Conversation and Cocktails with J'Nai Bridges
An evening of conversation and cocktails with opera star and Great Artists Series performer J’Nai Bridges alongside OTSL’s New Works Collective featured artist, soprano Melissa Joseph, with host, Sarah Price from Washington University. Learn more their musical inspirations, what it is like being a star of the opera world, and the power of the artist as activist.
J’Nai Bridges, mezzo-soprano
Two-time Grammy® Award-winning American mezzo-soprano J’Nai Bridges, known for her “plush-voiced mezzo-soprano” (The New York Times) and “calmly commanding stage presence” (The New Yorker) has been heralded as “a rising star” (Los Angeles Times), gracing the world’s top opera and concert stages.
Bridges is a leading figure in classical music’s shift toward conversations of inclusion and racial justice. The 2021/22 season alone saw Bridges’ ascent into the sphere of new music, taking on several world-premieres but continuing to explore the traditional roles. She is one of Kennedy Center’s NEXT 50 leaders of cultural diversity.
Bridges’ career highlights include receiving the Richard Tucker Career Grant and Sphinx Medal of Excellence, and she is a Marian Anderson award winner. Bridges was invited to perform at the National Library of Congress to honor legendary fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg as a recipient of the 2022 Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Woman of Leadership Award. She made her highly anticipated Metropolitan Opera debut in Phillip Glass’ Akhnaten, the CD of which went on to win a 2022 Grammy® for Best Opera Recording. Bridges has also performed all over Europe and North America.
Melissa Joseph, soprano
Haitian-American soprano Melissa Joseph was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) in 2022 and appeared as Lily in Awakenings. She returns to OTSL in March 2023 in the world premiere of the New Works Collective and will make her debut as Musetta in La bohème at Opera Philadelphia this spring. Ms. Joseph was the Encouragement Award Winner in the 2021 Eastern Region Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has appeared with White Snakes Projects, Mass Opera, and the New England Conservatory Summer Opera Workshop.
Sarah Price, soprano
Soprano, Sarah Price is a powerful lyrical interpreter of opera, concert works, and the cabaret stage. Winner of the St. Louis Metropolitan Opera Auditions and the St. Louis Artist Presentation Society Competition, Ms. Price has performed operatic and concert repertoire throughout the U.S., Italy, Austria, and Germany. In addition to her operatic work, Ms. Price is a section leader in the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. She has also been a member of and frequent soloist with the St. Louis Chamber Chorus and can be heard on several solo tracks on their CD American Declarations, recorded by Regent Records. On the cabaret stage, Ms. Price has performed shows at the Kranzberg Art Center, The Bistro, and The Sheldon Concert Hall, produced by St. Louis Cabaret. In demand as an educator as well as a performer, she serves on the voice faculty of Washington University in St. Louis and maintains an active voice studio in St. Peters.
Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Equity
Additional financial assistance for this project has been provided by the The Missouri Arts Council
and the Robert H. Orchard Fund