CHICAGO – Julia Faulkner has been named the director of vocal studies for The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s renowned professional artist-development program, announced Lyric’s general director Anthony Freud.
Internationally renowned as a master teacher, Faulkner has firmly established herself as one of the top voice teachers in the world. Her students are performing globally at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among others. Previously a professor of voice at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for ten years, she has been teaching Ryan Opera Center singers since August 2013 and will continue to do so.
As the program’s director of vocal studies, Faulkner’s overall responsibility will be to provide advice and counsel concerning the vocal condition and progress of Ryan Opera Center ensemble members. Her duties will include attending rehearsals, performances, and auditions involving Ryan Opera Center artists, interacting with the master teachers who work with the singers throughout the year, and participating in weekly meetings with Ryan Opera Center director Dan Novak and music director Craig Terry.
In collaboration with Novak and Terry, as well as Lyric Opera general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and director of artistic administration Andreas Melinat, Faulkner will take part in the Ryan Opera Center’s final auditions to select new ensemble members and will advise on the singers’ repertoire and casting assignments for Ryan Opera Center performances as well as for the Lyric Opera mainstage season.
Said Freud, “Having Julia join the Ryan Opera Center administrative team, alongside director Dan Novak, music director Craig Terry and advisor Renée Fleming, significantly strengthens the Center’s standing as one of the world’s top artist-development programs. She will be a wonderful asset to the company.”
Novak added, “We’re thrilled to welcome Julia to this role with the Ryan Opera Center. Her comprehensive knowledge of voices will ensure our singers’ continued vocal development and make a major contribution in our efforts to help our artists reach their full potential and launch successful operatic careers.”
“It’s an honor for me to be affiliated with one of the world’s finest opera artist-development programs,” said Faulkner. “The level of talent here is simply stupendous, and it is a great pleasure to work with the singers. I look forward to collaborating with Dan, Craig, and Renée in achieving the Ryan Opera Center’s goals and aspirations.”
Faulkner has had a distinguished international singing career with performances on many of the world’s great opera and concert stages. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the title role of Strauss’s Arabella in 1994 and sang major roles for many years at the Bavarian and Vienna State Operas. Her celebrated repertoire includes the Marschallin, Arabella, Countess/Figaro Fiordiligi, Ariadne, and Countess/Capriccio. Other prestigious engagements have included performances at La Scala, Hamburg State Opera, Dutch National Opera, the Berlin Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, Concertgebouw, Dresdener Staatskapelle, Gewandhaus Leipzig, and Los Angeles Philharmonic, among others. A celebrated recording artist, Faulkner has recordings on the Naxos, EMI, and Deutsche Grammophon labels.
Support for the Director of Vocal Studies position is generously provided by The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.
About the Ryan Opera Center
The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center was established in 1974 as the professional artist-development program for Lyric Opera of Chicago. Since its inception, the Ryan Opera Center has been recognized as one of the premier programs of its kind in the world. That standing is maintained by providing the finest up-and-coming singers with unparalleled training and experience. The program is administered by director Dan Novak, music director Craig Terry, advisor Renée Fleming, and director of vocal studies Julia Faulkner. For more information, please visit LyricOpera.org/RyanCenter.
Founded in 1954, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.
Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.
Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become The Great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.