Extensive opportunities to develop her art
Norah Wolfe, of Sidney, Iowa, is working toward her B.M. in voice.
She has had extensive performance opportunities at Iowa where she can develop her art. “I love the breadth of performing experience I have access to as a vocalist,” she says. “I've been able to perform in opera scenes and fully produced operas, in choir concerts both as an ensemble member and as a soloist, and in new music concerts where I performed solo and chamber music written by UI student composers. There are also opportunities to perform as a soloist with the orchestra, which I hope to be able to take part in.”
Support for Career Goals
Norah appreciates the support she receives from the UI School of Music for her career goals. “My goal is to sing opera, art song, and new music professionally. My voice teacher, Associate Professor Rachel Joselson, and my coach, Wayne Wyman, have put in a lot of work helping me refine my technique and interpretation, and the performing experiences I've had in both classical and contemporary styles will certainly help me moving forward,” she explains. “The biggest impact on my career, though, has been from Associate Professor Bill Theisen, the director of opera, who personally invited me to audition for the Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre's production of ‘The Threepenny Opera,’ in which I will be performing in January 2019."
Discovering One's Own Journey
Norah didn’t come to Iowa intending to be a voice major, which has only made her eventual choice more fulfilling. “I chose the University of Iowa for the Center for New Music because I originally applied for the composition program,” she says. “I listened to and enjoyed pieces by composers who graduated from Iowa, and I knew that there were ample opportunities to have pieces performed. Now that I've switched to a performance degree, I am able to use those opportunities to perform wonderful music written by my peers.”
One of Norah's experiences in particular stands out for her. “Recently, I had the opportunity to work with one of our graduate composers, who is from Colombia, on a very serious piece about life in Colombia under a dictatorship,” she recalls. “It took material from his friend's experiences, speeches from politicians, and objective information about a workers’ uprising. It impacted me deeply to be able to work with him on such a personal piece and to be able to use my voice to amplify his.”
Listen to Norah perform “Nun will die Sonn’ so hell aufgeh’n!” from Gustav Mahler’s Kindertötenlieder with the UI Chamber Orchestra