(Jacalyn and David Kreitzer)
David and Jacalyn Kreitzer, fine artist and opera singer, met at the Seattle Opera House in 1986 where Jacalyn was performing in Wagner’s Des Ring der Nibelungen and where she sang for four seasons. David, a professional painter and opera buff making images for the Opera House, was dazzled by the mezzo-soprano’s incredible voice, ranging from angelic to thunderous, and managed to meet her backstage following the performance. Shortly thereafter, the two married and “settled” in Los Osos, California, a home where Jacalyn spent only a few months each year when she wasn’t touring throughout the United States and Europe. David sometimes followed Jacalyn on these tours, keeping incredible multi-media sketch journals, and, in his Los Osos studio, kept working on his larger oil paintings, some of which derived from his travel sketches and photos.
A graduate of Bend High School (1974), Jacalyn studied under New York Metropolitan Opera Star Herta Glaz during her graduate work at the University of Southern California. Glaz urged Jacalyn to quit her day job and commit herself to an operatic career, which she did. Jacalyn, who was once told by a USC Coach that she wouldn’t make it as a singer because her voice was “too raw,” got her first major break while listening to the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s rehearsal of Schoenberg’s difficult String Quartet #2 in F# minor. Before beginning the piece, conductor Simon Rattle turned to the audience and said, “My wife is ill and can’t do this engagement. And I understand Jacalyn is in the audience. Can she come up and sing?” Only 24 years old, Jacalyn, who had studied the work with her mentor and Schoenberg expert Leonard Stein, obliged, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Having performed with some of the world’s great opera houses and symphony orchestras, including the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Paris Chatelet, Metropolitan Opera and the Minnesota Orchestra, under conductors such as James Conlon, Edo de Wart, Zubin Mehta and James Levine, Jacalyn feels a profound debt to some of the most talented and powerful Austrian and German Jews, musicians, conductors and writers, who were persecuted by the Nazis and fled to Los Angeles in the 1930’s and 1940’s as a result of the Anschluss. Such people include her teacher, Herta Glaz, and her mentors, Maria Altmann, the woman described in the 2015 movie The Woman In Gold, Erich Leinsdorf, and Leonard Stein, a protege of Arnold Schoenberg, composer, music theorist and teacher. Knowing the hardships these and so many others endured during this dark period of history, Jacalyn, a Lecturer in Music and Performance for twenty-four years at California Polytechnic State University following her touring career, always emphasized the absolute must of total conviction to her students, prompting them: “How badly do you want to do this? You must believe in yourself to the depths of your soul and feel an absolute need for your art, a reason to sing the piece!”
Retired from teaching last June and now living back in Bend with David, Jacalyn is pursuing her passion of helping those with speech problems caused by Parkinson’s or other neurological diseases. She intends to start a studio, offer classes in voice repair and introduce some healing exercises in the classes she has agreed to conduct for Bend Parks and Rec in June, September and October. Just as Jacalyn felt compelled to deliver a heartfelt, healing message of “look to the light” from the great composers and poets of the world that inspired her, she hopes to bring light into the lives of those less fortunate in our local community through vocal healing. To find out more about Jackie, please visit her website jkreitzer.com and listen to her YouTube channel.
No less passionate about his art than his wife, David has been a professional painter for over fifty years and specializes in stunning, serene landscapes and dazzling, portraits of koi fish, both in watercolor and oils. Primarily a studio painter working from photographs, the artist’s medium-to-large canvases invite both close inspection and a distanced view to appreciate their fine nuances and detail as well as exquisite atmosphere and mood. Water is the unifying element in David’s art, which he describes as “the ultimate painting problem” because of the need to convey the surface quality of water itself, the reflections on that surface, and the depth below the transparent surface. Although David considers himself a Realist in the tradition of Turner and Cezanne, he suggests that each of his paintings goes through various stages of art history: from its minimalist beginnings and abstract block-ins to its impressionistic development and realist refinement.
Born in 1942 in Ord, Nebraska and the son of a Lutheran minister who often took his family around the state with him during his preaching, David received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Concordia College and a Master of Arts degree in Illustration from San Jose State University. Like his wife Jacalyn, David, too, received both discouragement and encouragement, setbacks and breaks, early on with respect to his pursuit of art. During his M.A. thesis show, for example, a professor said to him, “It’s too bad these are illustrations; they’d make fine paintings,” a comment that pushed David to rigorously pursue his art, a pursuit that took him to San Francisco, a hotbed of art and artists. While there, he decided to approach the prestigious Pomeroy Gallery to display his paintings and possibly represent him. Initially declined by the receptionist, he managed to show the gallery owner, former U.S. President Herbert Hoover’s grandson, some images of his work. Duly impressed, Hoover immediately requested a studio visit, and the two hoofed up one of San Francisco’s near-vertical streets where they reviewed David’s work. Despite incredible admiration for David’s art, Hoover didn’t have the space in his gallery at that time to take David in but instead recommended he try the Maxwell Gallery. David packed his paintings into a cab and hesitated slightly while parked in front of the gallery. “Hey man, you got to be positive!” the cabby said to him. David entered the gallery, presented his work, and was immediately added to their roster of fine artists!
Since his early beginnings, David has enjoyed widespread success, exhibiting his art in numerous one-man shows in museums, universities and galleries across the country, including New York’s Suma, Scottsdale’s Leslie Levy Fine Art, Seattle’s Runnings Gallery, and Antrum and Stary-Sheets Galleries in Southern California. His paintings hang in many esteemed public collections, including those of The Revlon Corporation, Kimberly-Clark, Cargil Corporation, Sinclair Paints, San Jose State University, and the Santa Barbara Museum, and in the private collections of Ray Bradbury, Mary Tyler Moore, Michael Douglass, and Mr. and Mrs. Howard Ahmanson. David’s recent oil painting, “Sunriver Wake,” was selected for this year’s Sunriver Music Festival poster image. The artist will show his work in Bend during upcoming Open Studio shows and at Knightsbridge Real Estate in April, August and October.