Published by: Anne McMahan, Friday, July 04, 2014
Walker Jermaine Jackson was sponsored by PFO in The Princeton Festival's 2014 performance of Porgy and Bess. Here is his letter to our group, describing his experiences with the company.
To the Princeton Friends of Opera,
Words cannot describe the invaluable experience I have had performing Porgy and Bess this summer. I have been surrounded by a breathtaking group of colleagues who have brought the highest level of artistry to the stage and to the rehearsal process. Working with singers who have sung at our countries most prestigious opera houses was an inspiring experience to observe their craft, their attention to detail and style, and their amazing vocal techniques was awe-inspiring. Gershwins music electrifies our spirits, as we are able to combine music that evokes our own heritage with the classical techniques and complex musical writing that we, as opera singers, live for. The most joyous part of the summer has been working with director, Steven LaCosse. He has such an amazing joy and skill for creating characters and stories on stage, not only those on the surface level, but the smaller, inner workings of the community of Catfish Row. As a performer, he has given me tools to advance my own acting abilities and has inspired me to think about my characterizations at deeper levels than I ever imagined. It is my utmost hope to work with him again in the future. I thank Richard Tang Yuk for recommending me to be sponsored by your organization. I believe that he saw something in me heard something in my voice, which many people overlooked for so long. I am so humbled to be given this opportunity to sing and to tell a story a real, true, and tragically beautiful story of life, faith, redemption, and deliverance. I believe that you will see and hear that this opera is very meaningful to the entire cast on stage and I am honored to be able to present it to the people of Princeton. Thank you so much for all that you do and I do hope to meet each of you at the end of our run. It is my hope that you walk away feeling as inspired by this masterpiece as I do.
With deepest thanks,
Walker Jermaine Jackson, Atlanta native tenor, portrays Mingo in Porgy and Bess. An emerging lirico-spinto tenor, his major roles have included Canio in I Pagliacci, Erik in Der fliegende Holländer, and Tamino in Die Zauberflöte. He has performed as tenor soloist in Beethovens Ninth Symphony, Handels Messiah, and Dvoraks Stabat Mater. Upcoming roles include Macduff in Macbeth and Cavaradossi in Tosca, both in New York City. He holds degrees in performance and music theory from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and the Cleveland Institute of Music. He currently resides in New York City.