American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after talents of her generation.
In the 2017/18 season, J’Nai returned to San Francisco Opera as Josefa Segovia in the world premiere of John Adams’ Girls of the Golden West directed by Peter Sellars, in addition to performing the role of Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino with Opera Zürich. She is also featured with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl and in works by Mozart at Walt Disney Hall; in Gershwin selections with the New York Philharmonic at the Bravo! Vail Festival led by Bramwell Tovey; and in Bernstein centennial celebrations with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. She will return to San Francisco Opera in 2019 in the title role of Carmen.
Recent opera performance highlights include debuts at San Francisco Opera and Bavarian State Opera as Bersi in Andrea Chénier; at LA Opera as Nefertiti in Akhnaten; and at Vancouver Opera as Sister Helen Prejean in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking; and performances as Carmen in the world premiere of Bel Canto, an opera by Jimmy Lopez, based on the novel by Ann Patchett at the Lyric Opera of Chicago; the title role in The Rape of Lucretia at Wolf Trap Opera; Suzuki in Madama Butterfly at San Diego Opera and Wolf Trap Opera; the title role in Carmen at the Finger Lakes Opera; and Adalgisa in Norma at Knoxville Opera. J’Nai’s recent performances include the roles of Carmen in the world premiere of Bel Canto with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with San Diego Opera, and the title role in The Rape of Lucretia with Wolf Trap Opera; as well as concert engagements with Yo-Yo Ma and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, and Oregon Symphony under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel; and with the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg.
J’Nai recently completed a three-year residency with the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, which included performances as Inez in Il Trovatore conducted by Asher Fisch, Vlasta in Mieczysław Weinberg’s The Passenger under the baton of Sir Andrew Davis, and Flora in La Traviata. In 2015, J’Nai Bridges represented the United States at the Singer of the World Competition in Cardiff, Wales. Additionally, she was a recipient of a 2016 Richard Tucker Career grant, a first prize winner at the 2016 Francisco Vinjas International Competition and the 2015 Gerda Lissner Competition, and was previously a young artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. A native of Lakewood, Washington, J’Nai Bridges earned her Master of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from the Manhattan School of Music. (JNaiBridgesMezzo.com)