With recent debuts at Glyndebourne and Covent Garden, Joyce El-Khoury is making a name for herself as a versatile soprano who can bring her characters—big or small—to life. Her path to stardom has been neither easy nor typical, with many detours and delays along the way—like during years of being bullied as a child or when she applied to graduate schools but only got accepted to one and without scholarships. Always one to step up to the plate, El-Khoury has used her self-described grit and hard work to turn seeming setbacks to her advantage—and there’s no holding her back now.
As music continues to change and evolve, shouldn’t music education also follow suit? Here the dean and voice chair at Peabody Institute share their ideas on taking music education in a modernized direction.
Baritone Andrew Garland didn’t really start singing until high school when fate brought him to the school choir. But his interest and love of music began much sooner in his pursuits as a self-proclaimed “instrumentalist.” And, in that sense, it was really no surprise that despite calling it “crazy,” Garland changed majors to vocal performance at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Now in the midst of a very busy career, this Boston native shares how he sets himself apart in the sea of baritones through his quality recitals, his spot-on coloratura, and his congenial and friendly attitude.
Read what this 30-year-old program has in store for 2016, including advice from one of the special guest artists on bringing art song to life.
David Salsbery Fry is a highly intelligent and vocally gifted bass who began his college career pursuing medicine. He quickly turned to opera, however, and has enjoyed significant success, graduating from the Johns Hopkins University and continuing his studies at the University of Maryland and Juilliard. Fry has sung in opera houses throughout the United States, including performances at the Santa Fe Opera and the Aspen Music Festival. He has been on the roster of the Metropolitan Opera since 2008, performing in new music workshops and covering supporting roles on the main stage. What is most remarkable is that Fry has done all of this with a severe disability—one that he has concealed from the beginning of his career.
Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen’s list of accomplishments is no doubt impressive: a former young artist at Houston Grand Opera; winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Belvedere, and Operalia; a recent Metropolitan Opera debut as Countess Almaviva; and upcoming roles at San Francisco Opera, Vienna State Opera, and a return to the Met. But just as impressive are this young soprano’s sense of herself and clear passion for the art form she feels deeply grateful to be a part of.
Nestled in the mountains of New Mexico just an hour from Albuquerque in small-town Santa Fe sits one of the most prestigious opera companies in the U.S. Each summer Santa Fe Opera welcomes artists and patrons from around the world for a first-class opera experience in its unique outdoor setting. In addition, the opera company trains 43 Young Artists in its Apprentice Program, the first of its kind in the U.S. Meet a few of the Young Artists participating in this summer’s program and find out how their experiences are preparing them for life beyond Santa Fe.
Art song and opportunity come to the Land of Enchantment in a competition and festival that is offering prize money, education, and networking experiences to singers.
Nicholas Phan is quickly showing his tenor prowess on everything from recordings to opera and recital stages. His 2011 recording of Benjamin Britten’s Winter Words topped many “best of” lists, catapulting him into the limelight. And the list of houses and halls where Phan has appeared is equally as impressive—Seattle Opera, Glyndebourne, Houston Grand and, don’t forget, Carnegie Hall. Although still in the beginnings of what looks to be a very promising career, Phan has seasoned ideas about the difficulties and importance of finding your own voice in this challenging career, how to stay healthy—both physically and mentally—while at home and on the road, and what it means to truly succeed as a musician.
So you want to pursue a music degree. With that decision made, you now have many more questions to answer. Is a small or large school right for you? How do you find the right voice teacher? What should you wear on audition day? From the small to big questions, find the answers here.
If you haven’t sung in a Young Artist Program, graduated from a top conservatory, or hit it big by age 30, should you throw in the towel? Three singers share how their decision to persevere paid off big in the end.
Most young artist applications now require singers to send a recording as a screening tool for the thousand or more applicants every year. With so many applying for each position, what in a recording prompts directors to invite you to audition? What causes them to “tune you out?”
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