An instructor stands near the piano and offers advice to a vocalist
A row of students sing from folders
An accompanist and voice student perform for the class
A row of students laugh at a joke
Ben Smolder conducts the SVI class
An accompanist and student perform for the class
A student holds an open folder of music

SVI 2016

Miami University was pleased to host the inaugural Schmidt Vocal Institute (SVI) in June, 2016. Participants spent 12 days on campus and received instruction from the Miami University Voice Faculty as well as guest faculty from across the country. SVI helped participants develop and hone their vocal technique, diction, and stage deportment with the program culminating in two performances of solo repertoire and Musical Theater/Opera scenes.

2016 Guest Faculty

Margo Garrett

Pianist Margo Garrett is well known to audiences for her frequent performances in chamber, sonata and vocal recitals. The large roster of internationally-known artists with whom she has long performing relationships include sopranos Kathleen Battle, Barbara Bonney, the late Judith Raskin, Lucy Shelton, Dawn Upshaw, Benita Valente, mezzo Shirley Close, tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, flutist, Julia Bogorad-Kogan, violinists Jaime Laredo and Daniel Phillips, violist Paul Neubauer, and cellists Sharon Robinson, Matt Haimowitz, and the late Stephen Kates. Her recordings can be found on Albany, CRI, Delos, Deutsche Grammophon (1992 Grammy for Best Vocal Recital), Dorian, Musical Heritage Society, Nonesuch, Sony Classical and Ten Thousand Lakes. Ms. Garrett has premiered over 30 works, won an ASCAP Most Creative Programming Award (1989), headed collaborative piano programs at the University of Minnesota, The Juilliard School and New England Conservatory as well as traveled the globe giving master classes in leading schools of music and adjudicating international competitions.

Mary Ann Hart

Mezzo Soprano Mary Ann Hart is Professor of Music and Chair of the Voice Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where she teaches voice and song literature. Previously she taught voice at Vassar College, and repertoire classes at the Mannes School of Music. During two decades of professional singing in New York City, Miss Hart established an exceptional reputation as a concert performer. She made her New York Philharmonic debut under the baton of Kurt Masur in his premier season as Musical Director, and has also appeared with numerous other orchestras in the United States and Canada. She toured the United States with Philip Glass’s opera Hydrogen Jukebox, and recorded that work for Nonesuch. One of four singers who recorded the complete songs of Charles Ives for Albany Records, she also has a solo recording of American songs, Permit Me Voyage, on Albany. With Robert Craft she recorded the Stravinsky Mass and Cantata for two Music Masterworks releases. A champion of song repertoire, Mary Ann Hart has been featured on the Great Singers Series in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y’s Schubertiade, and the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago. Recital appearances have taken her to 26 American states, Austria, Germany, Rumania, Canada, and the Virgin Islands. Out of sight (but still within earshot) Mary Ann Hart sang six roles in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortileges for the Netherlands Ballet Theatre production at the Metropolitan Opera, and did voice characterizations for the Disney animated films Beauty and the Beast and Pocahontas.

Stanford Olsen

Since his professional operatic debut there in 1986, opposite Dame Joan Sutherland in Bellini’s I Puritani, Stanford Olsen has performed more than 160 times with New York’s Metropolitan Opera. Acclaimed for his performances of the leading tenor roles in the operas of Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, and Bellini, Olsen enjoys an international reputation as a Mozartean of style and elegance, cited by The New York Times in 1990 in an article entitled “A Golden Age of Mozart Tenors.” Highly regarded for his interpretations of the bel canto roles of Nemorino, Almaviva, and Arturo, Olsen has been heard in this repertoire throughout the world at venues such as San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Miami Opera, La Scala di Milano, Landestheater Stuttgart, Theatre du Chatelet, Teatro Bellini di Catania, Theatre La Monnaie, Australian Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Nederlandse Oper, Tokyo Opera City, and most other significant opera companies in the USA and Europe. His recording of the fiendishly difficult role of Argirio in Rossini’s Tancredi (Naxos/Alberto Zedda) netted a Grammy nomination. In addition to the 1989 Walter W. Naumburg Award, Olsen won the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1986, was a Richard Tucker Foundation Career Grant winner in 1989, and also has received awards from Opera America and Opera Index. He is a four-time Grammy nominee, and winner of an Emmy for the PBS broadcast of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic, featuring George Hearn and Patti Lupone. Olsen is currently Professor of Voice at the University of Michigan.

2016 Resident Faculty

Alison Acord - Miami University
Christina Haan - Miami University
Liza Kelly - Western Kentucky University
Audrey B Luna - Miami University
Linda McAlister - Miami University
Mari Opatz-Muni - Miami University
Benjamin Smolder - Miami University