RACHEL ABRAMS, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER & EVENTS COORDINATOR - Rachel Abrams is the Social Media Manager & Event Coordinator for Hartford Opera Theater. As a Mezzo-Soprano, Ms. Abrams has performed with Finger Lakes Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, Salt Marsh Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Cambridge Chamber Ensemble, Winter Opera St. Louis, Union Avenue Opera, Hartford Opera Theater, Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra (HICO) and the Nahant Music Festival. She is a dedicated music educator and teaches voice and piano lessons out of her home studio in West Hartford. Rachel holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Northern Colorado and a Bachelor of Music degree from San José State University. Additionally, she manages social media for the Young Artist Podcast and Beth David Synagogue.
DANA KEPHART, BUSINESS MANAGER - Dana Kephart is a New England-based mezzo-soprano, praised by the Boston Musical Intelligencer for her “beautifully fluid and expressive voice.” In recent years, she has performed in recital as well as with Eudaimonia ("a purposeful period band"), Hartford Opera Theater, the opera chorus of the Princeton Festival, the Farmington Valley Chorale, the Amherst Early Music Festival opera, and the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra. In 2016, she was named a semi-finalist in the American Prize Competition, in the Professional Women in Art Song Division. Dana is also an experienced choral and church musician. She sings with Voce and the Schola Cantorum at the Catholic Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford, CT; she is also a current CONCORA fellow. Dana also performs popular music on occasion, with most of her experience being in acoustic settings with country and rock styles.
Dana holds a Master of Music degree in Early Music Performance from the Longy School of Music of Bard College, where she studied under Laurie Monahan, and Bachelor of Music degrees in Voice and Music Education from the Hartt School of Music, where she studied under Joanna Levy and John Feierabend. Among the roles she performed with the Hartt Opera Theater, Dana portrayed “Bluebell Pooder” in the New England premiere of Thomas Pasatieri’s The Hotel Casablanca. At Longy, she sang the title role in Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in Longy’s Early Opera Project, working with period musical style, costume, and gesture.
Dana is an active teacher of music and voice, holding positions with the Hartt School Community Division, the Foote School, and her private studio. Click on the "Teaching" tab above for more information on voice lessons.
EMILY ROSE WALSH, GRANT CONTENT EDITOR - Emily Rose Walsh is a coloratura soprano and D.M.A. candidate at The Hartt School. Her lyrical voice and expansive range have enabled her to perform repertoire by composers as diverse as Couperin and Strauss, while her command of music history has inspired compelling programs for audiences largely unfamiliar with art song. Recitals have included Berlioz’s Les nuits d’été, Britten’s On This Island, Debussy’s Quatre Chansons de Jeunesse, and intensive studies of songs by Schubert, Dowland, and Poulenc. Her mission to present classical music as an accessible art form is inspired by her work with the late Maestro Charles Ansbacher, who devoted his career to public outreach through educational performances of orchestral works.
Following the completion of her master’s degree, Emily attended the Franco-American Vocal Academy in Paris and Périgueux, France. There, she appeared as Parthénis in La Belle Hélène, Eurydice in the “Fly Duet” from Orphée aux Enfers, and in numerous recitals. She recalls with particular fondness a French song recital in the village of Génis, and the warm hospitality of its residents. As both a passionate interpreter of Mozart and advocate for audience outreach, she has appeared several times as the Queen of the Night in Boston College family concerts.
As a doctoral candidate, Emily has distinguished herself as a strong writer and historical analyst. To date, she has presented two lectures on vocal music: one on varied composers’ interpretations of the Goethe text “Kennst du das Land,” and another on songs written by Poulenc during the era of the Nazi Occupation. This subject is also the basis of her upcoming lecture-recital and doctoral essay, the two final degree requirements.
A West Hartford native, Emily earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston College and her master’s from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She studies privately with Dr. Michelle Fiertek, and is the soprano section leader at St. Peter Claver Church in West Hartford under the direction of esteemed conductor Tim Stella.