About Janine


American mezzo-soprano Janine Hawley has achieved accolades for her critically acclaimed performances of roles ranging from Carmen to Cherubino in opera houses throughout the United States. She has played principal roles with the Washington Opera, Opera Company of Philadelphia, New Orleans Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Utah Opera, Opera Festival of New Jersey, Boston Lyric Opera, Tulsa Opera, Connecticut Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Carolina, Chicago Opera Theater, Sacramento Opera, Chautauqua Opera, among others.  

Beginning her career in Musical Theatre, Ms. Hawley performed in regional theaters across the country in Candide, Naughty Marietta (Paper Mill Playhouse), Sweeney Todd (Paul Gemignani conducting, NYCO), Music Man (with Bob Gunton, NYCO), Carousel (Augusta Opera, Monomoy Theater, Cape Cod), Quilters (Monomoy Theater, Cape Cod), A Little Night Music (Piedmont Opera), Desert Song, Guys and Dolls, The Sound of Music, and Hello Dolly!  Concert performances are an equally important aspect of Ms. Hawley's art and conductors are drawn to her impressive musicianship, mastery of styles and sensitive interpretations.  She has worked with the famed Detroit Symphony, Vancouver, Colorado, Omaha, Louisville Orchestra, Chautauqua, and Winston-Salem Symphonies and in such concert venues as Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and Weill Recital Hall.  Ms. Hawley made her international debut with the Jerusalem International Symphony singing Mahler’s famed Second Symphony in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Other notable engagements include the New York premiere of Gian Carlo Menotti's autobiographical cantata, Landscapes and Remembrances, in celebration of the composer's birthday with the Little Orchestra Society.  Her Carnegie Hall debut was as soloist in Vivaldi's Gloria, and she returned to sing Handel’s Messiah, both with John Rutter conducting.  


The passion to share my love of the arts with young artists has always burned within me and has more recently been put into action through my teaching on a variety of levels. I have grown into my university teaching position as Associate Professor of Voice and Assistant Dean for Academics and Administration at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) over the last several years. I derive great joy from seeing the transformation of students who may have sung all their lives as well as those who have had no formal musical training. My acting students teach me every day and challenge me to learn and grow with the changing times of our world and industry.


After pivoting away from a performing life on the road, I expanded my breadth of guiding young artists as the director of the community outreach program Acting Out from the UNCSA School of Drama. This program hires alumni of the conservatory to teach courses in Acting, Musical Theatre and varying forms of Dance, as committed practitioners who guide children to grow and thrive, not only as actors but as people. I have been awarded grants from Novant Health Social Division to invite students of the global majority to attend the Summer Day Camps tuition-free. Always having a heart for service, I have worked as a tutor with Latinx youth through the Open Arms house for over 12 years, encouraging students from UNCSA to accompany me in cultivating these relationships and exposing these youth to the arts. I was privileged to make a mission trip to Guatemala teaching music to the youth there, I have volunteered in homeless shelters from New York City to North Carolina and is active on my church’s Anti-Racism team.

and beyond...

Guatemala with kids.jpg

Voices for Change

Voices for Change

Voices for Change

Watch Now

Her video “Voices for Change”, honoring Women’s Equality Day (August 2020), collaborated with Substance Use Disorder patients, women in Crisis Control facilities along with faculty and students to tell the story of women throughout our community. 


Ms. Hawley is the newly-appointed Director of the Brevard High School Voice Programs in Brevard, NC where she will be guiding high school students in an intensive for both classical and musical theater concentrations.

Academic and Program Direction Experience

UNCSA School of Drama

Associate Professor/Assistant Dean of Academics and Administration


UNCSA School of Drama

Acting Out Community Program Director


Greensboro College

Guest Instructor of Voice



Music Center High School

Voice Program Director


University of Hartford

The Hartt School

(Chair of the Vocal Division 1996-2001)

Wake Forest University

Guest Instructor of Voice

(2010-2011, 2020)