Page 41 - Classical Singer magazine 2019 Fall University Issue
P. 41

of dollars through concerts to support people living with poverty and mental illness. For him, those were his most meaningful performances. “I love singing at the Met and the New York Philharmonic,” he says, “and all things are wonderful. But to give back to one’s community and to learn forgiveness—that was a huge part of freeing myself and getting the mud out of my wings as a person and as an artist.”
Returning to the neighborhood of his childhood brought back painful memories. “I was a big kid,” he says, “and big kids don’t get coddled. I was bullied, and I prayed from the time I got on the bus to the time I reached my desk. Eventually, I walked several miles to school because I was afraid to ride the bus with those bullies.”
Years later, Gri ey has found beauty and healing in the midst of those scars, asserting, “I wouldn’t trade any of my experiences because it made me the man and artist I am today—and it made me a much more compassionate person.” That same compassion is at the core of Gri ey’s teaching studio at Eastman, where he returned as a
Anthony Dean Griffey
member of the faculty nearly 30 years after he began his studies there as a master’s student.
Stephen Carr, associate professor of opera and musical theatre studies at Eastman, recognizes Gri ey’s unique gifts as a mentor and teacher. “He knows the heart of a young singer needs as much attention as the larynx,” Carr observes. “His students are never inhibited as performers or imprisoned by their technique. They all improve vocally and they blossom as expressive artists. I think this might be because Tony knows as well as anyone that singing is about so much more than producing a beautiful sound. For Tony, singing was his escape and his deliverance—it saved his life, and he’s never forgotten that.”
Students and faculty of SDSU Vocal Arts with composer Jake Heggie and mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade.
Michael Gerdes
Director of Orchestras and Music Director for Opera Theatre
Dr. Alan E. Hicks
Director of Opera Theatre (in partnership with San Diego Opera)
Dr. Arian Khaefi Director of Choral Studies
Dr. Bryan Bolzenthal Voice
Suzanne Shick
Collaborative Pianist and Role Preparation
Dr. Katherine Polit Voice
Laurinda Nikkel Voice Area Coordinator
Dr. Scott D. Lipscomb
Director, School of Music and Dance
photo by Matt Whitmeyer 41
photo by Matt Wittmeyer

   39   40   41   42   43