Local singer selected for opera training program
By Kitty LeShay - ReminderNews
Ashford - posted Thu., Jun. 23, 2011
Anyone who knows Laura DellaFera is not surprised by her most recent honor. The accomplished and talented graduate student is one of 26 singers selected to participate in the advanced level of the CoOPERAtive Program at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J., in July.
The university invited judges from the operatic profession to give their unbiased judgments concerning the selection of the fellows. “Some of the things the judges noticed about Laura were her beautiful sound, nice timbre (warm, yet present) and easy high notes. Good English diction, nice phrasing with a silvery quality to the sound. She was seen as a very good singing actor with good singing in meaning - sensitive phrasing and good dynamic work,” said Laura Rice, her voice professor at Westminster.
DellaFera’s journey in music began when she sang in her church choir as a child. During her high school years at East Catholic in Manchester, she participated in just about every music program available. She was fortunate to have two mentors Connie Rock and Meredith Ziegler, both professional singers and professors at UConn who have helped her as she pursues her goal of becoming an opera singer and actor. “It takes awhile to build a career, but I am optimistic I will be able to do it with a lot of hard work and appropriate training,” she said.
DellaFera is focused and has planned her course work to enhance her career goals. Since most opera is in foreign languages, she has studied French, Italian and German. “It helps you to learn the music so much faster,” she said.
The CoOPERAtive Program will focus on singing arias and is a customized schedule which includes private coaching sessions. It focuses on operatic style, performance techniques, dramatic presentation and more. DellaFera will be working with professionals from opera companies around the nation and some of the country’s leading conductors. “The program will help me a lot. It will give me different perspectives on how to sing pieces. There is no right way to sing something. This will help me make a piece or a character my own,” she explained.
DellaFera and some friends have also formed the New England Opera Collaborative. They will be performing at the Storrs Congregational Church on Eagleville Road on Thursday, June 30, at 7 p.m. Their program will include famous opera arias and a duet from the opera of “Hansel and Gretel,” as well as songs from musicals such as “The Sound of Music.” The concert is free and all are welcome.
DellaFera is passionate about bringing opera to the public. “What I hope to achieve as a singer is to bring the drama of opera to the people and for the audience to have an enjoyable experience, to be moved by a performance,” she said.