Behind the Scenes
Iranian-American soprano Jessie Massoudi is a native of Southern California, and is best known for her fearless personality on stage. She has been described as having “a young, quirky Elizabeth McGovern quality” in her stage presence and “moves with distinctive personality – finding just the right balance of camp and economy of movement”, (Bruce Fessier, The Desert Sun).
Jessie has enjoyed playing leading roles in many operas, most notably Musetta (La Bohème – Desert Theatre League “Best Supporting Actress” award nominee), Miss Silverpeal (The Impresario), Giulietta (Les Contes d’Hoffmann), Nella (Gianni Schicchi), and Dorabella (Così fan tutte). Musical theater and operetta highlights include, among others, creating the role of Janine in the world premier of Gunfight at the Not-So-OK Saloon, a hilarious award winning Hollywood Fringe Festival operetta), Adele and “Allie”/Alfred (Die Fledermaus), Lisa (The Grand Duke), Lady Angela (Patience – Desert Theatre League “Best Supporting Actress” award winner), Gertrude McFuzz (Seussical the Musical), Amy March (Little Women the Musical), Evita, and Guys and Dolls. In the summer of 2021, Ms. Massoudi was able to return to live theater with Mission Opera in the West Coast premiere of Offenbach's Le 66 as Grittly, and will sing the role of Gianetta in Landmark Opera's fall production of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Gondoliers.
Ms. Massoudi holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Redlands, where she sang in the award winning Chapel Singers chamber ensemble under the direction of Jean-Sebastien Valleé. As a versatile artist, Jessie is also well known as a pop singer with a bluesy quality to her voice, and frequently performs with the jazz band, North Benched.
Having worked with several human rights organizations, mainly Women’s March, Code Pink, Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Field Team Six, Supermajority, and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC), Jessie is known for her strong activism in her communities. As a first-generation biracial Iranian-American, she has recently become an Elections Coordinator and member leader for the Los Angeles Chapter of NIAC, and has been hard at work ever since, making sure that Iranian-American voices all across the country are heard. Through NIAC, not only has she spoken with senators and congresspeople, working towards a better future, but she has also taken part of many mehmoonis (Iranian festivities) as a performer and host, and will certainly take part in many more.
As a bisexual woman, Jessie is also using her voice to speak up for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. She often volunteers with the Human Rights Campain (HRC) and, through NIAC, took the lead in the Sepi Shyne campaign in West Hollywood, CA, making her the first openly queer Iranian-American to be elected into office in the entire world. In 2018 Landmark Opera gave Jessie the opportunity to play a gender-bending version of Alfred in Die Fledermaus, allowing her to create a lesbian character out of a well known role in the opera world. Ms. Massoudi hopes that by using her skills in the performing arts, she can raise awareness, open minds, and help bring peace to the world.
“Where words fail, music speaks”
-Hans Christian Andersen