articles / bizet

An Athletic ‘Carmen’ at San Francisco Opera

The curtain goes up on Carmen Wednesday night, the first of the San Francisco Opera‘s trio of a summer season. In the title role will be J’Nai Bridges, making her third appearance with SFO. It’s a demanding part, but she’s been preparing for it since her student days, and even before.

An Athletic ‘Carmen’ at San Francisco Opera

There’s more information about the performances at the San Francisco Opera website.

Bridges made the decision to follow her musical dreams after having a parallel interest and talent in playing basketball during high school, which she says she’s been reminded of, playing Carmen. “By the end of the opera I feel like I’ve just played a basketball game, and I know what that feels like… I like to actually call this role the Beyoncé of opera, because I’m just doing everything. I’m singing, I’m dancing, I’m falling. It’s really an athletic role.” It’s also a dream role, and one that generally takes time to build up to. “It’s been something that I’ve been working on probably for ten years, actually. Because it’s not a role that you can just get out of bed and sing. It takes some… some living with. And actually, just some life experience,” Bridges says. “Certainly the fourth act is probably vocally the most demanding, so I’ve been working on that for a long time, but I also started looking at that later. The Habanera was the first thing that I looked at. I learned it for parties and auditions, It’s just so fun. It’s actually not as easy as it sounds, but I’ve gone through a lot of different journeys with that aria, and now it… It just feels so organic.” This is the third role she’s had with SF Opera – she sang in Andrea Chénier in 2016, and John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West in 2017; this Carmen is her role debut on a big stage. “I’m so happy to be debuting the role here in San Francisco, where I do feel like this house is kind of my home.”

Written by:
Jeffrey Freymann
Jeffrey Freymann
Published on 06.11.2019

MORE LIKE THIS

Puccini’s First Triumph, at San Francisco Opera

Puccini’s First Triumph, at San Francisco Opera

Despite a muddled libretto, Giacomo Puccini's opera Manon Lescaut solidified his status as Verdi's successor. Conductor Nicola Luisotti praises the music's ability to transport listeners to paradise.

puccini
11/07/2019
San Francisco Opera Announces Its Next Season

San Francisco Opera Announces Its Next Season

San Francisco Opera's 2019-2020 season features eight diverse productions, including a trilogy of Mozart-Da Ponte operas, Britten's Billy Budd, and the Bay Area premiere of Mason Bates' (R)evolution of Steve Jobs.

sf opera
03/27/2019
‘The Day’ at San Francisco Performances

‘The Day’ at San Francisco Performances

"The Day", a collaborative piece by composer David Lang, cellist Maya Beiser, and dancer Wendy Whelan, premieres in the Bay Area. The work features text from internet users worldwide.

dance
03/06/2020
San Francisco Opera’s New Tosca

San Francisco Opera’s New Tosca

Soprano Carmen Giannattasio debuts in San Francisco Opera's new production of Tosca, fulfilling a long-held dream. She brings a fresh approach to the classic Puccini tale of love and revenge.

sf opera
03/27/2019
Nadine Sierra’s First ‘Juliet’ at SF Opera

Nadine Sierra’s First ‘Juliet’ at SF Opera

San Francisco Opera's new season begins with Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet, featuring soprano Nadine Sierra in her role debut. Sierra discusses the challenges of French roles.

sf opera
10/01/2019
‘Cycles of My Being’ at San Francisco Performances

‘Cycles of My Being’ at San Francisco Performances

Tenor Lawrence Brownlee premieres a new song cycle, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, in a San Francisco concert. The music is by Tyshan Sorey and lyrics by Terrance Hayes.

pop culture
05/11/2018