Walker J. Jackson, Tenor
Tenor Walker J. Jackson performed and collaborated with the New York Philharmonic, the Spoleto Festival USA, the Princeton Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Lincoln Center Festival, Sarasota Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Opera Cleveland, the Martina Arroyo Foundation, the AIMS Festival Orchestra in Graz, Austria, in the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Mexico, and on NPR’s From the Top. Walker holds degrees in Performance and Music Theory from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He currently resides in NYC. Read below as Walker shares his experience with us.
How did you get into Opera?
I started as a classical musician (7 years of Orchestral Clarinet experience), but realized there was a way for me to use my voice to create the same beautiful music, so the opera thing started. I got into it late, making the full switch to a career in voice when I was 17.
What, in your opinion, makes OCB unique?
OCB is a great way to learn new roles with a low stress atmosphere.
How do you relax when not on stage?
I enjoy cooking, crystal meditation, and watching fine films.
Do you have any advice for other singers?
Always know your worth.
What are your dream roles?
Calaf (Turandot), Walther (Die Meistersinger), Apollo (Daphne)
Which colleagues do you admire?
Placido Domingo, Jonas Kaufmann, Leontyne Price, Renee Fleming
What/who is your favorite opera and composer? Why?
My favorite opera composers are Richard Strauss and Giacomo Puccini. I think the two represent the height of Late Romantic expressionism for the German and Italian Schools, respectively. There is intellectual musical writing, incredible melodies, beautiful orchestrations, and scores that inspire a singer to give the greatest and most impassioned performances from start to finish.
Which character (not in your voice range) would you most like sing and why?
Aida, Leonore (Forza), or Tosca. Two Words: LEONTYNE PRICE!
What other music do you listen to?
I am an avid jazz listener. Sarah Vaughn, John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Christian McBride, Esperanza Spalding –Classics to New Jazz.
Do you read books/watch movies to prepare for a role?
I try and explore as many outside sources when preparing as role as possible.
How do you balance a career with a life offstage?
I’ll let you know when I figure it out!
How do you unwind after singing?
I have my ways…
Number Thirteen, the dreaded question: Have you ever appeared in Phantom of the Opera?
I have NOT appeared in Phantom of the Opera. (But for the right money, would I? YES!)
Opera Company of Brooklyn Presents: Ariadne auf Naxos on Saturday, September 24 from 7 PM to 9:45 PM at 600 W 218th Street, 1 G, NY, NY 10034. Tickets are a suggested donation of $20 in advance, $40 day of and can be reserved online here. For more information about the production and cast, click here.