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Faculty Experts


Dana Zenobi

Visiting Assistant Professor of Music

zenobid

Areas of expertise

Voice Performance and Pedagogy, Song Literature, Vocal Diction, Art Song by Women Composers, Gender Studies, First-Year Music Theory


Dana Zenobi Headshot

Dana Zenobi joined the faculty at Southwestern University in 2007. A versatile performer who embraces both traditional repertoire and new music, she has earned national recognition for her interpretations of Art Song by women composers. She received an Honorable Mention for Exceptional Repertoire in 2016, and has been named a finalist for The American Prize in Art Song for the past four years.   Dr. Zenobi premiered "Love While You May," a song cycle by Ashley H. Kraft ('14) with trombonist and retired Southwestern faculty member Eileen Meyer Russell.  She is featured on Viola By Choice Chamber Music Ensemble's 2010 debut recording, Florilegium. She has performed with ensembles including the Austin Civic Orchestra, the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, the Austin Chamber Ensemble, and line upon line percussion ensemble. On the opera stage, she appeared in the American Premiere of Philip Glass's Waiting for the Barbarians with Austin Lyric Opera, and performed with Lyric Opera Cleveland in the first production of Mark Adamo's Little Women directed by the composer.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised her "dazzling coloratura" and "irresitible phrasing" as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and she has garnered similar success in roles ranging from Mozart heroines Konstanze and Donna Elvira to Verdi's Violetta Valéry. Dr. Zenobi has presented at conferences including the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Texoma Region), the Associated Colleges of the South Gender Studies Conference and the inaugural Music by Women Festival (Mississippi University for Women).  Her studio teaching was recognized by The American Prize in 2014, when she received a Special Citation for Inspiration in Teaching.  Three of her Southwestern students also received performance awards.

A native of Northport, NY, Dr. Zenobi is active in the local community as the executive director of BELTÀ - Building Empowered Lives Through Art, a nonprofit organization that supports emerging artists as they build successful careers.  She also serves as the Secretary of the South Texas Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing.  Dr. Zenobi created and currently directs the Sarofim Vocal Competition for high school singers, a single-day event that combines performance, master classes, and workshops.  The SVC is held at Southwestern University every November. She earned her DMA in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at The University of Texas at Austin, where her research focused on aural modeling and acoustic analysis of the singing voice.  Current research interests also include art song by Lili and Nadia Boulanger and Pauline Viardot-Garcia.

Education

DMA in Voice Performance and Pedagogy,The University of Texas at Austin 2011
MM in Opera Performance,The University of Texas at Austin 2003
BA in Music and Women's Studies,Duke University 1999

Research

Interests include aural modeling, acoustic analysis of the singing voice, studio voice technology, art song by Nadia and Lili Boulanger and Pauline Viardot-Garcia.


Publications

"Reflections on the 2011 Institute for Jaques Dalcroze Education," Dalcroze Society of America Journal, Fall/Winter 2011

"A Study of Listening Behavior and The Effectiveness of Aural Modeling with Undergraduate Level Singers," DMA Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 2011.


Performances

 

CONCERT AND OPERATIC PERFORMANCE HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Donna Elvira in The Don Juan Project (Premiere of Music by Jason Hoogerhyde)/ Southwestern University/ 2017
  • Dalila, Israelite Woman in Handel: Samson / San Gabriel Chorale / 2017
  • Mendelssohn: Elijah (Highlights) / Austin Civic Orchestra / 2017
  • Steve Reich: Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ / line upon line Percussion Ensemble / 2016
  • Saint-Saëns: Christmas Oratorio / San Gabriel Chorale / 2015
  • Berlioz: Les nuits d'été/Barber: Knoxville/Argento: Six Elizabethan Songs / The University of Texas at Austin / 2015
  • Achsah in Handel: Joshua, San Gabriel Chorale, 2015
  • Ashley H. Kraft: Love While You May (song cycle premiere), Huston-Tillotson University, 2015
  • Scenes from Eugene Onegin, Duke University Opera Gala, 2014
  • G. Bottesini & Amy Beach songs for sop./piano/double bass / International BassFest, Texas Christian University / 2014
  • Juliet's Waltz and "Verrano a te" from Lucia di Lammermoor / Austin Civic Orchestra / 2014
  • Reich: Music for 18 Musicians / Fast Forward Austin Music Festival / 2013
  • Alford: Lightener of the Stars / Austin Chamber Ensembl /, 2013
  • Rorem: Ariel / The University of Texas at Austin / 2012
  • Jalbert: Icefield Sonnets/The University of Texas at Austin New Music Ensemble/ 2010
  • Poulenc: Gloria/The University of Texas Choral Arts Society/ 2010
  • Copland: "As it Fell Upon a Day"/Georgetown Festival of the Arts, Georgetown, TX/ 2010
  • Guest Artist Recital (Rossini, Rachmaninoff, H.L. Adams)/Duke University, Durham, NC/ 2008
  • Lowell Liebermann: Struwwelpeterlieder/Viola By Choice Chamber Music Ensemble, Austin, TX/ 2008
  • Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni/Opera in the Heights, Houston, TX/ 2007
  • Star in Waiting for the Barbarians (US Premiere)/Austin Lyric Opera, Austin, TX/ 2007
  • Gala Concert (Arne, Offenbach, Puccini)/Montgomery County Performing Arts Society, Conroe, TX/ 2007
  • Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail/Opera in the Heights/ 2006
  • Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance/Lyric Opera Cleveland, Cleveland, OH/ 2006
  • Blonde (Cover) in Die Entführung aus dem Serail/Lyric Opera Cleveland/ 2006
  • H. Leslie Adams: Art Song Recital, Directed by Composer/Lyric Opera Cleveland/ 2006
  • Beethoven: Ninth Symphony/Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, McAllen, TX/ 2005
  • Alinda in Giasone/Aspen Opera Theater Center, Aspen, CO/ 2005
  • Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni/The Living Opera, Richardson, TX/ 2005
  • Mimi in La Bohème/Opera in the Heights/2005
  • Fourth Maid in Elektra /Austin Lyric Opera/2005
  • Violetta in La Traviata/Opera in the Heights/2004
  • Amy (Cover), 1st Voice in Little Women/Lyric Opera Cleveland (Directed by Composer)/2004

          


Creative Works

Florilegium, Viola By Choice Chamber Ensemble, Recording Released in 2010

Seminars & Presentations

  • Lecture Recital: Songs of the Boulanger Sisters, Music by Women Festival, Mississippi University for Women, 2017
  • Lecture: Practical Uses for Voice Technology in the Solo Voice Studio, Northwest Vista College, 2017
  • Performance/Presentation: Songs of the Boulanger Sisters, Associated Colleges of the South Gender Studies Conference, 2016
  • Lecture: Funding Strategies for Performers, National Association of Teachers of Singing Texoma Artist Series, 2014
  • Master Class:"It's All About the Text," Classical Singer National Convention, San Antonio, TX, 2014
  • Panel: Choosing a Dissertation Topic, UT Austin Butler School of Music, 2012
  • Guest Lecture: Research Methods/Acoustic Analysis, Vocal Pedagogy Class, UT Austin, 2011
  • Panel: Negotiating the Academic Career Path, UT Austin College of Fine Arts Career Services, 2011
  • Master Class: Vocal Performance, Duke University, 2008

 


Honors & Awards

Competitions

 

 

Critical Acclaim

"[In the American Premiere of Philip Glass's Waiting for the Barbarians] In the supporting roles, Adrianna Zabala (the Barbarian Girl), Dana Zenobi (Star) and Georgia Pickett (Cook), all shone."   - Willard Spiegelman, Opera News, April 2007

"Two segments stood out [In Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio]. In Konstanze's great Act Two aria, soprano Dana Zenobi caught fire and elevated her attractive...work into emotionally intense and technical inspired singing. And in Act Three, Zenobi and tenor John Day found the key to impassioned singing about pensive worry and deep longing." -Charles Ward, The Houston Chronicle, November 12, 2006

 "The chief vocal pleasure is Dana Zenobi, whose radiantly sung Mabel [in The Pirates of Penzance] sounds like a healthy warm-up for Violetta. Her coloratura dazzles, and her phrasing is irresistible and melting. Zenobi is a soprano to listen for." - Donald Rosenberg,The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 16, 2006

"As sickly flower-maker Mimi [in La Bohème], Dana Zenobi looks like a drawing by Ingres, and her voice is just as inky: a deep, luscious soprano that spills out Puccini's achingly beautiful tunes with grace to spare. There isn't a false move in her performance, either." - Nancy Galeota-Wozny, D.L. Groover and Lee Williams, The Houston Press, April 7, 2005


Specific subjects or issues you can knowledgeably discuss:
voice performance, opera performance, vocal pedagogy, dalcroze eurythmics, acoustic analysis of the singing voice and voice technology, career development for fine artists

I am willing to talk to the media: yes

I am willing to talk to community groups about my area of expertise: yes

Can you do interviews in Spanish? no

Other languages you are fluent in:

Experience with the news media (especially electronic media):

Contact Details:
(512) 863-1124(office)
Office: Fine Arts 161
zenobid@southwestern.edu