Zoe Vandermeer
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Zoe Vandermeer
 
Dame Joan Sutherland Fund recipient, Soprano
 

Reviewed as 'an artist of genius' in Spain, Zoe Vandermeer has performed internationally and is on the performing artist roster of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism. A graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, she was winner of the Bay Area Vocal Arts Competition, recipient of the RSAMD Scholarship Trust, recipient of the Emerging Artists Fund, winner of the Sigma Alpha Iota Singing Competition, and was finalist in the London Young Artists Early Music Competition, the Wilfred Laurier Concert Aria Competition, and the Bay Area Artists Fellowship Grant. Her solo album Angel's Wine, the Songs of John Dowland, in which she accompanies her singing on baroque triple harp, was favorably reviewed in the UK Lute Society Journal, and won 2nd place for Best Classical Album by JPF.

Her operatic roles include Queen of the Night, La Fee, Lakme, Alcina, Maria Stuarda, and Violetta, and she has given solo performances at the International Festival de Deia in Mallorca, Glasgow International Early Music Festival, Bloomington Early Music Festival, HarpCon2003 International Convention, Pollok House National Trust Museum, Make Music New York, Davies Symphony Hall, DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and elsewhere. As a singer/composer, she has premiered her works with the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Sinfonietta. Articles about Ms. Vandermeer can be found in the Swiss publication Harpa, Classical Singer Magazine, Spain's Flor de Card, and the Litchfield County Times.

Ms. Vandermeer has recorded for Koch International, Voce Classics and KachinaMusiK. Ms. Vandermeer studies voice with Arthur Levy in New York. 

www.zoevandermeer.com

 


Who are you as an artist?
On the roster of the Connecticut Commission of Culture and Tourism, I am an opera singer specializing in baroque, classical and bel canto repertoire. A prize-winning graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, I won first place in the Bay Area Vocal Arts Competition, and was finalist in the London Young Artists Early Music Competition, the Wilfred Laurier (Canada) Concert Aria Competition, and am a recipient of the Emerging Artists Fund and the MTNA Grant Foundation Fund. I have just been named (July 2014) Finalist in The American Prize Competition, Opera Division. Operatic roles include Queen of the Night, La Fee, Goldentrill, Violetta, Lucia, and others. Performance venues include Festival Opera, Davies Symphony Hall, Glasgow International Early Music Festival, International Festival de Deia Spain, Bloomington Early Music Festival, Pollok House National Trust Museum (UK), Napa Valley Mostly Mozart Festival, HarpCon2003, and in concert series in the US and Scotland. My voice/ triple harp album 'Angel's Wine, the Songs of John Dowland' was favorably reviewed in the UK Lute Society Journal. Interviews and articles can be found in the Swiss journal Harpa and Classical Singer Magazine. Radio appearances include KPFK Los Angeles, Moray Firth Radio Scotland, WFIU Bloomington, KVON, KKUP, and KWMR. I have recorded with Koch International.
 
What prompted you to come to the US?
A US resident, I have been studying the art of Dame Joan Sutherland for many years.
 
What did your course/project involve?
The project required research into the works that Dame Joan Sutherland performed and recorded over the course of her life. Sources included biographies, recordings, videos, concert programs, articles, live interviews, repertoire, as well as my own interviews with people who had seen her perform.

I studied the repertoire with my voice teacher Arthur Levy in New York City, and had several coaching sessions with conductor Daniel Beckwith and operatic stage director Marc Verzatt.

The concert was given on May 25, 2012 at the DiMenna Center’s Cary Hall in New York City.

What were the highlights of your experience?

1) The process of perfecting the art of singing the arias, 2) working with master voice teacher Arthur Levy, 3) gaining insights into the repertoire and vocal prowess of Dame Joan through the eyes of stage director Marc Verzatt and conductor Daniel Beckwith, 4) through research, getting to know Dame Joan as a person, as an artist, and assinger who had achieved the heights of vocal technique, artistry, and career success.
 
Where did you find inspiration? 
My first voice teacher in high school was Natalie Bodanya who had sung at the Met for many years. Her voice teacher was the great Marcella Sembrich. Bodanya would have her students listen to the old recordings of famous singers and it was from that time that I developed a deep appreciation for the great operatic artists of the past. After returning from the UK, I studied voice in California with Olivia Stapp who was a similar inspiration – she knew Dame Joan and had stepped in for her at a few days’ notice at San Francisco Opera in 1984 in the title role of Ann Boleyn and learned all of Dame Joan’s vocal ornaments (she said it was about half of the vocal score!) before singing under the baton of Richard Bonynge. This story alone is an inspiration! Under Olivia’s tutelage, I listened almost exclusively to the recordings of Dame Joan. After moving from California to New York in 2004, my vocal studies continued with Arthur Levy, who is an expert in the art and vocal techniques of Dame Joan; he was fortunate enough to hear her sing many times at the Met and elsewhere.
 
What will you take away from this experience?
A heightened awareness of the art of singing, a clearer concept of the vocal techniques of this great artist, and a better understanding of how to implement these techniques as they apply to my voice and repertoire.
 
What is your favorite piece of work that resulted from this experience?
Esclarmonde, by Massenet
 
What are you currently working on?
Two recording projects: – ‘Mozart’s Coloratura Concert Arias’ with chamber orchestra 'Handel's Voice', featuring arias from Handel’s operas and oratorios

I just completed a recording project at Stanford University of 16th century Italian solo madrigals. The anticipated release date on the Wild Boar label is slated for later this year.

At the end of July, 2014, I am giving a presentation on 'Handel's Harp' and harp continuo playing, particularly as it applies to accompanying singers, at the annual Historical Harp Society conference in New Jersey.

I am studying the role of Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, by Handel.

I continue to study voice with Arthur Levy in New York City.
 
What is your vision for the future?
My vision of the future is to sing around the world music of the baroque, classical and bel canto repertoire with orchestras, opera companies, as well as solo and chamber performances.
 
What advice would you give other artists aspiring to come to the US?
Network, collaborate, research, and be willing to adapt and enhance your vision through new and exciting opportunities.

 
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