University of Washington Voice and Opera will offer students an interactive voice masterclass with Morgan Smith, who plays Paul Jobs in Seattle Opera’s current production of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, composed by Mason Bates. Three advanced vocal performance students will obtain coaching from Smith, while also having the opportunity to learn tips on auditioning for companies, pursuing European performance careers, and balancing life/work in the strenuous field of opera performance. The masterclass will take place March 5, 2019 (Tuesday), 3:30-5 pm, and is free and open to the public at the UW School of Music, Brechemin Auditorium. This fascinating contemporary opera has already won the 2018 Grammy for Best Opera Recording.
The National Association of Teachers of Singing has peer-reviewed and published a new article by Dr. Kari Ragan, full time artist-in-residence of voice at University of Washington. The article is entitled “Serious About Singing: Age Appropriate Repertoire for the Talented Teen”, and appears in the January/February 2016 issue of NATS journal. This article delves into one of the most important issues in voice teaching: proper assignment of literature based on the unique abilities (and limitations) of young singers. Kari writes, “We must select repertoire that gives our young singers the best chance for advancement in competitive situations while remaining aware of the serious vocal requirements of operatic arias.”
Dr. Ragan has become one of the nation’s leaders in voice science and voice pedagogy, presenting papers at numerous conferences across the United States. She is also a specialist in Contemporary Music Theater (CMT) pedagogy, helping to lead and direct efforts in the new University of Washington music theatre degree program, as well as publishing substantive articles on the topic.
Shortly after winning the 2015 Grammy for Best Opera Recording, UW Senior Artist-in-Residence Stephen Stubbs has been nominated yet again, for his collaboration with Paul O’Dette and Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra on a CD featuring Agostino Steffani’s 3-act opera Niobe, regina di Tebe. This recording includes the stellar singing of Philippe Jaroussky and Karina Gauvin.
The University of Washington vocal department has been enjoying yearly collaborations with Stubbs, most recently with his production of Cavalli’s Calisto (directed by Zach Winokur) in January 2016. DMA, MM, and BM students of Kari Ragan, Tom Harper, and Cyndia Sieden sang the roles, accompanied by and ensemble early music instrumentalists led by Stubbs on harpsichord and Maxine Eilander on Baroque violin. Stubbs has also been active in conducting the UW Chamber Singers in a series of Handel Messiah concerts last December.
University of Washington’s deadlines for admission to the School of Music programs in voice are fast approaching. November 15 is the “pre-screen for audition” deadline (optional) and December 15th is the UW’s official deadline for 2015-16 admission. Students wanting more information about these deadlines and our program in vocal performance should contact Julia Tobiska at email@example.com, or visit our website.
The University of Washington is thrilled to announce that Cyndia Sieden will be joining our voice faculty this fall. She will teach private lessons and play the role of Queen of the Night in our spring production of Magic Flute, produced in conjunction with Pacific MusicWorks. Portions of her bio appear below:
Coloratura soprano Cyndia Sieden earns raves for singing that garners such superlatives as “pyrotechnic,” and “dizzying.” Her purity of tone and pitch-perfect musicianship allow her to move with ease from 18th-century composers such as Handel and Mozart, to complex 21st-century works by such masters as Thomas Adès and Esa-Pekka Salonen. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the protagonist in Berg’s Lulu, and returned to sing Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. She made her Salzburg Festival debut in Ombra Felice, a fully staged production of Mozart concert arias, and returned to sing Aspasia in Jonathan Miller’s production of Mitridate re di Ponto, released on CD under the Salzburg Festival label. She appeared at New York City Opera in the title role of Handel’s Partenope, and Morton Feldman’s Neither.
Contemporary opera remains a pillar of her activities. Her performances as Ariel in Adès’ The Tempest, which premiered at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden with the composer at the podium, astounded critics. London’s Daily Telegraph said, “her ability to keep control over the stratospherically high writing for Ariel [is] astonishing” and the Independent on Sunday “a miraculous combination of elegance, poignancy and chutzpah.” She appeared in subsequent performances in France, Denmark, and Santa Fe, reprising the role most recently for Oper Frankfurt. Other career highlights include the role of the Cat in Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland at Geneva Opera, and Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Dionysus at Netherlands Opera.
She has garnered equally enthusiastic acclaim for more traditional roles, such as Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte and as Blondchen in Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail. Her Archiv recordings of those works, conducted by John Eliot Gardiner, affirmed her status as a preeminent interpreter of Mozart. She has performed those roles at the world’s leading opera houses, including Munich’s Bayerische Staatsoper, Paris’s Opera Bastille, and London’s English National Opera as well as in Beijing and Australia.
Ms. Sieden has sung in concert with the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, Cleveland Orchestra, the Chicago, London, and San Francisco Symphonies, and New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival. Ms. Sieden is much in demand for the oratorios of Handel, Mozart and Haydn; works of Bach; Mahler’s Symphony No. 8; and Orff’s Carmina Burana. She has also brought opera like Bernstein’s Candide, and Ariadne auf Naxos to the concert stage. With the Los Angeles Philharmonic, she has sung Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Wing on Wing on a European tour, and introduced Thomas Adès’s Scenes from The Tempest to the orchestral world.
Mayor’s Arts Award: Stephen Stubbs
Stephen Stubbs has been involved with early music since discovering the lute as a high school student at Seattle’s Nathan Hale High School in the 1960s. Read more about the artist and why Seattle Mayor Ed Murray has recognized him for Raising the Bar in the Seattle arts community in this article from City Arts magazine. And stay tuned for updates about this springs upcoming collaboration on Magic Flute with Pacific Music Works!
Trials have started using singers from the University of Washington voice department, as part of a national study initiated by Dr. Kari Ragan entitled “The Pedagogical Basis for Vocal Cool Down Exercises.” The purpose of the study is to determine whether “cool downs” can have a beneficial effect for singers in a similar way to “warming up.” Here at UW we are very excited to be at the cutting edge of new discoveries in voice science!
Starting in fall 2013, the University of Washington’s College of Arts and Sciences will offer a new Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Musical Theatre. This program–a collaboration between the Dance Program, School of Music and School of Drama–is designed to cultivate and nurture the creative artistry of highly motivated students who wish to develop their combined talent as vocalists, actors and dancers.