For centuries, writers have documented the awe brought about by the pristine wilderness and untamed expanses of the American Midwest and West. Three authors in particular—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, and Emily Dickinson—beautifully documented the boundless optimism and sense of opportunity that the country’s vast natural resources inspired and heralded a new era of American thought.
On TRANSPARENT BOUNDARIES, the three visionaries’ words are set to music to give their poetic works musical life. Soprano Jamie-Rose Guarrine and bass-baritone Seth Keeton deftly lead the charge on a series of artsongs, accompanied by pianists Lara Bolton and Scott Gendel and cellist Karl Knapp.
Today, Jamie-Rose is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to discover how a graduate school relationship helped develop Jamie-Rose’s most beloved aspect of her new album…
Who was your first favorite artist(s) growing up?
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
I grew up watching all the classic movie musicals, so participated in as many community productions as I could through high school. When I got to college, my voice started to change and develop a more classical sound. I sang in my first opera chorus, and after seeing how amazing the singers sounded, how passionate they were in their roles, and how the style of singing sounded so Olympic, I decided I wanted to pursue opera.
What was the most embarrassing thing that happened to you during a performance?
I can’t recall one specific moment, but in any live performance, there are going to be early or late entrances, memory slips, dropping props, doors that won’t open, and doors that won’t stay closed! That’s the beauty of live theater!
What is your guilty pleasure?
Days when I can sleep in :)
If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would that job be?
I love to travel, meet new people, experience new places and cultures. Being an opera singer has all the aspects that I love about any job!
If you could spend creative time anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I would like to visit England, and visit sights pertinent to Tudor history, particularly research texts written by and about Catherine of Aragon and Catherine Parr.
If you could instantly have expertise performing one instrument, what instrument would that be?
What was your favorite musical moment on the album?
Karl and I have known Scott Gendel since Graduate school. I sang on Scott’s dissertation project, his first opera, when we were in school in 2005. Recording Scott’s cycle exemplifies what I love most about the music business; that the relationships we make along the way can be life long collaborations in the art form.
What does this album mean to you personally?
This album is representative of many collaborative connections over many years. I tell my students that the means to longevity in this career is tied to the connections you make along the way, and this album is a representation of how friendships, careers, and collaborations evolve over time. All of us wanted to share this message of peace and solace and beauty. Creating art contributes to the beauty in our world.