Ken Leighton 5 p.m., Jan. 24
RIYL: Rosa Ponselle, Celestina Boninsegna, Johanna Gadski, Melanie Kurt, Salomea Kruszelnicka, Helene Wildbrunn, Rosa Raisa, Elisabeth Rethberg
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- Musician Interview: "The Color and the Fast Notes" · Feb. 24, 2010
Influences: Natalie Dessay, Sumi Jo, Kathleen Battle, Beverly Sills
Coloratura soprano Alize Rozsnyai has been singing since age two, graduating early from Rancho Bernardo High School in 2006 with an album entitled Sweet Sixteen already under her belt.
“I still live in San Diego,” said Rozsnyai in early 2010, “which is my family’s home, while pursuing a bachelor’s of music in voice performance at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where I’m a junior. I also travel weekly to New York to study voice with W. Stephen Smith, a faculty member at Juilliard.
“In general, the gist of the opera singer’s education is as follows, though each singer’s path is different: undergrad degree in music, grad degree in music, enter a young-artist program with a regional opera company and get to know professionals and sing small roles, get noticed, sing in small opera houses, get a manager or win competitions in order to get a manager, and it just keeps building from there.…”
“In the opera world,” explains Rozsnyai, “a coloratura singer is one who is able to sing many fast notes, such as scales, arpeggiations, and ornamentation. Sometimes these are written in by the composer, and sometimes the artist will invent embellishments themselves.
“A coloratura is therefore a soprano who deals with these sorts of passages but also generally has a higher range than most sopranos, which extends as high as an F above high C. Most other types of sopranos will have high C as the highest in their performed repertoire.”
A classic example of a coloratura soprano role is the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s Magic Flute.
Rozsnyai mentions that she used to be known as Alyze, though, “I changed the spelling of my first name in the fourth grade to be different from my mom Alyze. Around then I started getting my own mail and payments from when I was in a play at the Old Globe Theatre.”
Rozsnyai’s father Zoltan Rozsnyai was a former San Diego Symphony conductor and an assistant conductor with the New York Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein. He died of a heart attack when she was a toddler. Her mother, Alyze Dreiling Hammer, is a professional violinist.
Rozsnyai’s Sweet Sixteen album included her favorite Italian aria, “Una Donna a Quindici Anni,” and “O Dieu! que de bijoux! (Jewel Song)” from the opera Faust.
In 2006, Rozsnyai won the Miss Rancho Bernardo Teen pageant, and she won a first-place award from the Professional Opera Singers Association. She said her best experience was receiving an invitation to the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in Miami, where she took part in several workshops and master classes.
In fall 2007, Rozsnyai entered the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, pursuing her studies under former San Diegan and Metropolitan Opera soprano Carol Vaness, a vocal professor. In summer 2008, she attended the Aspen Summer Music Program.
She has won numerous competitions and awards, including her NFAARTS win in 2007 and a San Diego Musical Merit Foundation first prize in 2008.