Sylvia StoneProfessor of Voice and Chair of the Voice Division
B.M. (vocal performance) and M.M. (music literature) with honors; Performer's Certificate (in both voice and opera) and George Eastman Scholar, Eastman School of Music (student of Julius Huehn); additional studies with Hermann Reutter at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart and with Maria Wetzelsberger-Gluck.
A Fulbright scholar, Sylvia Stone was a two-time recipient of the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation Grant. She has an extensive performing background in the United States and throughout Europe.
After making her professional debut in Germany in the role of Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, Professor Stone, a mezzo-soprano, made her home there and sang with opera companies throughout the German-speaking countries. Additional engagements took her to cities in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Iceland, and America. Professor Stone's wide operatic repertoire, spanning more than 1,300 performances, includes the roles of Dorabella in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte, the lead roles in Bizet's Carmen and Gluck's Orfeo, Rosina in Rossini's Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Komponist in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, and Azucena in Verdi's Il Trovatore. In Reykjavik, she sang the role of Mary in Der Fliegende Holländer in the first performance there of an opera by Richard Wagner.
A frequent adjudicator and clinician, Professor Stone teaches during the summer months at Scuola Italia’s Corso Lirico in Urbania and Sant’Angelo in Vado, Italy, and at the Austrian-American-Mozart-Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Other activities include her tenure as co-director of the Komische-Kammer-Oper-München, an international music theater program for young singers in Germany, as director of the MONC Central Illinois District Auditions, and her frequent affiliation with the University of Miami's Summer Program in Salzburg as master class clinician. Summer of 2012 marks her ninth season as artistic director of Il Corso Estivo per Giovani Cantanti Lirici in Urbania, Italy.
Professor Stone was awarded the Alumnae Achievement Award by Stephens College, where she was a commencement speaker. In 2000, she was honored by her hometown in Alabama as an "Outstanding Talladegan." She is listed in Who's Who Among America's Teachers. Her students have appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Chicago Lyric Opera, Houston Grand Opera, St. Louis Opera, and opera festivals such as Santa Fe, Glimmerglass, and Wolf Trap. In addition to her many award-winning students, several of her former students are teaching at the college level.
My teaching is based on personal experience of many years as a professional singer. During my career, I have sung at least 1,300 operatic performances. I am therefore able to give my students an actual performer's perspective. I know the level of accomplishment necessary to succeed in the professional world, and consequently, set high standards both vocally and musically to prepare my students to meet the challenge.I strive to help my students discover his or her very own ìsinging instinctî and to let the voice sing! Aside from teaching the most important and universal aspect of singing, which is the correct handling of the breath, I treat each voice/singer as a law unto itself.Indeed, I never pigeon-hole a voice. Every instrument is different.Thus, extending my performing talents, expertise, and wisdom into the realm of teaching is a source of great satisfaction.I consider myself fortunate through teaching to have the opportunity to pass on my passion for singing to talented and eager young singers.