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J’Nai Bridges Bounces from the Basketball Court to the Opera House

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Most opera singers start training seriously when they’re still in pigtails and kneesocks. But one rising star in the classical singing world got a late start because she was headed for a career as a professional basketball player.

When J’Nai Bridges’ pro sports ambitions suddenly fell apart following a disagreement with her team’s coach, the high school senior started focusing intently on developing her voice.

Now, at the age of 29, the American mezzo-soprano is performing major roles for some of the world’s most renowned companies including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Los Angeles Opera, and the Bavarian State Opera.

This season, she’s making her San Francisco Opera debut at the War Memorial Opera House as Bersi in Andrea Chenier — and shooting hoops in her spare time.

You can still catch Bridges at SF Opera this Friday, Sep. 30. But don’t worry if you miss her this time around; she’ll be back again next year.


To find out more about SF Opera’s production of  Andrea Chenier, click here.


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