Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, raised in Cape Town and studied at Stellenbosch University. In 2003 She received the Skye Foundation bursary which enabled her to pursue her postgraduate studies in Vienna at the Opera Studio in the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien, which she completed with distinction. In Vienna, she debuted in 2005 with the lead role of Kain’s Lamb, in the renowned Israeli composer, Tsippi Fleischer’s opera, Cane and Abel, together with the Opernwerkstatt Wien at the Semperdepot in Vienna. This kicked off a flourishing career of contemporary opera roles in a variety of European theatres including collaborations with Neue Oper Wien, Carinthischer Festspiele,  and Volksoper Wien. 

 

Jolene also specialises in Mozartian roles, performing amongst other the roles Cherubino, Dorabella, and Zweite Dame in Vienna, Germany and on Japan tours with the Baden Stadttheater Ensemble. In 2006 she was asked by director Phillip Harnoncourt to perform Dorabella in Cosí fan tutti at the Kirchstetten Festival in Austria, and in 2008, again under Harnoncourt’s directing, performed Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel at the Rosenfestival, Germany.

 

In 2009 She won the first prize at the Nico Dostal Internationalen Operetten Wettbewerb. This led to a series of engagements and concert tours through east and west Europe with the renowned Johann Strauss Ensemble. Jolene represents Austria in diplomatic circles with the Johann Strauss Ensemble still to present day.

 

During her time in Vienna, she worked closely together with Prof. Fritz Brucker, a Schubert specialist, and performed regularly with the Schubertbund, including the Schubertiade in Vienna, and the Goldenensaal in the Musikverein. Her concert programs were then further promoted by the agency La Prima Volta, which included regular performances with pianist, Ilse Schumann, at the Baroksaal in Altes Rathaus, Vienna, and various Ö1 events in Austria and Germany. She was promoted as an Ö1 musician in 2010. She also was a regular soloist heard in the Mozart masses sung in Stephansdom, Karlskirche and the Franziskanerkirche in Vienna, performing with the Salzburger Konzertgesellschaft and the Junge Philharmonie Wien. In 2013 she performed the Alt solo in Handel’s Messiah in the Cankarjev Dom in Ljubljana, Slovenia, with the Slovenian Philharmonic, under the baton of Martina Batic.

 

In 2013 she recorded the premiere recording of Nancy van de Vate’s opera Hamlet. She sang title roles in the world-premieres of the opera production Götter und Söhne (a compilation of Milhaud’s minute operas) at the Carinthischer Festspiele, and Max Nagl’s opera Chamilo Chameleon, which was also broadcast live on ORF 1, with director Michael Scheidl and Netzzeit Wien. In 2014 she performed the title role of Elektra in the Austrian Premiere of Manfred Trojahn’s Orest with Neue Oper Wien. 

 

In 2016 she performed the world premiere of Hans Roosenschoon's Song Cycle Die Melkweg en die Gebreekte Snaar with the Juliet Ensemble as part of the KOMPOS seminar at Stellenbosch University. In the same year, she performed the world premiere of Hendrik Hofmeyr's Song Cycle Hemp van Vlam at the CTICC in 2016 and Woordfees 2017. In 2017 she sang the world premiere of Hans Roosenschoon‘s song cycle Vier Gebede in the Endler Concert Series in Stellenbosch, South Africa with USSO under the baton of Corvin Matei, performed Bizet's Carmen with Niel Rademan Productions at Oude Libertas and Klein Karoo Klassique Festival and Ravel's Nuit d'Ete with the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra at the Brooklyn Theatre (Pretoria). In 2019 she released her first solo recital CD - MOOD SWINGS, the roles of a mezzo - and performed the repertoire at the Woordfees in the Endler Hall. The performance was filmed by KykNet and is regularly broadcasted on the KykNet television channel.

Her teaching career began in 2013 as voice lecturer at the Open Acting Academy in Vienna. From 2015 to 2019 she was appointed voice lecturer at Stellenbosch University in South Africa. She recently moved to Lindau in Bavaria, Germany, where she will continue to teach, develop her studio, and pursue her performance and academic career. She is presently completing her doctorate on South African composer Hans Roosenschoon's vocal music.