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Acclaim

San Francisco Opera: Girls Of The Golden West

Bridges displayed breathtaking composure and inner strength in the part. She is lovely to behold, and her melting voice only adds to the impact of her terrifying story.

The Bay Area Reporter
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Acclaim

San Francisco Opera: Girls Of The Golden West

J'Nai Bridges sings the ill-fated Josefa with pride, elegance and a gloriously rich mezzo (as well as looking stunning)...

BachTrack
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Acclaim

San Francisco Opera: Girls Of The Golden West

J’Nai Bridges gave a glowing, searing performance as Josefa, who responds to the mob with serene fury.

The New Yorker
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Acclaim

San Francisco Opera: Girls Of The Golden West

J'Nai Bridges brought a lush mezzo and a defiant ferocity to Josefa...

The Wall Street Journal
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Acclaim

San Francisco Opera: Girls Of The Golden West

Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges sang Josefa Segovia with glowering intensity and a beautiful dark tone.

San Francisco Classical Voice
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Features

J’Nai Bridges Is Ready

Fist bumps and high fives don’t often follow a mezzo-soprano’s brisk high Cs or equally impressive delivery of low range, dusky, rich notes, but when ambition appears in the voice and form of J’Nai Bridges, it’s hard to resist.

San Francisco Classical Voice
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Stars of Lyric Opera at Millennium Park

Bridges [was] seductive... [She] had the most gorgeous gown of the evening (and it was an evening of many gorgeous gowns) — a tight fitting fuchsia confection with a mermaid skirt and undulating ruffles at the neck and down the back. She was equally gorgeous in "Va! Laisse couler mes larmes" from “Werther.” Her approach was thoughtful, the result was moving, and she had particularly lovely dark sound in her lowest notes.

Hyde Park Herald
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Acclaim

National Symphony Orchestra: Christoph Eschenbach Conducts Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Try not to get choked up at Eschenbach’s majestic and even surprising take, delivered by the reliable Choral Arts Society and a superb cast of soloists (Leah Crocetto, J’nai Bridges, Joseph Kaiser, and Solomon Howard).

Washington Classical Review
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Acclaim

National Symphony Orchestra: Christoph Eschenbach Conducts Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, a sensation at Wolf Trap in recent summers, brought refinement and power to the alto solo.

Washington Classical Review
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Acclaim

Vancouver Opera Festival: Dead Man Walking

Bridges is blessed with a rich, clear, yet often sultry-as-Louisiana-summer mezzo that scales easily into the higher register and finds all the shading of the score's jazzier lilts.

The Georgia Straight
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Acclaim

Vancouver Opera Festival: Dead Man Walking

...Bridges is exemplary, a singer we will surely hear from in the future.

Vancouver Sun
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Acclaim

Bayerische Staatsoper: Andrea Chénier

J’Nai Bridges as the ladies-maid Bersi turned prostitute made a lot of the relatively small role. Singing with significant heft over the raucous music in ‘Temer Perché?’ the mezzo-soprano confidently proclaimed she had nothing to fear from revolutionary spies.

Seen and Heard International
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Acclaim

Bayerische Staatsoper: Andrea Chénier

American mezzo J’Nai Bridges looked and sounded astoundingly good as Bersi.

Opera News
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Features

Talking with singers: J’Nai Bridges

Yet Bridges has an unexpected advantage. Before pursuing seriously her singing career, she ran track competitively and played basketball. Like many opera singers do, Bridges considers the discipline she had as an athlete, "kind of like being an opera singer."

Schmopera
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Acclaim

LA Opera: Akhnaten

Particularly affecting, both musically and dramatically, was Akhnaten and Nefertiti’s duet in Act II. Slowly emerging from the wings in scarlet robes with long trains, Anthony Roth Costanzo and J’Nai Bridges sang elegantly of their love. As in the “Liebestod” from Tristan and Isolde, it became a moment outside time, a mystical glimpse into the beyond. Costanzo has the classic countertenor’s eerie celestial sound, well-suited to the role, and Bridges’s rich mezzo blended with his voice so well that it felt like listening to the folk tradition of blood harmony – that singular sound of close relatives singing together, which creates a sort of aural shimmer.

Seen and Heard International
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Acclaim

LA Opera: Akhnaten

J’Nai Bridges, a rising star, is an opulent Nefertiti.

Los Angeles Times
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Features

J’Nai Bridges Bounces from the Basketball Court to the Opera House

Now, at the age of 29, the American mezzo-soprano is performing major roles for some of the world’s most renowned companies including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Bavarian State Opera.

KQED Arts
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Acclaim

Wolf Trap Opera: The Rape of Lucretia

...with the gentle female sphere of Lucretia, which Britten drapes with luminosity, and which J’Nai Bridges invested with regal anguish

The Washington Post
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Features

J’nai Bridges Is Conquering the Opera World

The mezzo-soprano just finished the Lyric’s training program and heads toward a promising career.

Chicago Mag
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Features

Opera News – Rising Stars

Last spring, mezzo J'Nai Bridges was one of a handful of American artists competing for Cardiff’s Singer of the World prize.

Opera News
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Acclaim

San Diego Opera: Madama Butterfly

J’nai Bridges’ Suzuki can lay claim as one of the finest displays of Japanese reserve and restraint. Vocally gifted with effusive, smoky substance, her softness and soulfulness fit like a glove as the devoted servant. It is here (and likely the only place) where true frisson and pathos deeply penetrate the soul. Ms. Bridges expresses her character with moving delicateness; she will go far.

ConcertoNet.com
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Features

Friends team up for ‘Madama Butterfly’

Raised in Lakewood, Wash., Bridges also sang in church as a girl, but unlike Moore, her voice never suited the demands of gospel music. Instead she found her groove as a classical singer when she was a basketball-playing senior in high school ... Her facility at winning contests — she gives credit to her athletic training, which helps her perform well under pressure — put her on the map with a lot of artistic directors and conductors, who have booked her for many upcoming roles through mid-2017.

The San Diego Union-Tribune
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Features

BWW Interview: J’Nai Bridges Morphs from Sports to Suzuki in SDO Butterfly

When it comes to rising stars in the opera world, J'nai Bridges is one to watch.

Broadway World
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Features

Forty (More) Under Forty: The Next Generation of Great Opera Singers, Part 2

J’nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano, memorably sang the role of Carmen, a young Peruvian, in Jimmy López and Nilo Cruz’s Bel Canto at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

WQXR Operavore
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Bel Canto

​Carmen’s character is deftly etched in Lopez’s music, and J’nai Bridges delivered it exquisitely, her rich mezzo commanding admirable attention.​

Huffington Post
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Bel Canto

That said, there are beguiling musical turns in this work that make it a success, notably a pair of powerful, side-by-side duets near the close and a touching aria written for a rebel named Carmen, sung beautifully by mezzo J'Nai Bridges.​

Denver Post
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Bel Canto

​Carmen’s character is deftly etched in Lopez’s music, and J’nai Bridges delivered it exquisitely, her rich mezzo commanding admirable attention.​

Seen and Heard International
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Bel Canto

​sung by ​the plush-voiced mezzo-soprano J’nai Bridges​ . . .

The New York Times
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Acclaim

Los Angeles Philharmonic and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

​The other soloists — soprano Mariana Ortiz, mezzo-soprano J'nai Bridges and tenor Joshua Guerrero (all are on the recording as well) — made a tight, strong ensemble.​

Los Angeles Times
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Il trovatore

J’nai Bridges, a star in the making, likewise brought more detail to the servant Inez than the usual cypher.

Chicago Classical Review
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Il trovatore

Like everyone else in the cast, mezzo-soprano J’nai Bridges, who appeared as Inez, Leonora’s handmaiden, brought a sense of fully-drawn character to her role.

Chicago Sun-Times
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Beyond the Aria

The idea is to pair two established artists with a young Ryan Center artist for each program. As it turned, out, Ryan member Bridges, delivered some of the finest moments of the evening. The mezzo-soprano’s rendition of Ravel’s Sheherezade cycle was mesmerizing, alternately impassioned and suffused with sensual languor and smoky tone. She brought a maternal caressing expression to Montsalvatge’s lullaby Canción de cuna para dormir un negrito and sassy panache to Gershwin’s I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise, returning this standard to its jazz-age roots.

Chicago Classical Review
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Acclaim

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Recital

In the French songs of Debussy, Bridges opened confidently with a rich resonant sound surrounded by a dramatic depth, even when she was not singing.

Washington Life Magazine
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Acclaim

Finger Lakes Opera: Carmen

J’nai Bridges and Gregory Kunde lit the fire of a passionate, sensual, once-in-a-lifetime, full-moon evening. The children’s ensemble, the reckless knife fights, the sexy ballet and the driving energy overwhelmed my previous memory of Placido Domingo’s Metropolitan Opera production twenty years ago.

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Acclaim

Knoxville Opera: Norma

KO executive director Brian Salesky hit pay dirt in casting the role of the priestess Adalgisa with mezzo-soprano J’nai Bridges, a singer probably unlikely to be in Knoxville Opera’s price range for much longer. Bridges’ voice is warm and velvety, but with a thrilling edge quite miraculous in a young singer. Her Act I aria, 'Sgombra e la sacra selva … Deh! proteggimi, o Dio,' a prayer to her god to protect her from the misfortunes of love, was memorable for its dramatic impact, not to mention a clarity of tone capable of causing a few spine tingles.

metropulse.com
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Rising Stars in Concert

...Bridges can be a knockout. She most certainly was in Sapho's recitative and aria from the eponymous Massenet work, which she delivered with an earthy, alluring sound, impressive range and proud bearing, to match the vibrant Bess she sang later in the program opposite the Porgy of second-year baritone Will Liverman.

Chicago Tribune
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Acclaim

Chicago Symphony Orchestra: Ravel’s Shéhérazade

Currently a young artist at the Lyric Opera’s Ryan Opera Center, Bridges possesses a clear and flexible voice and her performance of Ravel’s Chansons madecasses was first class in every way. The young mezzo brought just the right degree of sensual languor to “Nahandove” in a flowing and sensitive rendering. She put across the emotional intensity of the anti-colonialist 'Aoua!' with bracing fervor and dusky chest tone without losing Gallic refinement or going over the top. The relaxed romantic essence of 'Il est doux' was equally poised and expressive. The trio support by Aucoin at the piano, cellist Kenneth Olsen and Jennifer Gunn doubling flute and piccolo was on a comparably high level.

Chicago Classical Review
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: La traviata

Standouts among the comprimarios included Richard Ollarsaba's velvety Grenvil and an uncommonly alluring Flora from J'nai Bridges.

Opera News
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Acclaim

Lyric Opera of Chicago: Stars of Lyric Opera Concert

The 'Carmen' sequence was notable chiefly for allowing the promising young American mezzo-soprano J'nai Bridges to strut her alluringly dusky voice and fiery temperament as the Gypsy femme fatale, opposite tenor Brandon Jovanovich's ardent Don Jose. This was a good start on a touchstone role she may well make her own one day.

Chicago Tribune
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Acclaim

Curtis Opera Theatre and Opera Company of Philadelphia: Elegy for Young Lovers

J’nai Bridges’s smoky, well-projected mezzo as the secretary Carolina was another standout.

Bachtrack.com
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