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These three classical performance opportunities form the foundation of the vocal programs at Hartt. By balancing these, Hartt prepares vocal students for the next step, which could be a graduate degree, private teaching, or a performance career. A key component of Hartt's performance curriculum is pedagogy, the science of teaching, to give students the knowledge necessary to start a successful teaching studio.
All vocal students study privately with a member of Hartt's eminent vocal faculty, working on technique and repertoire. Freshmen and sophomores participate in weekly vocal seminars with a member of Hartt's vocal coaching staff, while upperclassmen and graduate students have weekly private coachings. The work put into private practice, weekly coachings and seminars, and voice lessons culminate in performance: in the Undergraduate Recital Series, fully-staged operas, and choir concerts.
Don Giovanni, Susannah, Gianni Schicchi, The Merry Widow, and The Marriage of Figaro are just some of the fully staged operas that our students have performed in the last few years. Productions for graduates and undergraduates are cast separately; in the 2007-08 academic year, undergraduates performed opera scenes in the fall and Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld and graduate students presented several performances of opera scenes. Students work with guest directors, including Peter Kazaras from Seattle Opera, as well as the Hartt Symphony Orchestra.
All vocal students have the opportunity to sing with a variety of choral organizations, performing repertoire as varied as Verdi's Requiem with the Hartt Symphony Orchestra to "Esti Dal" and "Horatii Carmen" by Zoltán Kodály on tour with the Chamber Choir in Hungary to Cosmosis by Susan Botti with the Hartt Wind Ensemble on the "Unclaimed Property" Series. Hartt choirs perform throughout the state, in such places as the Connecticut Convention Center, the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, and at Yale's historic Woolsey Hall.
Vocal Performance opportunities
The Vocal Division has five choral ensembles: The Hartt Choir (SATB with 45-60 singers), The Hartt Chorale (SATB with 35-45 singers), The Hartt Camerata (SSA with 25-30 voices), The Hartt Chamber Choir (SATB with 24 singers), and the Hartt Touring Choir (SATB with 40-45 voices). These choral organizations emphasize musicianship and vocal skills in an ensemble setting as well as expanding the students' knowledge of repertoire and style. Undergraduate vocal performance majors are often featured as soloists on Hartt choral concerts. Recent major works performed with orchestra include
Mozart's Requiem, A Sea Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Verdi's Requiem, Brahms's Nänie and Ein deutsches Requiem; and Te Deum by Berlioz. The Hartt Touring Choir has performed several international tours, traveling to Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.
Hartt's Vocal Performance program features an eight semester integrated curricular sequence of opera training, unique among undergraduate programs. Undergraduate vocal performance majors have the yearly opportunity to sing in complete opera productions chosen specifically for the developing undergraduate voice. The Hartt undergraduate opera productions are designed so that, in performing a variety of operatic repertoire, students have the educational experience of learning and preparing a role, learning stagecraft, and working with professional stage directors and production staff. Recent undergraduate opera performances have included Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief, Barab's A Hand of Bridge, Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti, Gilbert and Sullivan's Trial By Jury, Lehár's The Merry Widow Offenbach's Orpheus in the Underworld, and Strauss II's Die Fledermaus.
The Undergraduate Recital Series (URS) includes four concerts per year in which every freshman and sophomore vocal performance major appears in one recital and every junior and senior vocal performance major appears in two recitals. The URS is an outgrowth of the vocal seminar classes in which students concentrate on the performance of art song repertoire. Seminars focus on interpretation, stage presence, and communication, as well as musicianship and language skills.