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Alta Dantzler (Mezzo-soprano)

Born: Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

The American mezzo-soprano, Alta Dantzler (née Boover), studied at Skidmore College. During her studies there she spent a semester in Paris studying voice at the Schola Cantorum, and studied 20th Century Opera in conjunction with the Schola and the Sorbonne. While in Paris, she had the opportunity to sing with the Choeur Maurice de Sully of the Notre Dame Cathedral, and developed a strong interest in Gregorian and Medieval Chant. She graduated magna cum laude from Skidmore in 2000, before completing her Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Literature in 2002 and beginning her Doctoral degree at the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. While at Eastman she appeared in many concert and operatic performances, from J.S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion (BWV 244) to her favourite role to date, Mrs. Lovett in Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd.

In 2004-2005 Alta Dantzler was a member of Shreveport Opera's young artist program, which brings opera to more than 50,000 school-aged children every year. While an apprentice with the Des Moines Metro Opera, she performed the role of The Moll in The Cradle Will Rock.

In 2007, Alta Dantzler completed her Doctoral degree in Opera Performance and Literature at the University of Texas at Austin, where she created the role of Mother Rigby in the World Premiere of Joseph Turrin’s opera The Scarecrow. While in Austin, she frequently performed with the Austin Lyric Opera. Her Doctoral lecture was entitled: “Interpreting Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht’s collaborative works: A practical guide to the preparation of The Threepenny Opera and Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny from the perspective of the classical singer.” She is a frequent recitalist and champion of the music of Kurt Weill.

Alta Dantzler is a young singer praised by audiences and critics for her “perfect comic timing” (Cleveland Plain Dealer) and “juicy voice” (Charlotte Observer). This season in New York, she appeared as the alto soloist in Haydn's The Creation under the baton of Maestro Helmuth Rilling at Carnegie Hall. She also appeared at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in Victor Herbert’s Babes in Toyland. She sang with Opera Carolina in April 2007 as Ruth in their production of The Pirates of Penzance, and with the Temple Symphony as a soloist in Mozart's Requiem. In both 2005 and 2007 she was a District winner and Regional Finalist in the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Regional finals in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Her passion for performing extends from opera to musical theater to concert and oratorio. She spent four seasons with the Ohio Light Opera, the only professional company in the USA entirely devoted to operetta. With them, she honed her skill as a performer of Gilbert and Sullivan repertoire, and had great success with her first portrayal of Prince Orlofsky in Strauss’ popular work Die Fledermaus.

Alta Dantzler has appeared as a concert soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Shreveport Symphony, Texarkana Regional Chorale, Temple Symphony, and Texas Symphony in performances including J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion (BWV 245), Magnificat (BWV 243) and Weihnachts-Oratoriim (BWV 248), and George Frideric Handel’s Messiah. In 2006 she toured Brazil as the alto soloist in a resurrection of the work of Jose Mauricio Nunes Garcia in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, as well as gave the World Premiere performance of Robert Orledge’s orchestration of Debussy’s Trois Chansons de Billitis.

Alta Dantzler recorded the role of Dame Paula in Victor Herbert's Sweethearts with Albany Records for which she was lauded by Opera News for her "hefty mezzo voice, and strong characterization that dominated the stage." She can also be heard on the Albany Records labels as Dame Durden in Reginald Koven's operetta Robin Hood, and Aunt Mathilde in Sigmund Romberg’s Maytime, as well as on the Operetta Archives Label as Princess Bozena in Countess Maritza.

Alta Dantzler currently lives with her husband in New York City.

Source: Alta Dantzler Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (May 2012)

Recordings of Bach Cantatas & Other Vocal Works




Daniel Bara


BWV 106

William Weinert


BWV 245

Links to other Sites

Alta Dantzler - mezzo-soprano (Official Website)


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