Ahead of her solo performance with Bach@7 Cantata Series in April of 2015, Jacqueline was kind to answer my 10 questions. Here is the full interview, which is also published by Choral Arts Philadelphia here.
“I have always been bowled over by the incredible loyalty of the Anonymous 4 fans in Philadelphia and I hope they will come out to hear me sing some beautiful Baroque music!”
Jacqueline has a reputation as a versatile and accomplished soloist, specializing in early and new music, singing with many distinguished ensembles and opera companies in Europe and in the US. She has collaborated with leading modern composers and premiered roles in several operas and oratorios. As a member of the world renowned vocal quartet Anonymous 4, Jacqueline has recorded twelve award-winning CD’s with the group. An accomplished voice teacher, Jacqueline is also a C.V. Starr Doctoral Fellow at The Juilliard School.
- What is your family background? Any musicians in your family?
JHK: My family loved music and my father was a keen amateur musician who played piano. But I was the first to take up music professionally.
- Why did you choose to become a classical singer?
JHK: Actually I wanted to be an actress! When I was about 10 years old, I sang on a local Irish TV show, and the host encouraged my parents to send me for voice lessons and that is how I found my love for classical music.
- Who are your favorite composers of all times?
JHK: J.S. Bach, Benjamin Britten, Lennon and McCartney… The list goes on. I have somewhat eclectic tastes!
- Describe the happiest episode in your singing career.
JHK: Being asked to join Anonymous 4 and being accepted into the Doctoral program at Juilliard!
- What factors, in your opinion, contributed to the amazing success of Anonymous 4 over the years?
JHK: Anonymous 4 was the first female ensemble to sing music originally thought to have been written for men’s voices. The group has always worked hard to achieve a unity of timbre despite, or one might say because of, our very different individual voices. And I think people respond to that, and to the beautiful repertoire that we have been so fortunate to bring to light.
- What are your other interests and passions, besides music?
JHK: I don’t have a lot of time for other interests, my work as a singer and voice teacher is all consuming! I am very interested in Egyptology and love to read thrillers and watch horror movies and old British sitcoms – a great way to relax, I find!
- What inspires and motivates you in personal and professional life?
JHK: I’m inspired by colleagues, family, friends and energized by working in such a challenging but rewarding profession!
- What was the best advice you were ever given?
JHK: “Listen to what your voice wants” – this is from a singing teacher in London, when I was having vocal problems. It’s a wonderful piece of advice and something that I pass on to my own voice students.
- What would be your professional recommendation for young aspiring singers of today?
JHK: Don’t give up! Going professional is hard, and there are so many ups and downs. Just try to stay focused and have clear and realistic goals.
- As Anonymous 4 is closing the curtain this year, what will you be working on next?
JHK: I will be continuing my work at Juilliard in the Doctoral program and will be expanding my work as a voice teacher and visiting artist. My work as a mezzo soloist will also continue in both early and new music, with some exciting new opera projects in development, including an as yet untitled opera/theatre piece about Nikola Tesla being created by composer Phil Kline, film-maker Jim Jarmusch and director Robert Wilson, and a monodrama being written especially for me by Phil Kline in which I will play none other than Joan Crawford!
Interviewed on March 2015