Q: How did you get involved in opera, and what is a role you would love to play?
“My freshman year, I was in Basic Musicianship, and we had to get a copy of The Magic Flute by Mozart, and we were doing some sight-singing from it. And I was trying to cheat the system a little bit, so I looked up YouTube videos to see if I could find a recording of the section that we were going to be singing…. And the first thing that came up was Diana Damrau singing Queen of the Night at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden….So there were a couple of things that blew my mind about it. First of all, obviously her singing was out of this world…The second thing was the staging: the costumes in that particular opera are so incredibly fierce and powerful and striking…. And I didn’t know what she was saying, but I felt it while I watched it. So that kind of clicked something in me, and I honestly just fell into a YouTube wormhole, and I found other singers, and during that summer I decided to switch my major.
“I would love to be Lady Macbeth [by Verdi]. First of all, the role has incredible music and it’s kind of a spooky show. I love the Shakespearean play…. I love the dynamic between Lady Macbeth and Macbeth. And in that, I love how powerful she is in the relationship, despite when it was written and despite when it was shown…. A lot of times women were able to gain their power over men because of their feminine wiles in that era, or that is how they would be displayed in art and in theater. And while she does do that a little bit, it’s more of her political savvy and her social climbing and it feels more complex than just, “Oh, I’m attractive so I can get him to do this.” She is a very powerful, strong woman; and she has a great dream-sleepwalking scene, which is kind of like a mad scene, which I [normally] wouldn’t get to do because I’m not a coloratura. So, I think Lady Macbeth would be so much fun.”
Jaimie performs in the Cantanti Project’s Her Story on Nov 5th @ 8pm.
You can explore more of Jaimie’s work here.