Profiles from the Pit: Jacqueline Hanson - Viola - Michigan Opera Theatre

Profiles from the Pit: Jacqueline Hanson – Viola

Violist Jacqueline Hanson fell in love with opera as a child, when her violin teacher gave her a recording of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. When she joined the Michigan Opera Theatre Orchestra at the beginning of its 2018-19 season, she was thrilled her first opera orchestra job was to perform the work that started it all.

Eugene Onegin was my first opera, and I fell in love with the lush symphonic score and the gorgeous singing,” she said. “It felt very special to return to the first opera I ever loved.”

Jacqueline started her musical training on the violin at 10 years old but switched to viola in her sophomore year of college.

"I switched to viola, because I played it in a chamber music group and felt I had found my voice," she said. "I love the gorgeous array of colors the instrument is able to produce and the unique role it has been given by many composers."

Jacqueline was raised in Kalamazoo before earning her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan and then her Master of Music degree the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

In addition to MOT, she performs with orchestras throughout the region, including the symphonies in Detroit, Toledo, Flint and Ann Arbor, where she currently resides. She also performs chamber music with her orchestra colleagues around Metro Detroit.

Outside of performing, Jacqueline teaches both violin and viola from her home. She and her partner Josh also enjoy spending time in Detroit, visiting Eastern Market and trying new restaurants, as well as spending time with their Chihuahua, Remy.