I Am..... Jennifer Johnston

and I'm the Artist In Residence with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Liverpool Phil gave me my first taste of world-class classical music when I joined their choir at the tender age of 15, and so I've come full circle, back to where I started a quarter of a century ago. What a journey it has been. I've travelled the globe and experienced many wonderful places, yet I love nowhere more than Liverpool: the gateway to the Atlantic, my native land, my beloved city and my home.

What are your views on feminism in the 21st Century and what does it mean to you?

To me, feminism means fighting for more than equality, it means empowering women to do, say, wear and feel what they want, without limits and without shame.

Which women/woman inspire(s) you and why?

Bryony Gordon, author of You Got This, an advocate for women being comfortable in their bodies and being unashamedly themselves.

If you could meet any woman who would it be and why?

Michelle Obama, my hero.

If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you like to change in the world today?

I would inject every living person with a dose of kindness. Everyone is fighting a hidden battle.

What did you want to do when you grew up?

Be an opera singer. And Prime Minister. Grateful that I achieved the first, the second would have been a poisoned chalice.

If you had to give your younger self one bit of advice, what would it be?

Be brave when making decisions (don’t be afraid to take a leap into the dark).

What book are you currently reading? And what is your favourite book?

I am currently reading, Conversations with Paul McCartney, Possession by A.S. Byatt is my favourite book.

What are your guilty pleasures?

Negronis, antiques shops and Rogue Matilda shoes.

What’s on your bucket list to do and why?

I’m lucky enough to travel a lot, so my bucket list is rapidly diminishing! I would love to go horseback treking in Patagonia, experience the Day of the Dead in Mexico City, and to see the Emperor penguins in Antarctica.

Where would you recommend dinner and drinks in Liverpool?

So many great restaurants and bars. I’d say The Art School for dinner, Paul Askew’s food is tremendous, and drinks at the Fly In The Loaf, my favourite pub in the world.

What is happiness to you?

Hanging out at home with my daughter and kitten, watching box sets and eating home-cooked food.

My debut solo album, A Love Letter To Liverpool, is a heartfelt tribute to Liverpool, my home city and is released on 27th September by Rubicon Classics, all proceeds from which will be for the children of Liverpool, via Alder Hey Children’s Charity and the Liverpool Philharmonic Youth Company. I am especially proud that the RLPO and Choir, Youth and Children’s Choirs all appear on this album, alongside the outstanding pianist Alisdair Hogarth, and also contains the works of seven young Scouse composers, all of whom are at the beginning of their careers.

The launches will take place on Sunday 29 September and Monday 30 September in The Music Room at The Philarmonic Hall. Tickets are available on the website: www.liverpoolphil.com

To follow Jennifer:

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jjohnstonmezzo/?hl=en

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