IYDV Master Class at UNR Listen to the Angels Sing

By Norm Robins

Video by Dana Nollsch

Every year world-famous Diva Dolora Zajick brings her Institute for Young Dramatic Voices (IYDV) in conjunction with the Wagner Institute to UNR for an intensive 3-week training of those young dramatic voices. They gave us a peek at what they do Saturday, July 20th. Four instructors from the IYDV and the Wagner Institute spent 4 hours coaching young dramatic voices in the techniques that will bring their voices from incredibly spectacular to perfect. We interviewed teachers and students before the Master Class.

Perfection is by no stretch of the imagination easy. But when the teachers are done they will have brought these voices from garden variety magnificent to perfect. Then the voices will escape this base Earth, go up through all the celestial bodies, and reach the heavens where God and the angels reside, and they will stop what they are doing and listen. Why? Because perfection is their province, and perfection must be heard.

We did the interview (nearby) before we went into the Hall Recital Hall in the new Art Building at UNR. Students were in the audience taking notes and looking on with awe at the voice lessons-cum-recital. It shined a light on the enormous amount of detailed work an opera student has to go through before becoming a star.

One area that must be mastered by the opera student is the physiology undergirding the voice. Dolora has, and she passed it on to her students Saturday. She understands chapter and verse how to manage the soft palate, the hard palate, the tongue, the lips, the jaw, the abdomen, the back, the side muscles, and the diaphragm. She clearly showed her knowledge of the physiology of the voice is encyclopedic.

We will hear from these students in the future. All they need is a little more polish, and they will make the angels stop doing what they are doing and listen.

On July 29th these students will join the Reno Philharmonic from 7:30 to 9 PM at the Robert Z. Hawkins Amphitheater at Bartley Ranch for an exciting Opera Showcase. Admission is free. More information can be obtained at


Then they will conclude their classes here on July 31st with their Stars of the Future concert of favorite arias, duets, and opera scenes. The performance will be from 6 to 8 PM in the Nightingale Concert Hall at the University of Nevada, Reno, Church Fine Arts Building. Admission is free, and there will be a reception after the performance.

Norm Robins


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