My Name Is ... Kristen Celusniak

Opera singer's voice is 'gift from God'

David Gilbert
dgilbert@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/24/20

Never stopped singing I've been singing since I was a little girl. I started in church and never really stopped. I have a bachelor's in vocal performance and a master's from the New England …

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My Name Is ... Kristen Celusniak

Opera singer's voice is 'gift from God'

Posted

Never stopped singing

I've been singing since I was a little girl. I started in church and never really stopped. I have a bachelor's in vocal performance and a master's from the New England Conservatory. I was on a performance track, but I decided I wanted a family and pulled back from performing.

I started a teaching studio, and I've been teaching voice and piano for 15 years. I do some singing on the side. I started a concert series at St. Philip Lutheran Church called Ken Caryl Concerts.

I've had a lot of great moments. When I was a Tanglewood fellow, I shared a stage with Yo Yo Ma. We did a Bach chorale.

Learning to relate

When I sing opera, I really try to relate to the characters. At the Littleton Symphony Orchestra's Valentine's Day performance, I sang “When I Am Laid In Earth” from Dido and Aeneas. I'm trusting that I know what's happening with the tune, and I'm wrapping my head around Dido's character.

She's a woman who swore she'd never marry again, then she found a great love, and then he leaves. She's getting ready to die. “Death invades me. Death is now a welcome guest.”

I've had experiences with friends and family where I know you can't take anything for granted. We've got to enjoy our experiences with each other, because we don't know when it's the last time we'll be together.

Gift from God

I draw from my faith a lot. I feel like my voice is a gift from God. In some ways classically trained singing is a dying art.

I'm 41, and actually a true classically trained voice is in its prime in your 40s. But the way pop culture is these days, I'm an old lady. In my apprenticeship days in my 20s, that's when you were expected to be rising to the next level. I'm learning as a teacher and an artist, I'm more ready now than I was then. Singing takes years of patience and dedication to truly train a voice as an instrument.

I tell young singers to listen to great singers as much as they can. Take any opportunity you have to sing with others, and have fun with it.

This is not where I expected to be in my schooling days. I thought I'd be singing more than I am now, but life led me in the right direction. If you stay true to your art, you'll reap the benefits.

If you have suggestions for My Name Is, please contact David Gilbert at dgilbert@coloradocommunitymedia.com.

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