A Lakewood native has taken out two major opera awards totaling $20,000 in the last month. J’nai Bridges, 25, a mezzo-soprano who grew up in Lakewood and who recently graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music, was last week awarded a Sarah Tucker Study Grant of $5,000, part of the Richard Tucker Foundation awards to recognize young opera talent in America.
The award, one of several given each year to young singers transitioning from study to professional career, follows on the heels of Bridges’ receipt of the Marian Anderson Award Prize, a $15,000 cash prize which recognizes emerging classical artists. Past winners have included Denyce Graves and Lawrence Brownlee.
Bridges, who attended Charles Wright Academy and is also a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, has sung with Glimmerglass Opera, and will join Chicago’s Lyric Opera in the fall.