May 7, 2012

Conversation with the Soprano Jessica Wise, who Plays the Role of Alexandra

Snapshot from the production
Jessica Wise • Photo: Mathieu Dupuis

Montréal, Monday, May 7, 2012 — Between two rehearsals, the young soprano Jessica Wise, who plays Alexandra in the opera of the same name, answers a few questions about her development, creating a new role, how she prepares, working with Pauline Vaillancourt, her future.

Ever since my early childhood in British-Columbia, my family constantly fed me with music. I received my first diplomas as a pianist. But my best teachers very quickly recognized the natural beauty of my voice, and encouraged me to become a singer.

After studying in New-Brunswick, I decided to move to Montreal to continue my training at McGill University. And I stayed because the city seduced me with its incredible artistic and spiritual diversity.

Alexandra was a radical woman, in every aspect of her life. Like me! Playing a new role that has never been sung in public before is a big responsibility. There is no tradition, no precedent.

To prepare, I do a lot of research and reading. I memorize the libretto and I work with an acting coach. And finally, I methodically learn the music that corresponds to the words.

Pauline looks after every detail of all the aspects of the production. She has inherited a vision of contemporary art that inspires new challenges in young artists. New opera is without a doubt the artistic field that is the most radical and promising.

In ten years…? I will almost be 40 years old… anything is possible. Singing, teaching, travelling in distant lands like Alexandra… we’ll see!

Chants Libres

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