Summer 2020 Programs » Baroque Opera Workshop » Testimonials



The Queens College Baroque Opera Workshop was a fabulous immersion in all things Baroque: fascinating lectures on performance practice, sessions on period gesture, thorough coachings from experts in the field and a chance to perform on stage with a period orchestra of fellow workshop participants, the perfect culmination of an intensive and fun week singing early Baroque opera!

Brett Umlauf, soprano

I came to the Baroque Opera Workshop not having very much experience in repertoire earlier than Handel and Bach. I felt the style and music called Early Music seemed to be somewhat of a mystery. After delving into Luigi Rossi's Orfeo for the week and working with Ellen Hargis, the 'mystery' of early music singing began to fade away. This opera was just like any other opera- full out drama!

Ellen Hargis, and Christa Patton provided most of the clues to understanding early music during masterclasses and music rehearsals.

The program ran very smoothly and working with such experienced and knowledgable instructors was inspiring and made the program so much fun! Also, singing with an early music orchestra was such a wonderful experience!

Daniel Moody, countertenor

What an intense and rewarding week! Mounting a performance of Rossi's Orfeo in just one week was a great challenge and everyone rose to it, thanks in no small part to the superb staging and direction of Ellen Hargis and David Ronis, and the music direction of Christa Patton. Ellen Hargis's vocal masterclasses and baroque gesture instruction, and the opportunity to learn Commedia dell'Arte technique from Antonio Fava, were incredibly valuable. And the period instrument ensemble was just superb! With terrific teachers and supportive colleagues, the Queens College Baroque Opera Workshop was time very well spent.

Jason Rylander, tenor

I loved the Opera Workshop experience and was sad to see it end so soon. It was great to have gotten the chance to work on the music ahead of time, and having everyone else do their own preparation as well. It was a great feeling to have everyone their jump right into it full force and keep that energy going through the whole week. Having all of our efforts amount to a great performance at the end was so rewarding.

Ryan Closs, lute

I enrolled in the baroque opera workshop with no real prior experience in the music of the period, just several years' experience teaching private studio lessons, public school choirs and occasionally gigging as a tenor. I was very uncomfortable with the idea of moving while singing and needed to be thrust out into the world of movement: that being said, boy am I glad I took part in the workshop this summer! In addition to having Ellen Hargis (baroque opera singer/expert) guide us through basic baroque gestures and provide individualized feedback during the week, we also had Antonio Fava (a Commedia dell'Arte performer in Italy) provide a week-long introduction to his special "arte" in a class consisting mostly of movement with small breaks for historical information and explanations. It was the ample opportunity for practice under the watchful eyes of experts that really helped me grow during the week. If the excellent coachings by faculty who genuinely cared about each of us during the week were not enough, the workshop participants were also all encouraging and helpful to each other in many different ways throughout the week (I now have friends/contacts in the baroque opera world across the US and Canada.) I highly recommend this workshop to opera singers at any level of their development and am considering attending again next year!

Jeremy Barbaro, tenor

As a student of the Baroque Opera Workshop at Queens College, I developed a much richer understanding of 17th-century performance practices and gained invaluable experience as a Baroque violinist. I highly recommend the Workshop to anyone who would like to explore the beautiful world of Baroque opera.

Kyle Miller, violin




Queens College Aaron Copland School of Music

Summer 2020 Festivals and Workshops

Baroque Opera Workshop

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