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 was thrilled to return to the Lyric Stage Company of Boston this fall, in their season-opening production of Sondheim's "Company." In addition to actively performing, she is a sought-after vocal instructor. She is the new Head of Voice at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts since August of 2015, where her duties include designing and implementing new curriculum, leading her team of voice instructors, teaching voice and theatre majors, weekly masterclasses, and directing the spring opera. She continues teaching voice in her private voice studio.
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 focused mainly on her new job as Head of Voice at Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Teresa continues to perform whenever possible. This past year, she was featured in concert on the Faculty Artists Recital Series at Gordon College, at Shalin Liu Arts Center in Rockport ("From the Hill to the Shore" featuring current students, alumni and faculty of Walnut Hill School for the Arts). She also performed concerts with American Classics and Moonbox Productions. In addition, she continues to record and perform new works with local Boston area composers.
In other recent performances, 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. Further abroad, she was honored with a Career Encouragement Certificate as a finalist in The American Prize for Women in Art Song and Oratorio. Just a year before, she was selected as a semi-finalist in the prestigious Oratorio Society of New York solo competition at the end of March. She also competed as a semi-finalist in 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. And, for something completely different, she recently joined the roster of Opera on Tap Boston.
2014 was a banner year for her in musical theater performance, in an excitingly steady run of Stephen Sondheim, one of Teresa's favorite composers. At the award-winning Lyric Stage Company of Boston, Teresa was fortunate to be part of two of the most well-attended and critically acclaimed productions in recent Boston theatre history. First, in an incredibly successful Into the Woods, winner of several IRNE and Eliot Norton Awards (including Best Musical, and Best Ensemble). This was followed by Sweeney Todd, also garnering outstanding reviews and sold-out audiences. Before that, it was another Sondheim classic, Company, with Moonbox Productions, where her performance as Jenny received rave reviews. Other recent professional 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 Theatre; The Mikado (Pitti-Sing) with The Lyric Stage Company of Boston; Floyd Collins (Nellie) and Lucky Stiff (Dominique) with Moonbox Productions. Favorite past 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. A frequent performer with New England Light Opera, Teresa recently sang in their final concert of ‘favorite artists’ from all seasons. She 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), and her performance of “Caro Nome” was featured by Pacific Opera of New York City at Carnegie Hall. Teresa has presented 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 Italian Cultural Center of Naples, Florida. Her solo album, Lullabies for Leyna, featuring peaceful art songs, traditional, folk, and musical theatre 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 Theatre 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.
Teresa teaches exceptional young classical 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 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 this past spring, with a studio full of talented and dedicated vocal performance majors, theatre majors and future music educators. Teresa also continues to maintain a private home studio, as she has throughout her 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. Her students have gained entry to music conservatories, theater programs, professional roles, become music or theater educators, and won various musical achievement awards. Teresa has great enthusiasm for helping her individual students gain skill and 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, artistry, 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 Theatre 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 theatre camp for elementary and middle school students through Needham Community Education.