On the Couch with Jennifer Black

OA-Jennifer-Black-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Jennifer Black?
I’m just a girl from Texas who is lucky enough to be able to do what I love and was trained to do; sing in some of my most favorite operas! I have a quirky interest in the paranormal, enjoy a good ghost story, love digging into psychology and vocal pedagogy, all while enjoying this beautiful country with my little girl, family and coming home to a house full of much loved (and spoiled) animals.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’d tell myself to not take every little utterance someone said to me so harshly, to be nicer to myself and I DEFINITELY would have stuck with piano lessons!

Who inspires you and why? 
Genuine people, honest people. My parents, for setting such a brilliant example. My partner, who is extremely supportive and kind. People who truly have your back, no matter what. My daughter, I want to see the world the way she does.

What would you do to make a difference in the world? 
I’m not sure if I have that much power! I like to give people joy, or invoke empathy, sympathy, help them recall a time which was happy for them or help them heal through a difficult memory or trauma. I believe as performers, we can do this, even in a small way.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
So many places! I’d have to say St. Martin, the tiny island in the Caribbean Sea. There’s a French and a Dutch side, I prefer the French. The beach is calm and allows for beautiful snorkeling. You can walk into town for delicious French cuisine. The people are friendly, the water is warm and there’s a full understanding of “island time”.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Got to start with the Sydney Opera House! I also love exploring The Rocks, The Grounds of Alexandria (beautiful new displays!), Kings Street in Newtown, Featherdale Wildlife Park and a necessary excursion to the Blue Mountains. A little bit of everything!

What are you currently reading? 
Tori Amos’ Resistance. I’ve been listening to Tori for as long as I can remember, she’s been with me through all the good and bad times. This book touches on how the arts are in crisis, it was written before COVID.

What are you currently listening to? 
Hahahaha, honestly, I’ve been listening to a couple of ghost podcasts to try to get the opera I’m currently learning out of my head to let me sleep for the night!

Happiness is? 
A sense of peace, contentment, listening to my daughter laugh and listening to the crazy stories she invents.

What does the future hold for you? 
Only time will tell!

Jennifer stars as Berta in Opera Australia’s national touring production of The Barber of Seville – which will play the Theatre Royal, Hobart (7 & 8 September); Princess Theatre, Launceston (10 September); and The Wedge, Sale (13 September); before playing the Canberra Theatre Centre (15 – 17 September 2022). For more information, visit: www.opera.org.au for details.

Image: Jennifer Black – courtesy of Opera Australia