• Opera Under 30 Profiles – Jessica Wright

    By Danielle D'Ornellas


    Jessica Wright, 19 years old.
    Second year voice performance major at the University of Toronto.

    1. How were you introduced to opera?

    I had a wonderful music teacher in elementary school who took students in Grades 7 and 8 on evening field trips to the COC. I went on every trip and ultimately saw four operas before I was even in high school! 

    2. What was your first opera? 

    Bizet's Carmen  naturally there was no turning back. 

    3. How did you find out about the Opera Under 30 program? 

    I attended an arts high school as a voice major and it was a regular thing for students there to be attending operas of their own accord. The teachers always reminded us to utilize the Opera Under 30 program, so I started going to COC productions with my school friends, especially as I got older and decided I wanted to study voice performance at the university level. 

    4. How many COC performances have you seen? 

    It's hard to keep track, but probably somewhere in the range of 10 to 20. I've been on a solid trend of two to three a year since high school, and those number have only been increasing.

    5. Have you successfully introduced any of your friends to opera? 

    I took my roommate to her first opera last year (Iphigenia in Tauris), and from there we attended most of the rest of the season. It's a lot easier to attend the operas now that I live in Toronto and don't have to factor in travel plans, because we can just go on a whim whenever we're both free. Our favourite opera this season was definitely Tales of Hoffmann; that was an all-around stunning production! 

    6. Tell us about your favourite opera. 

    I'm hesitant to choose a favourite opera, as I feel I have many still to hear, but I adore the operas of Benjamin Britten. I've loved all the Robert Carsen productions of Gluck operas I've seen at the COC, particularly Orfeo ed Euridice and I still have a first-love favouritism for Carmen

    7. What opera from the 2012/2013 season are you most looking forward to?

    It's a tie between Lucia di Lammermoor and Dialogues des Carmélites, because I've been wanting to see a live production of Lucia forever, but I have a mild obsession with the music of Poulenc. That opera will most likely blow me away. I think I have to go with that one. 

    8. What is your favourite thing to wear to the opera? 

    I like to utilize the opera as an opportunity to dress up – and in a building so architecturally stunning as the Four Seasons Centre, who wouldn't? I'll don whatever dress I'm in the mood to wear that day, and as a singer, I own quite a few dresses. 

    You can chat with Jessica on Twitter — @jessleeigh

    Opera Under 30 tickets go on sale Saturday, September 15 at 10 a.m. online and in person at the Four Seasons Centre. For more information, visit operaunder30.ca

    Photo of Jessica Wright by Ayesha Taylor.

    Posted in Opera Under 30


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