Vocalists at Lamont study with Sara Bardill, Catherine Kasch, and Matthew Plenk, who have over five decades of combined experience in performance and teaching. Sahar Nouri is music director for Lamont Opera Theatre. Students also get to work on their foreign language diction with Beth Nielsen, who is equally versed in opera, art song, chamber music and musical theater. Collaborative pianist Ruth Baker works with students one-on-one and also serves as pianist for opera rehearsals. 

In Fall 2021, dramatic soprano Heidi Melton joins the Lamont voice faculty. See below for more. 

Lamont regularly welcomes distinguished guest artists for masterclasses and recitals. Recent guests have included Christine Brewer, Michelle DeYoung, Ailyn Pérez, Greg Carpenter, and Stefano de Peppo. 

As part of Lamont Opera Theatre, students gain first-hand experience in all aspects of a professional career by performing in our annual fully staged operas and musicals. Undergraduates hold a majority in the voice program, and are frequently cast in major roles in productions. Voice students will also sing in our choirs, and have the opportunity to explore jazz. They rehearse and perform in the state-of-the-art Newman Center for the Performing Arts. 

Faculty

 
Sara Bardill

Sara Bardill

Teaching Associate Professor

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Catherine Kasch

Catherine Kasch

Teaching Associate Professor

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Matthew Plenk

Matthew Plenk

Assistant Professor

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Beth Nielsen

Beth Nielsen

Adjunct Faculty

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Sahar Nouri

Sahar Nouri

Assistant Professor

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Ruth Baker

Ruth Baker

Vocal Coach

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Martha Yordy

Martha Yordy

Opera Class Accompanist

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Dramatic Soprano Heidi Melton Joins Lamont

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Dramatic soprano Heidi Melton has been called “the Wagnerian voice we have been waiting for since Flagstad and Nilsson” (La Presse), with a voice that is “big, gleaming and tonally resplendent” (San Francisco Chronicle). Ms. Melton has performed across the globe with major symphony orchestras that include the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Concertgebouw Orchestra under such conductors as Zubin Meta, Marin Alsop, and Sir Simon Rattle. She has enjoyed engagements at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Bayreuth Festival, Oper Frankfurt, Badisches Staatstheater, Deutsche Oper Berlin, and the Canadian Opera Company. She also is featured on recordings from Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, and Musicales Actes. Read more.

Auditions

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are requiring recorded video auditions from all applicants as well as a live Zoom component.

  • Recorded Video Audition

    Video recordings should be unedited, i.e. do not make cuts or edits in the middle of pieces. It is fine to record pieces separately. Use the best recording equipment you have on hand. Faculty will evaluate you on the quality of your performance and not on the audio/video quality. 

    This video should be uploaded through the Lamont application. Recordings received after January 15 will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

  • Live Zoom Interview and Sight-Singing

    Applicants will preference their top two (2) dates for a live Zoom interview on the Lamont application. The interview will consist of a brief sight-singing test and Q&A.

    The 2021 interview dates are January 30, February 6, and February 13. 

Repertoire Requirements

Undergraduate (BM and BA)

  • Two (2) pieces, with at least one of them classical in nature, preferably of contrasting character, exhibiting your skill, technique and understanding of musical phrasing and expression.
  • Technical skills and sight reading tests may be requested at a live audition.

Undergraduate (Minor)

  • One piece exhibiting your skill, technique, and understanding of musical phrasing and expression.
  • Technical skills and sight reading tests may be requested at a live audition.
Review Requirements for Jazz Voice

Graduate (MM and Certificate in Performance)

Perform all compositions from memory:

  • Five (5) classical voice selections, including at least one operatic aria and at least three (3) art songs. In addition to English, at least three (3) languages, such as Italian, French, German or Spanish, must be represented.
  • Technical skills and sight reading tests may be requested at a live audition.

Review Requirements for Artist Diploma

Review Requirements for Jazz Voice
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