(Photo: Frances Marshall)
Following a series of glowing reviews for her performance as Elsa in Covent Garden’s 2018 production of “Lohengrin,” Irish soprano Jennifer Davis’ meteoric rise continues apace. Currently, she is performing the title role in Dvorak’s “Armida” at the Wexford Festival Opera.
OperaWire: What was the first opera you saw?
Jennifer Davis: “Porgy & Bess” at Cork Opera House.
OW: What was the last opera you appeared in?
JD: Cosi Fan Tutte at Covent Garden.
OW: What is your next scheduled appearance?
JD: Freia in “Das Rheingold” in Dresden.
OW: What is your favorite role?
JD: Elsa from “Lohengrin.”
OW: Who is your favorite singer?
JD: Jessye Norman.
OW: Which opera character would you most like to meet?
JD: The Countess from “The Marriage of Figaro.” She has such a good heart.
OW: Which character that you have met on stage have you most disliked?
JD: It is opera, so there are many to choose from, but I would have to say Toante from Händel’s “Oreste.” He is thoroughly evil.
OW: Who would you invite to dinner if you could only invite three people, one of whom has to be connected with opera?
JD: Robin Williams, Jessye Norman, and Mozart.
OW: Which role would you most like to perform, but have not yet done so?
JD: Dvorak’s Rusalka.
OW: Who is your favorite opera composer?
JD: Richard Strauss.
OW: Name the person, from any walk of life, who has most influenced your career.
JD: My mother. She is a singing teacher and taught me how to sing from an early age.
OW: What book are you reading at the moment?
JD: “Bewilderment” by Richard Powers.
OW: Who is your favorite painter?
JD: Jackson Pollock.
OW: In which theatre would you like to sing, but have not yet done so?
JD: The New York Met.
OW: If you hadn’t been an opera singer, what would you have liked to have done?
JD: Been an actress.
OW: What do you like most about your voice?
JD: I can trust it to do what I want.
OW: If you could have any composer, alive or dead, write an opera for you, who would it be?
OW: What do you dislike most about being an opera singer?
JD: Traveling and being away from home
OW: What do you like most about being an opera singer?
JD: The varied nature of what I do and working with so many talented people.
OW: What are the qualities you most appreciate in a stage director?
JD: They need to know the work really well. They should have strong, clear ideas about what they want, but they also need to respect and listen to other people involved in the production.
OW: Two adjectives to sum up your experience in Wexford
JD: Exciting and tiring.