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Acting Resources for Singers
Marc Astafan, Amy Burton, Chuck Hudson, Jonah Nigh
Making Connections

To be successful, opera singers must be able to not only sing beautifully but give engaging dramatic portrayals as well. And like singing, developing your acting abilities is a life-long process. Learn what resources exist to help you improve your acting chops at all levels of career development.



About the Author:

Stage director Marc Astafan made his official debut on New Year’s Eve 1996 as director and choreographer of The Magic Flute at Eugene Opera in Oregon. Since then, he has crisscrossed the U.S. directing productions from Florida to Alaska, Massachusetts to Nevada. He made his New York debut with Opera Orchestra of New York in 1999, again with The Magic Flute, on the site of the Egyptian Temple of Dendur at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2000, Astafan joined the directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera as assistant director on 10 productions. In 2008, his production of Summer and Smoke was a feature of the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, MA. Career highlights include critically acclaimed productions of Tosca at Virginia Opera, Cendrillon and Rinaldo at Central City Opera, Romeo et Juliette at Syracuse Opera, La Cenerentola at Nevada Opera and La Calisto at New England Conservatory. Astafan is a longtime guest director for the Juilliard School and USC Thornton School of Music. He was recently named the new director and administrator of the Central City Opera Young Artist Program.

 

Praised by the New York Times for her “lustrous” soprano, Amy Burton is one of New York’s most notable singers, having sung in Rigoletto, L'elisir d'amore and Fidelio at the Metropolitan Opera. She has been featured in more than a dozen leading roles at New York City Opera, which awarded her the 2005 Diva Award, the 2003 Christopher Keene Award and the 2001 Kolosvar Award for distinction in unusual repertoire. Her diverse musical life, encompassing chamber music, recital and cabaret, as well as opera, has brought her to leading orchestras and opera companies throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan and Israel. Her recital and cabaret appearances with John Musto have included Lincoln Center’s Great Performer Series, the Kennedy Center, the 92nd Street Y, Caramoor, Joe’s Pub, Café Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie and the Liceu Opera house in Barcelona. Silver Medalist in the 1995 Marion Anderson Competition and a winner of major grants from the Gerda Lissner, George London and the Sullivan Foundations, Burton is a champion of new music. In 2006, she was the first recipient of the Opera America Artist Advocate Award for her work with Glimmerglass Opera. She has been on the voice faculty of Mannes College of Music since 2002 and Songfest in Malibu since 2007. A proud member of the New York Festival of Song Arts Council, Burton has recorded for Angel/EMI, Albany, Harbinger, Naxos, Bridge and CRI (newly released: Useful Knowledge, the music of Paul Moravec for Naxos). Upcoming engagements include Cole Porter’s La Revue des Ambassadeurs (Paris, May 2012) and recordings of American and French songs for Bridge Records and Harbinger Records. She lives in New York with her husband, composer-pianist John Musto, and their son, Joshua, a guitarist.

 

Based in New York City, Chuck Hudson has directed at Cape Town Opera (SA), Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Sacramento Opera, Opera Cleveland, Seattle Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, among others. His Off-Broadway production of She Stoops to Conquer earned a Callaway Award by Actors Equity Association. His specialty in stage movement comes from being one of only three Americans to receive a diploma from the Marcel Marceau International School in Paris. He is the only American appointed to teach at that school, and he performed with Marceau on European Tours and in Klaus Kinski’s film Paganini. Hudson enjoys focusing his work on artists in training. He is co-creator of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program, and he has directed productions at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, AVA, USC, BU, CCM, IU and MSM. He draws on his experience as a performer, director and coach in his master classes at professional artist training programs for singers and actors.

 

Jonah Nigh joined the staff of Columbia University School of the Arts and Miller Theatre as a development officer in October 2010. He is responsible for managing a portfolio of major gift prospects as well as the Annual Fund campaigns for both the school and the theater. Nigh previously served as assistant director of development for OPERA America, artist representative for Elsie Management, program development associate for the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts and acting concert coordinator for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has also worked as a freelance grant writer for several nonprofit organizations. A former classical singer, Nigh earned his B.M. and M.M. in vocal performance from Lawrence University and New England Conservatory, and his operatic credits included engagements with the Aspen Music Festival, Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Boston, among other companies. Nigh has served as a guest moderator/panelist for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Con Edison Musicians’ Residency Program and OPERA America.  

Stage director Marc Astafan made his official debut on New Year’s Eve 1996 as director and choreographer of The Magic Flute at Eugene Opera in Oregon. Since then, he has crisscrossed the U.S. directing productions from Florida to Alaska, Massachusetts to Nevada. He made his New York debut with Opera Orchestra of New York in 1999, again with The Magic Flute, on the site of the Egyptian Temple of Dendur at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2000, Astafan joined the directing staff at the Metropolitan Opera as assistant director on 10 productions. In 2008, his production of Summer and Smoke was a feature of the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, MA. Career highlights include critically acclaimed productions of Tosca at Virginia Opera, Cendrillon and Rinaldo at Central City Opera, Romeo et Juliette at Syracuse Opera, La Cenerentola at Nevada Opera and La Calisto at New England Conservatory. Astafan is a longtime guest director for the Juilliard School and USC Thornton School of Music. He was recently named the new director and administrator of the Central City Opera Young Artist Program.

 

Praised by the New York Times for her “lustrous” soprano, Amy Burton is one of New York’s most notable singers, having sung in Rigoletto, L'elisir d'amore and Fidelio at the Metropolitan Opera. She has been featured in more than a dozen leading roles at New York City Opera, which awarded her the 2005 Diva Award, the 2003 Christopher Keene Award and the 2001 Kolosvar Award for distinction in unusual repertoire. Her diverse musical life, encompassing chamber music, recital and cabaret, as well as opera, has brought her to leading orchestras and opera companies throughout the U.S., Europe, Japan and Israel. Her recital and cabaret appearances with John Musto have included Lincoln Center’s Great Performer Series, the Kennedy Center, the 92nd Street Y, Caramoor, Joe’s Pub, Café Sabarsky at the Neue Galerie and the Liceu Opera house in Barcelona. Silver Medalist in the 1995 Marion Anderson Competition and a winner of major grants from the Gerda Lissner, George London and the Sullivan Foundations, Burton is a champion of new music. In 2006, she was the first recipient of the Opera America Artist Advocate Award for her work with Glimmerglass Opera. She has been on the voice faculty of Mannes College of Music since 2002 and Songfest in Malibu since 2007. A proud member of the New York Festival of Song Arts Council, Burton has recorded for Angel/EMI, Albany, Harbinger, Naxos, Bridge and CRI (newly released: Useful Knowledge, the music of Paul Moravec for Naxos). Upcoming engagements include Cole Porter’s La Revue des Ambassadeurs (Paris, May 2012) and recordings of American and French songs for Bridge Records and Harbinger Records. She lives in New York with her husband, composer-pianist John Musto, and their son, Joshua, a guitarist.

 

Based in New York City, Chuck Hudson has directed at Cape Town Opera (SA), Florida Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Sacramento Opera, Opera Cleveland, Seattle Opera and Wolf Trap Opera, among others. His Off-Broadway production of She Stoops to Conquer earned a Callaway Award by Actors Equity Association. His specialty in stage movement comes from being one of only three Americans to receive a diploma from the Marcel Marceau International School in Paris. He is the only American appointed to teach at that school, and he performed with Marceau on European Tours and in Klaus Kinski’s film Paganini. Hudson enjoys focusing his work on artists in training. He is co-creator of Seattle Opera’s Young Artist Program, and he has directed productions at San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, AVA, USC, BU, CCM, IU and MSM. He draws on his experience as a performer, director and coach in his master classes at professional artist training programs for singers and actors.

 

Jonah Nigh joined the staff of Columbia University School of the Arts and Miller Theatre as a development officer in October 2010. He is responsible for managing a portfolio of major gift prospects as well as the Annual Fund campaigns for both the school and the theater. Nigh previously served as assistant director of development for OPERA America, artist representative for Elsie Management, program development associate for the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts of Massachusetts and acting concert coordinator for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has also worked as a freelance grant writer for several nonprofit organizations. A former classical singer, Nigh earned his B.M. and M.M. in vocal performance from Lawrence University and New England Conservatory, and his operatic credits included engagements with the Aspen Music Festival, Boston Lyric Opera and Opera Boston, among other companies. Nigh has served as a guest moderator/panelist for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Con Edison Musicians’ Residency Program and OPERA America.  


Fall 2014 Magazine Issue
  • Are Women Different?
  • Preparing for Klinghoffer
  • Emerging Artists: Act One


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