte are “heart-rendingly touching,” says The Sunday Times (London). The Montreal Gazette agrees exclaiming she “brought a storytelling quality as well as soprano pyrotechnics to Violetta.”As Mimí in Baz Luhrman’s adaptation of Puccini’s La Bohème, Ms. Burnett received tremendous acclaim winning the “Ovation Award” with a record 82 consecutive sold-out shows.In the summer 2008, Ms. Burnett performed Margru in Amistad at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A., and Bess in Porgy and Bess at the Deutsche Oper Berlin and Den Norske Oper Norway with Cape Town Opera.
Throughout the 2008-2009 season, she performed Micaëla in Carmen with the Michigan Opera Theatre, the leading soprano role of Nonnie in a concert version of Chandler Carter’s new opera entitled Strange Fruit in conjunction with New York City Opera, Mimi in La Bohème with Nashville Opera, Porgy and Bess concerts in Tel Aviv and Rishon LeZion with The Israel Symphony Orchestra and Mo. Asher Fisch, a concert performance with NYCO as Claire in William Grant Still's Troubled Island, and returned to The Metropolitan Opera to cover Yvette in La Rondine.
The following season, she performed Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Opera Cleveland, Mimí in La Bohème with the Arizona Opera, returned to The Metropolitan Opera for Le Nozze di Figaro, performed the role of Lucy in the Théâtre du Châtelet musical de Paris production of Scott Joplin's Treemonisha with Grace Bumbry, and performed the role of Bess in the Grand Rapids Opera production of Porgy and Bess.For the 2010-2011 season, Miss. Burnett returns to the MET for Iphegenie en Tauride and to Arizona Opera to sing Micaëla in Carmen and has just finished her first performances of Leila in Bizet's Pearl Fishers with Syracuse Opera as well as the soprano soloist in Beethoven’s mount of Olives at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem.
Miss. Burnett was a member of the sister group to Three Mo’ Tenors entitled Three Mo’ Divas and recently toured to Austria, Sweden, and Japan with the New York Harlem Productions (NYHP) company performing the roles of Clara and Bess in Porgy and Bess. Additionally, Ms. Burnett has performed with Ray Charles, Dr. Billy Taylor, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and at Oprah Winfrey’s personal birthday celebration at the home of Maya Angelou while attending Spelman College.