Soprano Jessica Rivera made her career collaborating with today's greatest living composers, including John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, and Gabriela Lena Frank. She has performed in multiple new works with Cincinnati Opera, and we're thrilled to welcome her back as Musetta in the timeless La Bohème! Keep reading to hear why Jessica thinks opera can change lives, and how opera has changed hers!
Why do you love opera?
Opera has so many moving parts that work together to make a glorious live event that speaks to the soul, using music as its vehicle.
How do you think opera can benefit our community?
By experiencing a story through a highly creative musical lens, audiences leave the opera house thoroughly inspired. It's an art form that sparks curiosity, creativity, emotion, and intellectual discourse.
How do you think opera can be more accessible?
Opera can become more accessible by making it more personal! That way, audiences can find points of connection with the story and the music.
Do you think opera can change lives?
It changed mine! A professional musician in my family recognized my singing ability when I was just two years old. I was encouraged to study voice, and when I was fourteen, my voice teacher gave me an opera aria—"Musetta's Waltz" from La Bohème. That's when I knew that I wanted to be an opera singer, and I've been pursuing that ever since.
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
Singing a traditional opera! I perform in many world premieres of new works, both concert performances and operas. It'll be nice to sing the role that inspired me to become an opera singer!