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Opera singer works with UD voice students at alma mater

Alumnus Daniel Bubeck works with voice student Jaysen Rosario in a master class, where he encouraged the performers to communicate emotion and meaning to their audience.

Daniel Bubeck, an acclaimed professional singer who earned his bachelor’s degree in music at the University of Delaware in 1997, returned to campus this week to teach a master class, telling students that singers “are servants of the music, but we have to make it our own.”

At the master class on Monday, the day after Bubeck performed an alumni recital at UD, five students performed for him and an audience in the Roselle Center for the Arts’ Gore Recital Hall.

When each singer finished a selection, Bubeck offered an assessment and worked with the student on suggestions for improvement. His critiques focused on a range of elements, from diction and the pronunciation of foreign words, to the singer’s body language and emotional connections with the audience.

More than technique, he emphasized performance as a way of communicating the meaning of the music.

“You always have to be thinking ahead about what you’re going to say, and we always lead with our eyes,” he told student Emily Rickert, urging her to infuse her performance with emotion. When she sang a section of her piece again, Bubeck offered praise: “It sounded like it was yours … like you were just extemporaneously creating this exuberance.”

He encouraged students to sing in front of a mirror in the practice room, to observe what they are conveying to an audience. Performances are never perfect, he told the class, but musicians always strive to make small changes to continually get better.

“Each year it gets easier,” he said in answer to a question about his own career. “Just do it, do it, do it. Every time you get a performance opportunity, take it. … Choose music that you love, and share it.”



ck was invited to teach the master class by Melanie DeMent, associate professor of music, who was his teacher at UD when he made the change from singing as a tenor to a countertenor, a higher vocal range.

He has since earned master’s and doctoral degrees in voice from Indiana University and a Performance Diploma and Opera Certificate from Peabody Conservatory. 

A singer who has won international distinction, Bubeck made his professional debut in the world premiere of John Adams’ El Niño at the Théâtre Musical de Paris-Châtelet, and has performed El Niño in more than 20 productions on four continents. In 2012, he premiered another role, in John Adams’ Passion oratorio, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and reprised the role during an international tour with the orchestra in spring 2013.

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Daniel Bubeck, an acclaimed professional singer and a 1997 UD alumnus, returned to campus to perform and to teach a master class.

Daniel Bubeck, an acclaimed professional singer who earned his bachelor's degree in music at UD in 1997, returned to campus to perform and to teach a master class.

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  • School of Music
  • Amy E. du Pont Music Building
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2578