Busy local opera singer Alexa Jarvis will appear in “Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy,” a concert that blends music from the mega-popular video-game series with game images, July 10-11 at Benaroya Hall.
It takes a moment for soprano Alexa Jarvis to recall whether “Final Fantasy” falls somewhere within her video-game soundtrack credentials.
“I didn’t sing on ‘Final Fantasy,’” she says with certainty. “I recently sang on ‘The Hobbit’ game, and I’ve sung on ‘Halo 4,’ and ‘Diablo,’ among others. … You know what? I did sing on it, now that you ask. When you go into those recording sessions, you literally sight-read the music, and they don’t even tell you what it is.
“Oh, wait, it wasn’t ‘Final Fantasy,’ it was ‘World of Warcraft.’ ”
‘Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy’
8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (July 10-11), Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., Seattle; call for ticket information and availability (206-215-4747 or seattlesymphony.org).
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Still, “Final Fantasy” is going on Jarvis’ résumé this week. The 26-year-old Seattle native with a stirring, beautiful voice is performing Friday and Saturday (July 10-11) at Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in an exotic program called “Distant Worlds: Music from ‘Final Fantasy.’ ”
In essence, the concerts are a rare opportunity to hear the music of Nobuo Uematsu — revered by many as the finest of video-game composers — played by a live orchestra and a long list of vocal talent.
Jarvis will be joined by tenor Karl Marx Reyes, baritone Charles Robert Stephens and internationally acclaimed choral group Seattle Pro Musica. Veteran actor R. Hamilton Wright will serve as narrator, while video images from the game are projected over the orchestra.
Guest conductor Arnie Roth, who led the “Distant Worlds” performances at Benaroya in 2009 and has done so around the world, will explore Uematsu’s ethereal choral music, otherworldly swing, heavy metal, intimate piano solos and Pink Floyd-like psychedelic landscapes.
Jarvis, who has done a lot of video-game recording while developing her stage career, finds such music “extremely imaginative.”
“It’s a different approach,” she says, “more for ears that aren’t classically educated. A lot of people who play the games, when they come to these concerts they’re hearing this music live, so it’s that much more real to them. I think it can be life-changing.”
A familiar presence on stage at Benaroya, where she has sung with Seattle Symphony four times in the last two years, Jarvis has also appeared in “Our Earth” at Seattle Opera, “La Bohème” at Germany’s Lüneburg Opera and “Don Giovanni” in Lucca, Italy.
A self-described “Seattle girl” who grew up on Queen Anne and attended Seattle Academy, Jarvis is packing her bags for a move to New York City this summer. There she’ll earn a master’s degree at the Mannes School of Music at The New School, while singing on the side and building crucial career connections.
Jarvis came to singing through Northwest Girlchoir and Vocalpoint! Seattle. Music director Joseph Crnko encouraged her to consider classical music, and she went on to study opera at DePaul University in Chicago.
One of two daughters of the late KOMO News anchor Kathi Goertzen (Goertzen died in August 2012), Jarvis says opera was a foreign experience both for her and her mother.
Yet Goertzen proved both a supporter and an inspiration.
“She was not only such a friend, she was a mentor. She started so young in her career and persevered through so much, not only in the business but healthwise. She was such a model for my sister and me growing up. She didn’t know anything about opera but could tell there was a fire there. She had that in her, too, and she nurtured it in me and made me feel free to try.”