Associate Professor: Voice
Lyric soprano, Jean del Santo, has distinguished herself nationally on both the concert and operatic stage. Critics have noted her outstanding vocal and dramatic qualities in reviews stating “ She has a voice that is rich, resonant, true, pleasing and effortless in its projection-the kind of voice that sounds as if there is no end to it“, “ Jean del Santo has the vocal and emotional range to transcend the printed page and deliver a superb performance“ “She sang Cio-cio San with a purity and believability enough to tear a listener apart“.
del Santo’s concert work includes performances with numerous national and regional orchestras. She performed as soloist with the late Maestro Robert Shaw in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony (Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and National Symphony Orchestra at Kennedy Center in Washington DC), the Verdi Requiem (San Francisco Festival of Masses), and Britten’s War Requiem which was aired on Nebraska Public Television. As soloist in Rossini’s Stabat Mater with Perform America, Ms. del Santo sang a two- week concert tour in the country of Spain. She also appeared with Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional in Mexico City as soloist in Bach’s Mass in B Minor . Other orchestral engagements include: Akron (OH) Alabama Symphony, Charlotte (NC), Grand Rapids (MI) Nashville (TN), Pittsburgh Symphony, Montgomery (AL), Lansing (MI) and Toledo (OH). Ms. del Santo has performed as soloist with noted conductors Semyon Bychkov, Edo de Waart, Hugh Wolff, Gustav Meier, James DePriest, Lionel Friend, Leo Dreyhuis, Murray Sidlin, Paul Polivnick and Robert Fountain. She can be heard as soloist on the Moravian Music Foundation bicentennial recording Psalm of Joy.
Her operatic credits include performances in San Francisco Opera’s Das Ring des Nebelungen (Wellgunde and Ortlinde), a four month tour with Western Opera Theater in the title role of Madama Butterfly, an apprenticeship with San Diego Opera Center and performances in the leading roles of Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme, Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah (televised and aired on Indiana Public Television), and Pamina in Die Zauberflí¶te with regional companies.
Artist-in-residencies include Bayview Summer Music Festival and Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp (Michigan), Aetna Artist-in Residence with Opera Company of Grand Rapids, MI . Ms del Santo has also performed Bach Cantata 51 with the Peninsula Summer Music Festival in Door County, WI , Knoxville, Summer 1915 with Pine Mountain Music Festival ( MI) and was featured soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony at Interlochen Arts Academy Summer Music Festival
In addition to her present position as Associate Professor of Voice and Vocal Division Chair at University of Minnesota School of Music, Jean del Santo has served on the faculties of Michigan State University and University of Missouri Conservatory of Music in Kansas City. She earned her undergraduate degree from Lawrence University, Appleton WI (Vocal Performance and Music Education) and her MM from Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, Indiana, (Voice and Opera). Her major teachers and coaches include Eileen Farrell, Lorna Haywood, Eva Likova,, David Agler, Andrew Meltzer, Martin Smith, Martha Gerhardt and Susan Caldwell. Ms. del Santo adjudicates frequently at regional and national vocal competitions and conducts master classes throughout the country on vocal technique and performance effectiveness. Her article An Expression of Joy: Singing as an Act of Love was published in Classical Singer Magazine (February 1999). She also served for two years as an on-site evaluator for the Opera/Musical Theater division of the National Endowment for the Arts.