Life as a Diva: Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste of Opera San Jose

    Follow Jouvanca from her OSJ residence in San Jose, across the rain-soaked streets on the way to the California Theatre (where -- shock! -- the diva does not have a reserved parking space...), and through backstage halls including stops in makeup and wardrobe as she gets ready for opening night.

    Jounvanca Jean Baptiste in makeup at Opera San Jose.
    Jounvanca Jean Baptiste in makeup at Opera San Jose.
    Jounvanca Jean Baptiste in makeup at Opera San Jose.
    Jounvanca Jean Baptiste in makeup at Opera San Jose.

    The Arts San JoseThe Rolling Stones and Manchester United are an essential part of the conversation with Opera San Jose’s rising star, Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste. So is Guinness beer, another favorite Facebook topic. On her way to rehearsal at the California Theatre in San Jose, the Stones’ are blaring, “I can’t get no satisfaction!” Maybe the self-described “Haitian Diva” should also be known as the “Rock ‘N Roll Diva.”

    Regarding the Haitian born singer’s desire to land the juicy lead roles: “I go big,” she says with a laugh. “I go big, or nothing.”

    In this Stark Insider episode, we go behind-the-scenes and get a rare, close-up look at “Life as a Diva” – Follow Jouvanca from her OSJ residence in San Jose, across the rain-soaked streets on the way to the California Theatre (where — shock! — the diva does not have a reserved parking space…), and through backstage halls including stops in makeup and wardrobe as she gets ready for opening night.

    “I really enjoy delving into… why does a character do what do they do?” she tells Loni Kao. “I love to read a lot, and I think with Opera I get to delve into a character over and over and discover new things about it every time I look at it.”

    This Saturday, OSJ’s latest production, Puccini’s La Bohème, opens and we’ll once again get a chance to experience Jouvanca’s increasing star appeal. She will share the lead role (Jouvanca performs 4/24, 4/30, 5/6, 5/8) of Mimi with fellow soprano Jasmina Halimic (4/23, 4/28, 5/1, 5/3), who was last seen also sharing the lead in Anna Karenina.

    With Clinton Stark contributing from San Jose.

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