The Conservatory helped me find myself in a lot of ways. Musicians question every detail of their art—breathing, technique, musical structure, and character development—and that has helped me become more inquisitive and detail oriented. The level of commitment one must put forth to have a successful career in an artistic field is outstanding, and this magnitude of dedication will forever stay with me. The Conservatory helped me to separate the exterior beauty of performance and take a deeper, more analytical and critical exploration into the splendor of artistic expression.
Joseph Gualtiere (B.M. ’12, voice) is putting his Conservatory training to work in a unique way. Gualtiere, a New York City native, has always been fascinated by the world of fashion. During his time at the Conservatory, Vogue magazine’s feature of opera singer Renee Fleming in couture dresses inspired him: “I was so intrigued by the beauty of the spread but knew it was rare for such a fine art form to be publicized in such a mainstream way.” Taking this idea of juxtaposing fine art and high fashion, Gualtiere launched UPTEMPO magazine while still at the Conservatory to showcase fine art in a relatable medium, while also using the platform to infuse avant-garde and new creative art forms.
UPTEMPO is a digital on-demand print publication that focuses on artistic collaboration between fashion and the performing and visual arts. UPTEMPO features theater talent in imaginative editorial spreads alongside top models redefining fashion as art.
Over time, the magazine transitioned into a stylized art editorial, telling stories through a photographic lens. Gualtiere has big plans for UPTEMPO, which he hopes to rebrand into a full-fledged multimedia company that distributes content through print, web, and video platforms.
While fully immersed in UPTEMPO, Gualtiere leads a healthy performance career, with three performances scheduled at Carnegie Hall in 2015. Gualtiere feels strongly that fashion and the performing arts are intimately linked.
Fashion is a form of visual expression. It's an extension of who we are and what we want to convey, which is something that the Conservatory was great about teaching. How do you want to represent yourself as a professional artist? Costumes help define a character on stage in the same way clothing does in real life. All fashion is inspired by art; it's just a matter of how one chooses to interpret it.