We had the good fortune of connecting with Jessica Fishenfeld and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jessica, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in Great Neck, New York into a family of many artists and musicians and have been singing and dancing and making my own plays and home movies with my family and friends for as long as I can remember. At 11 years old, I started attending musical theater camp at USDAN on Long Island and was a staunch theater kid through high school, where I then discovered opera. Extraordinarily, my public school Great Neck South High School produced full operas in the original language with an incredible student orchestra, in addition to the annual musical, play, one act festival, a cappella troupe, female show choir, improv troupe, and more – most of which I was involved in. But most memorably, I fell in love with opera then. Its extra challenges in vocal technique and languages excited me, and my voice shone especially bright in the repertoire. I didn’t realize back then just how lucky I was to have such a wealth of musical experiences (including singing the Queen of the Night and the Countess with orchestra as a young teen) before choosing to pursue opera as a major and eventually a career. Fast forward several years, and I know my current versatility as a performer is heavily influenced and inspired by my roots in all the various styles I loved performing growing up.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since my formal training was in opera but I grew up in musical theater and jazz, my musical interests are eclectic and often overlap. In recent years as a classically-trained artist who can sing in several styles and is passionate about connecting with audiences through storytelling, I sort of organically carved out a niche for myself in a crossover world between modern opera and musical theater, which is evident is my most recent works. My debut album “The Nothing Lamp” – a song cycle written for me by dear friends and colleagues Joseph N. Rubinstein and Mark Campbell – features five different characters with very different ways of expressing themselves. Through our creation and rehearsal process, I found a way to maintain a classically-sung through-line while exploring other fun colors and character voices that would bring these individuals to life. After hearing my album, another songwriting team reached out about recording their very particular and vocally/dramatically-demanding song “The Spy,” which fit my niche perfectly. I’m super excited to sing both works live for the first time on a concert produced by NYC’s Amanda + James on December 3rd, 2022 at 7:30pm! It takes a lot of time and energy, but I’m really proud of the amount of work I’ve been able to self-produce and co-produce since the beginning of the pandemic. It has been a difficult journey as a multi-hyphenate artist, and sometimes I feel like my greatest passion is simultaneously my greatest downfall. I have so many different interests, which restricts me from specializing and becoming well known for one thing. But honestly, unless one path takes off in a major way, I love what I do and would rather be a “Jill of all trades” and strive to master them all than have to choose only one and give up on several other interesting career paths. I may not know exactly where I’ll land as an artist, but I know I want to live my journey to the fullest by pushing the bounds of my creativity and versatility and helping others to do so, too. Because a rising tide lifts all boats, and I want my success to be synonymous with the success of those who support me.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
After living in Savannah, GA for two years, I’ve racked up a few favorite spots. Here’s a perfect Saturday with me in Savannah: We’d grab pastries at Auspicious Bakery for breakfast to fuel a fierce gym sesh. Then we’d go for a stroll through the Farmer’s Market in Forsyth Park, visit the Forsyth Fountain, and then have lunch at Collins Quarter in the park. Then we’d head to Foxy Loxy’s outdoor patio for coffee and a writing session. Next, we’d catch a Savannah for Morons tour and have happy hour cocktails/mocktails at Alley Cat Lounge. Then we’d head to Starland Yard for a fun outdoor food truck extravaganza for dinner, and walk over to Front Porch Improv for a show. Lastly, we’d run over to Plant Riverside District to catch Cirque Divina’s fabulous aerial circus show on the riverfront. Oh, and if it’s still open by then, ice cream at Leopold’s.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I just have to shout out my devoted, hardworking, extremely talented husband Scott Joiner. Not only is he my biggest supporter, but he is one of the smartest, most intellectually curious people I know, with a plethora of degrees to back it up (BM, MM, DMA from Manhattan School of Music, and now working on an MA in Education at Columbia U Teacher’s College). It’s worth noting that his support for my career and artistry goes way beyond the emotional. Between his zillion hours teaching and studying, he managed to carve out time to write me an entire song cycle to sing on the concert I’m giving on December 3rd in NYC! Check out his awesome compositions at www.scottjoinertenor.com/composition

Website: www.jessicafishenfeld.com

Instagram: @jecafish

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jessica-fishenfeld-41373634

Twitter: @jecafish

Facebook: Facebook.com/jessicafishenfeldsoprano

Youtube: YouTube.com/jecafish

Other: TikTok: @jecafish

Image Credits
Main photo: Justin Schuman Additional: 1. Luke Christopher 2. Chris Haston 3. Danger Mendrala 4. Sal Andrade 5. Sal Andrade 6. Sal Andrade 7. Sal Andrade 8. Danger Mendrala

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