Who inspires you?
Christine Goerke. Despite being fabulous and famous, she’s still a real, down-to-earth human being who works hard at her job. She doesn’t need to be the center of attention all the time, she collaborates. Also Patty Thom, the chair of Voice and Opera, because who doesn’t want to be as classy as Patty?
Do you have a favorite quote?
“Music is a holy art.”—Richard Strauss, Ariadne auf Naxos; and “The reason people are successful is because they are unique. Always try to be yourself.”—Ellen DeGeneres.
What has been your favorite class at the Conservatory?
Business of the Opera Business. In this class, singers learn everything from how to negotiate contracts and which unions to apply for, to the differences between having a European career and an American career. It’s the most practical and useful class I’ve ever taken.
Where would you go in a time machine?
I would go to Vienna, 1786, to convince Mozart to write some decent roles for low mezzo-soprano.
What is one collaboration that you have had at the Conservatory that you would not have expected to have?
I worked with Marc Hoffeditz, a Conservatory student composer, to premiere his first major song cycle with orchestra, a group of dark poems known as the Bikini Lieder.
What is your favorite thing to do in Boston?
I like to either hang out at the Boston Public Library, which is just beautiful post-renovation, or eat Italian food in the North End. Modern Pastry is better than Mike’s Pastry for cannolis—I’m sorry, it just is.
What advice would you give a new student?
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Your peers here are supportive, not competitive, and they want to help you. Let them!
What do you think you will miss most when you graduate?
The constant sense of safety and community the Conservatory provides. The real world rarely offers such a safe space to grow.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about the merger with Berklee?
I think Berklee’s recording facilities will make a big difference in the quality of audition recordings that Conservatory musicians can send out to companies and festivals.