Soprano Jasmine Habersham, a Macon native, is known to Atlanta Opera audiences for her portrayal of Micaëla in The Threepenny Carmen and The Girl in The Kaiser of Atlantis. She’s been a member of The Atlanta Opera Company Players. Upcoming roles include Nannetta in Falstaff (Berkshire Music Festival), Cleopatra in Julius Caesar (The Atlanta Opera), Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld (Madison Opera) and her international debut as Gilda in Rigoletto (Opera North U.K.). (Photo by Jessica Osber Photography)
When I heard about George Floyd I have to be honest, I was somewhat numb to it. I was so used to it happening, it was like another blip. It charged me to look internally as an artist. As an African American female, my protest is to be the best artist I can be. I want to expose the world to other Black artists, and composers that have written operas, to show people we do this, and we do this really well. I hope you will see more girls that look like me, and for that to be the norm. It’s way beyond serving a quota — just look for real talent and see the options.
During the pandemic, in addition to my spiritual life and prayer, I watched a lot of TV shows. Breaking Bad was phenomenal. I didn’t think I would enjoy it, but I was blown away. To be honest that’s what got me through. There were times I did go see my family very briefly, which was terrifying, but we kept restrictions around things. My family is everything to me. They love seeing me perform and my husband is extremely supportive. I want a career that allows me to do the amazing music I want to do but also have balance and stability. Having a family is a goal for me.
Next season with The Atlanta Opera I am singing Cleopatra in Julius Caesar. Being a woman of color doing this role is extremely powerful. I am super excited. It’s my first lead principal role. I think people take from the Elizabeth Taylor trope of Cleopatra, but I have been reading about her and she wasn’t really a looker, it was more her poise, her character and the political games she orchestrated that made her sensational. It was about how intelligent she was, not how sexy she was, although that was part of her. Being in the Cobb Energy Centre again, I think we will be somewhat back to normal. I hope we can sing without masks.