Renowned mezzo Stephanie Blythe taking over vocal training program at Bard College
ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — Internationally renowned opera singer and recitalist Stephanie Blythe has been named artistic director of the Bard College Conservatory of Music Graduate Vocal Arts Program (VAP) beginning in July. One of the most highly respected and critically acclaimed artists of her generation, mezzo-soprano Blythe possesses a repertoire ranging from Handel to Wagner and from German lieder to contemporary and classic American song. Blythe has performed on many of the world's great stages, among them Carnegie Hall; the Metropolitan Opera; Covent Garden; Paris National Opera; and San Francisco, Chicago Lyric, and Seattle Operas.
She was named Musical America's Vocalist of the Year, received an Opera News Award, and won the Richard Tucker Award. Blythe recently released her first crossover recording on the Innova label with pianist Craig Terry.
Blythe is taking over the position from current VAP director Dawn Upshaw, who founded the program in 2006 and who will continue her role as a faculty member.
"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," said Blythe in a news release.
"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," she said. "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 College President Leon Botstein in the news release. "The spirit and excellence established by our outstanding founding director will continue to flourish under Blythe's leadership."
The news release says the two-year master of music program was created "to prepare the young singer to meet the special challenges of pursuing a professional life in music in the 21st century."
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