1. My favorite thing about being a singer is: Creating something new and spontaneous every time I perform. With live orchestra and colleagues, each and every performance is fresh, even though the music and story may have been around for quite a long time. I love the feeling of improvising a bit even as you perform previously-rehearsed material.
2. The greatest challenge in being a singer is: Staying physically and mentally healthy in the midst of a demanding audition season or performance schedule. A cold can completely wipe out your ability to do what you have trained for. And this is a taxing career, so sleeping, exercising, and eating well are incredibly important, along with seeing friends and taking time for yourself.
3. A live music performance I’ve attended that I will never forget is: Bobby McFerrin with the jazz ensemble at Lawrence University – he had everyone in the audience improvising and laughing and glad to be alive.
4. My favorite American opera is: The Ballad of Baby Doe by Douglas Moore.
5. People would be surprised to know that: I can sign the alphabet backwards and can name all 50 states in alphabetical order in one breath.
Come hear Jeni in excerpts from Candideas part of American Kaleidoscope at the Overture Center this Saturday and Sunday. Tickets at overturecenter.org or 608.258.4141.