Teresa Winner Blume is a light lyric coloratura/soubrette, musical theatre actress, voice teacher, director and master class presenter living and working in the Boston area. Teresa serves as Head of Voice at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts since August of 2015, where her duties include designing and implementing new curriculum for the classical voice majors, leading her team of voice instructors, vocal instruction for voice and theatre majors, presentation of weekly masterclasses, and directing the spring opera. She is a highly sought-after vocal instructor, and maintains a private voice studio. In addition to her full-time teaching career, Teresa continues actively performing. Teresa was thrilled to return to the Lyric Stage Company of Boston last fall, in their season-opening production of Sondheim’s “Company,” and singing in recital and concert with various organizations throughout the year. Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, she first pursued dance, piano, French and writing, but after an inspirational trip with an international high school chorus, she shifted her focus to the voice and stage, and has since stayed the course. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree with honors in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois, as well as a Master of Music degree and Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music. There she was a Graduate Fellowship recipient, the Winner of the Jesse Kneisel Lieder Competition, and a Second Prize Winner in the first annual Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya Musical Theater Competition. She received further training as Studio Artist with Central City Opera in Colorado, Brevard Music Center’s Janiec Opera Center, Operafestival di Roma, and as a Resident Artist with Opera Carolina. In 2010, Teresa was a National Semi-Finalist at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards (NATSAA), after having won the Boston and New England divisions.
While Teresa has recently focused on her job as Head of Voice at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Teresa continues to perform whenever possible. In addition to her roles in theatrical productions with the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Moonbox Productions, and others, she enjoys concert and recital performances. Most recently, she sang on the Boston Singers’ Resource Recital Series Retrospective, honoring collaborative pianist Beverly Soll. Other concerts include the Faculty Artists Recital Series at Gordon College, and “From the Hill to the Shore,” featuring current students, alumni and faculty of Walnut Hill School for the Arts at the magnificent Shalin Liu Arts Center in Rockport, MA. In addition, she continues to record and perform new works with local Boston area composers, and workshop new classical and theatrical pieces with New Opera and Musical Theater Initiative (NOMTI). Her love of multiple vocal styles and artistry is evident in the variety of projects she undertakes. She was honored to be part of Lee Mingwei: Sonic Blossom, the first on-going performance art installation at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts, and an art installation that has garnered international attention at major galleries throughout the world. Teresa was recently honored with a Career Encouragement Certificate as a finalist in The American Prize for Women in Art Song and Oratorio. She was selected as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Oratorio Society of New York solo competition. She also competed as a semi-finalist in the opera division of the Peter Elvins Vocal Competition in Cambridge, MA. Combining her passion for performing with her passion for educating youth, she was awarded a grant from the Needham Education Foundation to introduce opera to fifth graders via in-class workshops and a final performance.
In the realm of musical theater, Teresa recently enjoyed an excitingly steady run of Stephen Sondheim productions. Teresa was fortunate to be part some of the most well-attended and critically acclaimed productions in recent Boston theater history with the award-winning Lyric Stage Company of Boston. The most recent was the classic Company in the fall of 2016, where she reprized her role of Jenny, having first performed it with Moonbox Productions in 2014 and receiving rave reviews. In fall of 2015, she was in The Lyric Stage’s production of Sweeney Todd, garnering outstanding reviews and sold-out audiences, and the spring before that, Into the Woods, winner of several IRNE and Eliot Norton Awards (including Best Musical, and Best Ensemble). Other professional theater appearances in the Boston area include the premiere of a new opera, Paper or Plastic, by Charles Turner; Goblin Market and The Rag Doll (a new musical) with Blue Spruce Theater; The Mikado (Pitti-Sing) with The Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Floyd Collins (Nellie) and Lucky Stiff (Dominique) with Moonbox Productions; and multiple staged works with New England Light Opera. Favorite past classical roles include Adina in L’Elisir d’Amore, Miss Wordsworth in Albert Herring, Yum-Yum in The Mikado, Miranda in The Tempest (Hoiby), and Maria in West Side Story. In concert, Teresa has been a guest soloist with the North Carolina Symphony on multiple occasions, including a concert version of Le Nozze di Figaro conducted by Grant Llewellyn. Concert engagements include Brahms’ Requiem (Brevard Music Center, Connecticut Choral Society, and Newton Choral Society), Carmina Burana (Canton Symphony Orchestra), Mahler’s Symphony Number 4 (Eastman Philharmonia under the direction of David Effron). She performed of “Caro Nome” with Pacific Opera of New York City at Carnegie Hall. Teresa has presented solo voice recitals for New England National Association of Teachers of Singing (NENATS), Crescendo Club of Boston, Chromatic Club of Boston, Central City Opera House Association, and the Italian Cultural Center of Naples, Florida. Her solo album, Lullabies for Leyna, featuring peaceful art songs, traditional, folk, and musical theater selections, was recorded while expecting her first child.
COLLABORATIONS AND NEW WORKS:
Teresa has been engaged since 2010 as a singer/actress for New Opera and Musical Theater Initiative (NOMTI) in Boston, a selective year-long workshop for composers of new works. Here she met composer Nancy Rexford, and began a wonderfully fulfilling and ongoing collaboration on a cycle of twenty-seven songs for voice and piano called “Prayers from the Ark,” settings of Rumer Godden’s translations of poems by Carmen de Gasztold. A full premiere and professional recording is in the works, with a future goal of publication so that these songs can be made available for others to perform and enjoy. You can see a performance of one of them here.
She has enjoyed her work with many other composers, and is noted for her quick-study and musical sensitivity. Composers include David Reiffel, Kevin Bleau, and Michael Wartofsky, in workshopping and often recording demos of their new musical theater pieces. There is a video recorded in the sound studio, working on “Alphea’s Story” from The Golden Cage by Grammy-nominated performer and composer Deborah Henson-Conant.
Teresa teaches exceptional young classical and theater singers at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, a private arts-intensive high school in Natick, where she also brings leadership and new direction to the music and voice department. As Head, her responsibilities include giving voice lessons, conducting weekly masterclasses, planning frequent departmental recitals, working towards enhancing the curriculum, and stage-directing the yearly spring classical voice production. She served as Applied Voice Faculty of Gordon College’s Music Department, from 2013 until 2016, with a studio full of talented and dedicated vocal performance majors, theater majors and future music educators. Teresa continues to maintain a private home studio, as she has throughout her performing career. She has taught students of virtually all ages and abilities, in voice, as well as instruction in piano, acting for singers, music appreciation and early education music-and-movement classes. College and masters’ programs accepting her students include: Cincinatti Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, NYU Steinart, Oklahoma City University, Westminster Choir College, McGill, Ithaca, Lawrence and St. Olaf. Her students have also won and placed in various voice competitions, been awarded scholarships, been accepted into prestigious training programs, been cast in professional roles, and become music or theater educators themselves. Teresa has great enthusiasm for helping her students gain skill, artistry, consistency, and self-confidence in the process. She uses positive encouragement while teaching clear concepts of breath support, technical discipline, diction, text communication, character presentation, and musicality. She strives to guide her singers to discover freedom of self-expression through performance. Learn more about her teaching, here. Teresa remains dedicated to bringing her educational skills to various groups. She has presented master classes in performance for New England Conservatory’s Prep School and at Reagle Music Theater Camp, presentations on Vocal Health for the music department at Gordon College, and is a long-time member of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), where she has adjudicated on the national level. She was awarded a grant from the Needham Education Fund to introduce Opera to the entire fifth grade at her local elementary school through a series of workshops and a final performance by a quartet of professional singers (including herself). This summer she will return for her second season co-directing a very successful four-week musical theater camp for elementary and middle school students through Needham Community Education.