Submitted by the Summer Institute for the Vocal Arts
Isabella Panagiotou, a rising Freshman at Bedford High School, is taking part in the Summer Institute for the Vocal Arts (SIVA), an exciting new program out of New York City that is based in Wakefield, Massachusetts. SIVA is not a camp, but a summer intensive for young singers training for a career in the vocal performing arts. SIVA’s comprehensive program offers classes in acting, voice coaching, movement for actors, and master classes with high-level industry professionals.
The SIVA three week intensive, which began July 31st, will culminate in the students performing in a mainstage production of the 2012 updated version of GODSPELL by Stephen Schwartz, on August 19th and 20th at 7 pm, at the Savings Bank Theater at Wakefield Memorial High School, 60 Farm Street in Wakefield, MA.
The mission of the Summer Institute for the Vocal Arts is to offer quality vocal instruction for young singers in all styles (musical theater, contemporary, opera, and jazz) pursuing careers in the vocal arts. Students are instructed through the fundamentals of classical technique by seasoned voice teachers from New York City and Boston, who have worked professionally or are currently working in the performing arts industry. The SIVA program endorses all aspects of the conservatory training and offers a variety of performance opportunities that will benefit singers in developing their skills, confidence, and preparing them for a professional career in the vocal performing arts.
The Summer Institute for the Vocal Arts is headed by New York City based team Briar Forsythe, SIVA’s General Director, and Lisa-Anne Tamagini, SIVA’s Artistic Director. Lisa-Anne Tamagini, who grew up in Wakefield, has been a professional opera and classical singer for over twenty-five-years and is a New York City based teaching singer. After earning her Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Performer’s Certificate from the prestigious Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York, Ms. Tamagini went on to have a successful stage career that has spanned over twenty years. She has appeared in leading roles in major opera houses and concert halls including, Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Beginning her work as a teacher a decade ago, Ms.
Tamagini is passionate about sharing her knowledge regarding the importance of a solid vocal technique, and the necessary skills to be a professional singer. Briar Forsythe, studied classical voice at New England Conservatory of Music and is a fervent supporter of the performing arts. Ms. Forsythe, was raised in Cambridge, MA, is a philanthropist, successful entrepreneur and owner of the Willowdale Estate, an award winning events and catering company on the North Shore of Massachusetts, which serves as a corporate sponsor for the Summer Institute for the Vocal Arts. Together, Ms. Forsythe’s business acumen and Ms.Tamagini’s professional performing background inspired them to create a new summer program outside of the city.
When describing her vision for the program Ms. Tamagini said, “I have always wanted to create a program for the young singers who are the best in their school musical or the strongest in whatever environment they are in, and know they want to pursue a career in the arts. That type of young singer needs an advanced level of guidance, direction, and training. It is common for singers and actors to take a break from New York City in the summertime, and growing up in Wakefield, I have always admired the town’s beauty, strong community, and central location. I knew it would be the perfect place outside of New York City for the SIVA program.” The rehearsals for the
SIVA programs have been taking place at the beautiful lakeside First Congregational Church and fulfilling the desire to keep this program in Wakefield, the performances are at the Savings Bank Theater at Wakefield Memorial High School.
All of the SIVA program directors are industry professionals and they include, Music Director Elaine Smith Purcell (Vocal coach for the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA and Walnut Hill Performing Arts High School), Assistant Music Director, Lora Tamagini (Professional singer, Chorale Director Lynn Classical High School) Stage Director Patricia Tamagini-Dayhoff, (Professional actor in theater: Broadway, Off Broadway, Regional Theater, Shakespeare Festivals, films, television, and stage director. Member of Actor’s Equity Association and Screen Actors Guild). Guest teaching artists include: Georgia Stitt (Composer/lyricist and Music Director on Broadway, films, and, television), Broadway Star, Lindsay Mendez (Elphaba in Wicked, Godspell 2011 Broadway Revival cast, Jan in Grease, Significant Other), Lee Nishri (Voice and Speech coach American Repertory Theater), Mary Nessinger (Professional singer voice faculty Vassar College) Sabrina Learman (Professional singer, voice faculty at the BFA Musical Theater program at Emerson College), Diane Onorio (Professional dancer/choreographer owner of Core of Wellness Pilates Studio in Wakefield).
The students accepted into the 2017 SIVA program are all extremely talented and represent a variety of ages (13-21) and cities in towns in Massachusetts and New York City. Listed from left to right on the SIVA GODSPELL poster, bottom row: Elijah Levy-Dabby (NYC), Jessica Cortes (Lynn, MA), Isabella Panagiotou (Bedford, MA), Ashley Shafman (Burlington, MA), Rich Sanchez (NYC), Giselle Cortes (Lynn, MA), Michael Sanchez (NYC) Second row: Anna Bryk (North Reading, MA), Tina Kulow (Weston, MA), Alexandra Flammia (Stoneham, MA), Nicole Albanese (Carlisle, MA), Angelina Colon (NYC), Bernardo Sanchez (Lynn, MA), Abby Bohn (Carlisle, MA), Michael Saracco (Melrose, MA).
For detailed information about the Summer Institute for the Vocal Arts program, directors and guest teaching artists bios, and ticket information for SIVA’s production of GODSPELL 2012 Revival Version by Stephen Schwartz on August 19th & 20th at The Savings Bank Theater at Wakefield Memorial High School, please visit the SIVA website at http://summerinstituteforthevocalarts.org