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How an Opera Star Is Making Classical Music Possible for Everyone

J’Nai Bridges knows that most people perceive opera as being an artform for the elite. Because opera was traditionally catered towards nobility, many today still don’t feel welcome. Bridges wants to change that. The mezzo-soprano is a rising star in the opera world, with starring roles on stages around the world, including the Metropolitan Opera House and the San Francisco Opera. When she’s not belting out arias, she’s going to local schools to give students a chance to experience an opera, or teaching masterclasses at colleges. As a Black, female artist, Bridges knows the importance of showing children—especially BIPOC children—that classical music is possible. As Bridges says, when she walks into a room or onto a stage, her goal is to “change minds, heal hearts, and make music.”

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San Francisco, USA

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