The Importance of Arts Access and Community Outreach – Pay It Forward!

There are millions of reasons why arts education, no matter what the cost, is vital to our future. As a musician, I have acquired skills that help me to succeed, and I’ve found that what I do in performance and through outreach and volunteer efforts can bring joy to others. I’ve learned that the process of working with others on and off the stage, and, through the development of my characters, has helped me to understand more about others – the beauty and power of cooperation, communication, and collaboration. The arts have made me a better person every area of my life, and I believe it is up to all of us to ensure that every person in the world has access to music, theatre, dance, visual art – all disciplines. It’s enriched my life, and my goal is simply to give back, and give often, so others can experience the same life-changing possibilities the arts can offer. Read on to see what my colleagues and I are up to around the world, and find out how you can show your support – please join us in paying it forward.

Pay It Forward

Brian Jagde & Lara Downes visit first graders at Time In Kids

December 15, 2016

On December 13, Brian Jagde and pianist Lara Downes, both Advisory Board members for Time In Kids, visited a group of first graders at the Time In studio. They screened selections from the film version of Bernstein’s West Side Story, performed, and talked with the kids about race relations and other issues addressed in the musical, which are still relevant today.

Enjoy an Operawire exclusive feature on the visit via the following link.


Tenor Brian Jagde Performs At Time In Children’s Arts Initiative [OperaWire Exclusive]

December 14, 2016

Not many people get the chance to see an opera singer up close and personal. Even in a recital hall or opera house, there is a distance created by the stage. The connection comes from the music and the artistic involvement on both ends of the spectrum.

But on Tuesday, New York students were able to get an experience few others can claim to have – seeing an opera singer up-close. And by up-close, I mean arms length. Brian Jagde, the tenor making major house and role debuts around the United States and Europe over the coming months, came to Time In Children’s Arts Initiative and performed a selection from Bernstein’s West Side Story alongside pianist Lara Downes, who also performed “Over the Rainbow” …


Time In Kids

October 19, 2016

From Brian Jagde: I’m honored to join the Advisory Board for Time In Kids, an incredible NYC-based organization bringing the power of the arts to kids across the boroughs. As a New Yorker, it fills me with pride to see the kind of impact that a non-profit like Time In has on the lives of deserving students who may not otherwise have access to arts of any kind. I’m thrilled to join amazing colleagues and dear friends, soprano Ailyn Pérez and pianist Lara Downes, on the Advisory Board. We are thrilled to give of our time, talents, and resources to support this amazing effort.

Help us bring the life-changing impact of arts education to kids in the New York metro today, at!


P.S. Check out this great feature on Ailyn’s first visit to Time In Kids via Latin Post, and a profile on Time In’s Founder and Artistic Director Cyndie Berthezene, selected as the Huffington Post’s 2015 Women in Art – Woman of the Year! Watch the video below to learn more about Time In’s programs.

Master Class & QnA at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

January 31, 2016

Brian Jagde and soprano Ailyn Pérez will present a Master Class/QnA event for music students at Houston’s High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA) on February 1. Both artists are currently starring in productions with Houston Grand Opera; Mr. Jagde is The Prince in Dvořák’s Rusalka and Ms. Pérez sings the role of Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.

Brian and Ailyn will lead a joint master class, highlighting performances from several students at HSVPA. They will also host an interactive QnA session. Updates will be posted on social media throughout the day – stay tuned!



Waldorf Marin School Visit

November 1, 2014

In Fall of 2014 while singing Tosca at the San Francisco Opera I had the pleasure of visiting with some kids from the Waldorf Marin School in California who had gotten to see me perform.  They were really excited to speak about opera and about music in general.  At first we spoke about their ideas of opera and also their ideas of what it meant to perform music.  Specifically, music in a different language, and how important it is to be descriptive of the words one is singing.  After I sang Allerseelen we spoke about what they thought the song was about and how they thought I conveyed the words of the piece.  Then we were able to get into some lengthy discussions about the business of singing, whether it was about traveling or about how long it took to get to each level in ones training.  They were very enthusiastic and so much that they even got up and performed a song for me!  I was thrilled to see such excitement around music and expression. It was a lovely time and I look forward to hearing from them again soon, especially one boy who was performing in the boys choir on stage with me in Tosca!

Photos from the event

Q & A at Anoka HS

Taking an afternoon break from ‘Arabella’

November 13, 2013

Q&A at Anoka HS by #Arabella star Brian Jagde who enlisted co-star Craig Irvin for a free afternoon well-spent teaching students about opera. #livetweeting
Photos from this event


Congratulations, Lisa Mandelstein! Winner of the Night at the Opera Video Contest!

November 16, 2012

Lisa Mandelstein of Katherine Delmar Burke School is the winner of the video contest on Facebook! Ms. Mandelstein will attend Tosca at San Francisco Opera and enjoy dinner before the show at Jardinière on November 24. Ms. Mandelstein was nominated by her student Mimi Sharon, whose video captured Brian’s heart ( Additional nominees included Jerry Pannone from Ruth Asawa School of the Arts, and Kevin Fox from Pacific Boychoir Academy.



One Deserving Music Teacher to Attend Tosca

September 15, 2012

Brian is inviting a deserving music teacher to attend his cast’s opening night of Tosca in San Francisco on November 16. Visit Brian’s Facebook page to submit your video nominating a music teacher who has made a difference in your life between October 1 and November 1. Visit the “Pay it forward” page for the recent work Brian’s been doing with leaders in music education advocacy, and for the announcement of the winner on November 5.

Brian will join Patricia Racette and Maestro Nicola Luisotti, November 16-December 2, for 6 performances of Tosca with the San Francisco Opera. The cast also features Mark Delavan, Christian Van Horn, and director Jose Maria Condemi. Details


Educator Event: Creative Impact: Arts Education Resource Fair

September 13, 2012

In honor of the third annual National Arts in Education Week, Creative Impact, and the Arts Providers Alliance of San Francisco presented a Resource Fair and Celebration for educators, parents and families at the Asian Arts Museum in San Francisco. The Resource Fair featuring dozens of arts providers and guest speakers included Malissa Shriver and Craig Watson from the California Arts Council, San Francisco Supervisor David Chiu, Board of Education Commissioner Hydra Mendoza, and SFUSD Superintendent Richard Carranza. Performers included musicians Martin Luther McCoy, Brian Jagde, students from multiple SFUSD elementary schools, and more. More photos

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