OPERA NEWS - Mezzo Stephanie Blythe Named as Artistic Director of Bard College Conservatory of Music's Vocal Arts Program
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3 December 2018

Mezzo Stephanie Blythe Named as Artistic Director of Bard College Conservatory of Music's Vocal Arts Program

MEZZO STEPHANIE BLYTHE has been named as the next artistic director of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, the school announced today. 

Blythe will assume the post at the Annandale-on-Hudson college in July 2019, taking over the artistic directorship of the Graduate Vocal Arts Program from current director and founder Dawn Upshaw. Upshaw, who founded the program in 2006, will continue in her role as a faculty member at Bard. 

“Life is full of extraordinary journeys. Some are planned, some are hoped for, and some are joyful surprises. My appointment to this wonderful institution is a bit of all three,” Blythe said in a statement issued today by Bard. “I have dreamed of joining the academic world for some time, but assuredly, becoming part of the VAP at Bard is beyond my wildest dreams. I look forward to continuing the legacy created by Dawn Upshaw—to upholding the musical and educational values of the VAP, while looking ahead to the future development of this marvelous and singular program.”

“Bard is privileged to have a singer of Stephanie Blythe’s accomplishments, skill, and creativity leading our Conservatory’s Vocal Arts Program,” said Bard president Leon Botstein. “The spirit and excellence established by our outstanding founding director will continue to flourish under Blythe’s leadership.” 

Bard's Vocal Arts Program is a two-year master of music degree that was launched to “prepare the young singer to meet the special challenges of pursuing a professional life in music in the 21st century.” Students enrolled in the program engage with art song, chamber music, contemporary music and operatic repertoire, and also take part in seminars and classes in Alexander Technique, acting, diction and translation, development of performance opportunities and a workshop in career skills that incorporates guest speakers who are leading figures in arts management and administration.

One of the most acclaimed and versatile artists of her generation, Blythe has performed on many of the world’s most important stages, including Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera, Covent Garden, Paris National Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and Seattle Opera. In addition to her frequent work as a recitalist, Blythe has concertized with orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Ensemble Orchestre de Paris and Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Blythe created the role of Gertrude Stein in Ricky Ian Gordon’s “27” at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and sang the role of  Ms. Lovett in performances of Sweeney Todd at the San Francisco Opera and Nettie Fowler in Carousel at the Houston Grand Opera and with the New York Philharmonic. In addition to starring in Metropolitan Opera Live in HD broadcasts of Orfeo ed EuridiceIl Trittico, Rodelinda, Cendrillon, and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, she also appeared in PBS’s Live from Lincoln Center broadcasts of the New York Philharmonic's performance of Carousel and her acclaimed show, We'll Meet Again: The Songs of Kate Smith 

The recipient of a 2007 OPERA NEWS Award, Blythe was named as Musical America’s vocalist of the year in 2009 and was the recipient of the Richard Tucker Award in 1999. She is also artistic director of the Fall Island Vocal Arts Seminar at the Crane School of Music. spacer 

More information can be found at the Bard College Conservatory of Music

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