Mezzo-soprano Freda Herseth received her musical training at the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with the distinguished mezzo and contemporary music specialist Jan DeGaetani. A Fulbright fellowship later allowed her to continue her studies in Munich, and until 1995, when she was appointed assistant professor of voice at the University of Michigan, her career was centered in Germany. Her principal roles have included Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier, Rossini’s Cinderella, Humperdinck’s Hansel, and Dinah in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. She has also appeared frequently as a soloist in Europe, Israel, and the United States and has become well known for her sensitive performances of contemporary works, including many composed for her. She sang in the world premiere of William Bolcom’s Songs of Innocence and Experience at the Stuttgart Opera under Dennis Russell Davies in 1984, and in the world premiere of Richard Wernick’s…and a time for peace with the orchestra of La Scala, Milan, under Riccardo Muti at the Ravenna Festival in 1995.
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