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Alumni Spotlight: From Leading Baritone to Leading Arts Administration

Baritone Jared Guest finds a new passion in arts administration within a thriving operatic career.

After a decade as a successful freelance operatic baritone that took him across the country performing lead roles in many opera houses, alumnus Jared Guest forges forward with a garnered passion in arts administration. While his future shines brightly before him, he has fond memories of the culture at the Moores School of Music (MSM) where he studied voice and opera performance.

“My strongest memory of my time at the Moores School of Music is the supportive and friendly atmosphere they foster. Unlike many schools of music, Moores cares more about their students than any one person’s ego and notoriety. Their sole focus is your development and your future as an artist. I was lucky to attend such a welcoming and encouraging institution and I would not have had one ounce of the success I have enjoyed without my time there.” 

Learn more about Guest’s varied career in the arts and how he got there in the Q&A below! 

Where has your music career taken you since graduation?
After graduation, I immediately moved to Denver, Colorado to be a young artist with Opera Colorado from 2012 – 2014. During that time, I also participated in summer training programs like Opera in the Ozarks and Chautauqua Opera Company. Upon completion of Opera Colorado’s Young Artist Program, I moved my home base to New York City where I was able to freely travel across the country launching a regional opera career while gaining notice in the New York City opera scene. This took me to various performance opportunities in California, Texas, North Carolina, Florida, Colorado, Connecticut, New York State, New Jersey, Washington State and many more. In 2019, I decided to make a concerted shift in my career towards opera administration and accepted a position with Opera Colorado as the manager of education and community engagement and the manager of the Artist in Residence Program. I find it serendipitous to wind up where my performance career began. 

Is there one thing that has surprised you about a career in the arts that you didn’t expect?
One thing that surprised me, and something that I cherish about the business to this day, is the relationships you form with your fellow singers/performers/production staff. The gypsy life can be lonely and difficult at times, but the fabulous colleagues and humans you get to share your job and your life with are what make it all worth it. Singers truly are their own breed and some of the closest friends I have to this day are singers with whom I spent a few short weeks. 

What accomplishments in your career do you feel most proud of?
In the summer of 2017 I became the co-founder and director of Musical Studies Summer Vocal Arts Camp on Long Island to bring opera and musical theater to the local youth. Through music theory, yoga, voice training, masterclasses with industry professionals and performance, the student were able to learn, grow and explore in ways they had no access to previously. I am immensely proud of this work and it is was initially sparked my interest in teaching and administration. 

Are there specific skills or things you learned at the Moores School of Music that you find valuable in your career now? What are they?
One of the most valuable skills I learned from my time at the Moores Opera Center was how to speak to patrons and audience members and the importance of giving of my time and energy in this way. Opera in this country is largely supported by private donation and knowing the value of face time after a performance prepared me for actual career situations where my position and future work relied upon it. The Moores Opera Center Director Buck Ross insisted all the performers go out and meet the audience after every performance, and I thank him to this day for those and the many other skills he imparted.  

What is coming up for you in the future that we should watch for?
As the manager of education and community engagement, I will help design new and interesting programming to serve the Denver Metro and the broader Colorado areas.