Molly Cason Johnson, soprano, is an award-winning singer, actor, director, and professor who counts it a joy and privilege to have spent a lifetime working in the performing arts.
Ms. Johnson is a versatile singer-actress with professional credits in opera, music theatre, and theatre and a special affinity for over-the-top characters. Favorite recent roles include Florence Foster Jenkins – the world’s worst opera singer – in Painted Sky Opera’s hilarious production of Souvenir (see Gallery and read Article), the bunion-bearing Mayor’s wife, Eulalie McKechnie Shinn in the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre production of The Music Man in Concert, and the former champion and devoted moderator Rona Lisa Peretti in the Pollard Theater Production of 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Other ‘femme favorites’ include Mrs. Pearce in My Fair Lady, Marcellina in Le nozze di Figaro, Mother in Amahl and the Night Vistors, and The Old Lady in Candide with CityRep, Opera East Texas, Baton Rouge Opera, Asheville (NC) Lyric Opera, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Music Theatre of Wichita, and Nebraska Theatre Caravan. In addition to staged productions, she regularly performs in concert, recital, cabaret, and oratorio settings and is a lifelong chorister. Molly is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Ms. Johnson’s versatility is also evident in her work as a director of operas, musicals, plays, cabarets, and revues. Her recent direction of Amahl and the Night Visitors with Painted Sky Opera garnered two 2021 Broadway World Regional Awards (OK) for Best Direction of a Musical (professional) and Best Direction of a Stream (professional). Since 2016 she has directed six of the annual Opera for Children productions presented by The University of Central Oklahoma, several of which have been her personal adaptations of standard opera repertoire. Other musical theatre and opera work includes full productions of Carousel, Bye Bye Birdie, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Little Women (musical), Godspell, The Old Maid and the Thief, and I Can’t Stand Wagner, and opera workshop productions of A Game of Chance, The Stoned Guest, Purcell’s Dido and Aneas, her adaptation of Humperdink’s Hansel and Gretel, the children’s opera Anniversary Tales (co-directed with students), and numerous scenes programs.
Her college and university teaching areas include undergraduate and graduate applied voice, diction, pedagogy and musical theatre classes in performance, survey, and history. Her students have sung on Broadway and national tours, with New York City Opera, and with regional opera and music theatre companies, won state and regional vocal competitions, been awarded numerous talent scholarships and assistantships, and been admitted to undergraduate and graduate music programs across the United States.
Pre pandemic, Molly spent multiple summers in New York City as Assistant Administrative Director/Assistant Stage Director for the Martina Arroyo Foundation opera program Prelude to Performance®. Martina Arroyo was a Kennedy Center honoree in 2013 and is devoted to the development and promotion of emerging opera artists through her personal leadership and through her Foundation.
She is married to ‘her favorite tenor’ Mark Johnson, with whom she frequently collaborates. They have presented duo recitals and revues for arts organizations in NC, TX, LA, VA, OK, and beyond. They are co-directors of Highland Music, a private voice studio specializing in classical and musical theatre and have released two recordings of sacred solo and duet music.
She is active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and has served as President of the Dallas-Ft.Worth Area Chapter and Treasurer for the North Carolina Chapter. She is also a member of NOA and ACDA. She holds the BM degree in Vocal Performance from Oklahoma City University and the MM and DMA degrees in Vocal Performance from Louisiana State University. The Johnsons have two wonderful daughters – also performers – and two cats, who have yet to be on stage but are exceedingly dramatic.