Sad news: Death of an international US mezzo, aged 54

Friends are reporting the death of Kristine (Kris) Jepson, a popular figure on the opera circuit.

Iowa born, she played Kitty Oppenheimer in the first San Francisco run of John Adams’ Doctor Atomic and replaced Susan Graham in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking.

Kris sang Octavian and Siebel at the Met, as well as numerous roles at Covent Garden, La Scala, the Monnaie, the Liceu, Dreden and Munich.

She is widely mourned.

Photo: Stephan Trierenberg/AP

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  • I am stunned reading this. I am so profoundly sorry. I last saw Jepson some 17 years ago as Octavian at the Metropolitan. Just can’t believe the unexpected news. May she rest in eternal peace. My heartfelt condolences to her friends and family.

  • Like many of this who knew her I’m stunned, I knew she’d been ill for years but saw that her agent, Zemsky Green kept her on the roster years after she’d stopped appearing in public. She was freakishly talented, so many things came so easily to her. One of our funnier and easier colleagues, I’m grateful to have known her.

  • Kris was in my BAND at Morningside College at the beginning of my career as a university professor. I always went to hear her sing, and always was jealous of what she could do with her voice that I could never get to happen on the clarinet. This stunned me and frankly left me in tears. Rest in peace my former student.

    Bob Spring

  • A classmate at Morningside College……so unbelievably sad to hear this distressing news. RIP Kris and condolences to all of the amazingly talented Jepson family.

  • Our deepest condolences to the Jepson family for their loss. Such a fine talent to be lost so young.

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