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Syracuse Opera and Ithaca College Create Conductors' Training Program


November 4, 2010

Syracuse, N.Y., November 4, 2010 - Syracuse Opera and the School of Music at Ithaca College have announced a cutting-edge conductors' training program for the study and performance of opera. Beginning the 2010-2011 academic year, three graduate-level students from the School of Music will be selected annually as Syracuse Opera conducting fellows to study the operatic repertoire, languages, and the human singing voice as well as to learn about the responsibilities associated with leading an orchestra in opera performance.

Established by Syracuse Opera's Director of Music Douglas Kinney Frost with Ithaca College faculty Brian DeMaris and Jeffery Meyer, the program spans the Syracuse Opera season. This will allow the three conducting fellows to observe the orchestra, chorus, and staging rehearsals from several productions as well as work with Syracuse Opera staff, performing artists, and conductors. This initiative exemplifies Ithaca College's ongoing quest to provide its students with real-life, hands-on experiences and Syracuse Opera's commitment to professional opportunities for emerging artists.

In addition, Syracuse Opera and the School of Music will host a conductors' training master class focusing on the standard opera repertoire. Participants are anticipated from throughout the United States. These individuals will have the opportunity to work with Syracuse Opera's resident artists and Ithaca College graduate voice students performing with the School's Chamber Orchestra. For the inaugural session, master conducting teacher Kenneth Kiesler will lead the class set for March 24-27, 2011, in Ithaca and focus on Mozart's Don Giovanni and Le Nozze di Figaro. More information regarding the application process will become available in December.

"Learning how to conduct opera is an often-overlooked element in the professional training of conductors in the United States and we are proud to be launching what we believe is the first such program specifically targeted at conductor training for opera in the country," said Douglas Kinney Frost. "There are many young artist programs for singers and pianists in the opera world, and, in turn, opportunities for young conductors in the purely orchestral world. Those of us who create opera understand that a division between the two areas of training is senseless; we see this as a definitive step toward bridging the gap," he added.

"This collaboration provides Ithaca College graduate conducting students with an invaluable experience under the tutelage of the expert artistic staff and performers of Syracuse Opera," said Brian DeMaris. "Being a part of this partnership between two nationally recognized institutions is an honor for me, as I'm sure it will be for our graduate students," he added.

About Syracuse Opera

Now in its 36th year, Syracuse Opera enriches the lives of the people of upstate New York through locally produced opera, the all-inclusive art form which features the beauty of the human singing voice energized by the spectacle of live theater. Offering three mainstage productions each season and year-round community performances and education programs, Syracuse Opera is a professional company reaching over 60,000 people each year. For more information, please visit www.SyracuseOpera.com or call (315) 475-5915.

About Ithaca College's School of Music

Since its founding in 1892 as a conservatory, Ithaca College's School of Music has earned a reputation as one of the best in the nation, offering a superb blend of full-time resident faculty, performance opportunities, state-of-the-art facilities, access to liberal arts courses, and success in career placement. It's a place where students work with world-class professionals every day to become world-class professionals themselves. For more information, please go to

http://www.ithaca.edu/music

or call (607) 274-3171.


FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Michael A. Connor
Director of Advancement
315-475-5915
mac@syracuseopera.com