'Wicked' Boston Conservatory Alumni Visit Berklee College of Music
During the Wicked national touring company’s stop at the Boston Opera House this past July, Dan Micciche (B.F.A. ’07, musical theater) and Jillian Butler (B.F.A. ’15, musical theater)—two of the six Boston Conservatory alumni involved in the production—spoke to Berklee College of Music students about their industry experience.
Micciche, music director for the tour, and Butler, understudy for Glinda, spoke to a class of 50 singers and instrumentalists who were rehearsing for an upcoming performance of Phantom of the Opera. Alongside College professors Ana Guigui and Peter Cokkinias, the alumni provided helpful insight into navigating the theater industry and finding success.
When asked how she landed the part of Glinda, Butler responded, "The Conservatory holds a senior showcase [in New York City] each year, which luckily went very well for me. I signed with an agency as a result, they sent me in for an appointment while I was working at North Shore Music Theatre [in Beverly, Massachusetts]. I didn’t get the role, but a year and a half later while I was in Fayetteville, Arkansas with Cinderella I got a call asking to send in a tape again of the Glinda materials. So I found a little room with a piano, and a week later I got a phone call saying I got the job."
Micciche similarly expressed how the Conservatory prepared him for his career: "The Conservatory, for me, was a place I wanted to go since eighth grade, based on how diverse their alumni was. There were a lot of schools that were cookie cutter, and at Boston Conservatory there are ensembles, principals, and very a diverse range of people. And I was very lucky to study with the three most influential professors, Cathy Rand, Mary Saunders, and Bill Casey. Cathy Rand was everything for me, from singing to song analysis. [During] senior year we were able to pick an area of emphasis, and I wanted to do musical direction as the first keyboard orchestra role, because there are not a lot of shows left where there is a true conductor role. There was no curriculum for that emphasis, and Cathy built it for me. You can make anything you want out of the Conservatory experience, I found—there were no limits."
The Wicked national touring company will present performances across the country through October 2018.
Berklee College of Music and Boston Conservatory merged on June 1, 2016. Objectives of the merger include expanding career opportunities for students and jointly raising the global profile of music, theater, and dance by leveraging the strengths of the combined organization through such collaborations.