Sunday, October 14, 2012

A View from the Crowd: Life in the BLO Chorus

A View from the Crowd: Life in the BLO Chorus is a new series we will bring to you each production. This is a firsthand glimpse of what it is like as a member of the BLO Chorus. Our first guest blogger is Soprano, Dana Schnitzer.

Not from BLO's Production
          "Madama Butterfly will be my second show as a part of the Boston Lyric Opera chorus. I had a blast in Macbeth last season, and I am honored to be returning for this season! On day one, I received a warm welcome from my singer colleagues, and had a chance to catch up with several of them before rehearsal over the tea and delicious snacks that were provided for us. The room was pre-set; the chairs and music stands inviting us to get to work. Chorusmaster Michelle Alexander, with whom I've worked both in the BLO setting as well as in private coachings, was extremely prepared and full of energy as usual. I had the pleasure of meeting coach/accompanist James Myers, who I've heard great things about. We all spoke through all of the text in rhythm before singing, which is always a good idea so as to perfect our Italian diction. Next, as we sang, our group of seasoned professionals made notes and corrections here and there, quickly pulling together the tricky choral sections of the opera. By the end of rehearsal, we sounded really good. I have to say, though, that humming chorus is TRICKY...especially humming on a high Bb, yikes!! In our second rehearsal we "presented our work" to Maestro Andrew Bizantz, and he was quite pleased with us. Maestro is hysterically funny and yet incredibly time efficient and clear with his directions. What I loved most were the specific reasons Maestro explained for making the musical choices that he did; this helped us to commit vocally and will undoubtedly help us commit dramatically onstage. We heard a bit from the principals last night, each one impeccably prepared and vocally perfect for their roles. I am very excited for what is sure to be a beautiful and exciting production!" -- Dana Schnitzer, Soprano

Dana Schnitzer, Soprano, has worked with numerous opera companies including Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Boston. Recent concert highlights include Vaughan Williams’s Sea Symphony with the Metropolitan Chorale and Beethoven's Mass in C at The Tanglewood Festival. Ms. Schnitzer has placed in numerous vocal competitions, and participated in several young artist programs including the Caramoor Bel Canto program, PORTopera and the Britten-Pears Programme in the UK. She holds a MM in Voice Performance from the New England Conservatory, and will complete her DMA at BU in 2013. She maintains a large private voice studio, is Founder/Artistic Director of MetroWest Opera, Assistant Director of the Metropolitan Chorale, and voice teacher/opera coordinator at the BU Tanglewood Institute. 

1 comment:

  1. It was fascinating to have an explanation of how the various professionals in charge work, what they focus on and how it impacts the performers. It sound like a roadmap for success. Dana writes very clearly and conveyed a photographic explanation of who does what!!