Brian Jagde, who stars as Pinkerton alongside Yunah Lee in our upcoming Madame Butterfly shares his answers to the Proust Social. Get ready to swoon ladies…he’s quite the thoughtful romantic!
Where would you like to live?
There are numerous places around the world I’d like to live. My favorite city in the world so far, is Rome. I would love to be there in my off time and take in all the culture the city has to offer. Also, I’m really into the idea of learning dialects. So as I’m becoming more fluent in Italian, I’d like to learn the Roman Dialect as well.
What is your idea of earthly happiness?
As cheesy as it sounds earthly happiness comes down to love and the people you share your life with. Life is short, and those people are the one who will carry your memory when you are gone. The people and real person to person connections are what make us really happy in life.
The quality you most admire in a man? The quality you most admire in a woman?
The quality I most admire in a woman… Well, as a man I don’t presume to understand the mind of a woman. What I will say is that every woman I’ve ever met had a mystery to unfold. Something unique to each of them that only in really getting to know them could one really achieve understanding. I admire that quality in a woman, whatever the mystery turns out to be.
Your favorite virtue?
Honesty is my favorite virtue.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
I think I’d like to have perfect pitch. I have what I would call very good relative pitch. (in fact I was just doing a Carmen where the pit decided to play a bunch of wrong notes at the beginning of the Micaela duet and I was left with only my memory of what they should have played to sing the right notes. I did thankfully and once the Micaela was singing the pit found the right key to play in and we were all good. Phew! That was crazy! Anyway, I have heard that having perfect pitch is useful in new music and I think it would be a great asset to have that natural gift.
What is your motto?
I think I’m a man of many mottos… I like to say Mantras too.. Like “I love what I do” or “Be good to each other” Promoting kindness, honesty and open communication is something I like to focus on in my life and bring to the lives of others.
Do you have a website, Facebook fan page, or a Twitter for everyone to follow?
All of the above! My website is BrianJagde.com, I have both a fan page on Facebook and a twitter page. Both can be accessed from my website and all can be found by google-ing Brian Jagde.
How do you eat your eggs?
My favorite way to eat eggs is poached. Trying to eat as healthily as possible these days so that means no heavy sauces on it or bread underneath.
How long have you been involved with opera and what drew you to the art form?
I have been involved with opera for going on 13 years now. I spent the better half of my studies and professional career as a baritone though. In the last almost 4 years I have fully made the transition to tenor and finally I feel at home and comfortable in my fach. Plus I get some really juicy repertoire that I think I was born to interpret! Singing opera was something that really came to me on accident. I never in a million years would’ve thought I’d be an opera singer. When I was young I sang in bands, and choruses, and did musical theater. When I graduated high school I went into computer science and business but found that I was unhappy. After two years of college for that, I auditioned at one school for voice and got in! I started all over and proceeded to get my BM, and MM in vocal performance. The school focused on classical training and I remember the moment I fell in love with opera was when I was singing as a slave in Magic flute and felt that Mozart Orchestra coming up from the pit, and right there I was hooked for the rest of my life. Now, I am almost never happier than when I am out on that stage.
Favorite behind-the-scenes memory…
This is a much harder question than I think gets credit for.. I would have to say my favorite memory from behind the scenes was when I was recently working on a world premier at San Francisco Opera. We were putting on Heart of a Soldier by Theofanidis, which told the real life story of a true hero of America. The story was about the life, triumphs and losses of Rick Rescorla, who besides many other conquests, whether they be in Rodesia, or fighting and saving many soldiers lives in Vietnam, or his final act on this earth saving almost 3000 lives on 9/11 from the South WTC Tower while working as Head of Security for Morgan Stanley. I was covering Bill Burden as the role of Dan Hill; best friend of Rick, whom Thomas Hampson was singing. One day they invited a war veteran in to speak about the time in Vietnam and especially to speak about Rick. Everyone in the room and the cast really came together that day to try and tell the story. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room, and it made the project, whatever the outcome, that much more meaningful. That was definitely one of my favorite behind the scenes moments, and for great reason and pride to have been a part of it.