Talking with singers: J’Nai Bridges

“We’re very sensitive beings,” says American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges of living the life of a singer. “We’re being criticised all the time, and that’s just the nature of the job.” It’s a mountainous task to develop the vocal technique needed to survive as an opera singer; it’s another thing entirely to develop the thick skin that keeps a singer sane and healthy within a career that can depend on the opinions of others. “Inherently, whether we want to admit or not, we think about what people think of us,” says Bridges, sympathising with singers who suffer from nerves and self-doubt onstage. “It’s just natural, I think.”

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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