Thursday, August 20, 2020

Mezzo-Soprano J'Nai Bridges Gives Her Great Big Story To CNN

"J’Nai Bridges knows that most people perceive opera as being an artform for the elite. Because opera was traditionally catered towards nobility, many today still don’t feel welcome. Bridges wants to change that. The mezzo-soprano is a rising star in the opera world, with starring roles on stages around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera House and the San Francisco Opera. When she’s not belting out arias, she’s going to local schools to give students a chance to experience an opera, or teaching masterclasses at colleges. As a Black, female artist, Bridges knows the importance of showing children—especially BIPOC children—that classical music is possible. As Bridges says, when she walks into a room or onto a stage, her goal is to 'change minds, heal hearts, and make music.'" Watch the video after the jump. 

See the complete CNN video by clicking here.  J’Nai Bridges was born February 6, 1987, in Hawaii, but her family moved to the Tacoma area in Washington when she was two months old. The previous owners of the home had left a baby grand piano and after a period of time Ms. Bridges was started in piano lessons at age 2. It was in high school that she had to decide if she would pursue music or basketball. Although being the captain of her team, it was joining the choir that led to private voice lessons and soon she was performing at Tacoma Opera. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music from Manhattan School of Music and a Master of Music at Curtis Institute of Music. Ms. Bridges is an alumni of the Ryan Opera Center Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Young Artist program at the Glimmerglass Festival. Companies with whom she has worked include Washington National Opera, Metropolitan Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Opera, Amarillo Symphony, Dutch National Opera, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Gran Teatre del Liceu, San Antonio Symphony, Opernhaus Zürich, Bayerische Staatsoper, Vancouver Opera, Los Angeles Opera, New York Philharmonic, Knoxville Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Ms. Bridges has sung under such prestigious conductors as Gustavo Dudamel, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Bramwell Tovey, in such wide ranging venues from London's Royal Albert Hall to Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) in New York. J’Nai Bridges is a recipient of the prestigious 2018 Sphinx Medal of Excellence Award, a 2016 Richard Tucker Career Grant, first prize winner at the 2016 Francisco Viñas International Competition, first prize winner at the 2015 Gerda Lissner Competition, a recipient of the 2013 Sullivan Foundation Award, and the Marian Anderson Award in 2012. [Source, SourceSource