1. Faculty

Heather Mathews

Associate Program Director, Opera and Musical Theatre

"Magnificent … Splendid" —San Francisco Chronicle

COURSES TAUGHT

  • Preparing a Role
  • Conservatory Opera Theatre

EDUCATION

  • MM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • BM, San Francisco Conservatory of Music

ENSEMBLES

  • Opera San Luis Obispo
  • Opera San Jose
  • Aspen Opera Theatre

What is your hometown?

Castro Valley, CA

What are you passionate about outside of music?

My family, cooking, and horses!

Who were your major teachers?

Hermann LeRoux and Pamela Brooks.

What question do you wish students would ask sooner rather than later?

“Why?” “Why does the character do this?” “Why does the music do this?” “Why is this word used in the text instead of another?” I love for my students to have opinions.

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

My parents bought me a "Bach's Greatest Hits" album by the Cincinnati Pops when I was seven. I used to conduct the entire album in my room. I was hooked.

What was a turning point in your career?

I had been directing for a few years after graduate school while also pursuing a career as a singer. I received a call from a company I had been working with and they asked me to direct their entire next season. I said yes, knowing that I was making a decision to become a full-time stage director. Over 100 productions later and I still am so grateful and pleased that I chose that path.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

I would work with animals, specifically horses. Having been an equestrian my whole life, I am lucky to currently use that skill as a Volunteer Mounted Patrol Ranger for the NPS in my spare time. I absolutely love my time outside in the beautiful Marin Headlands riding.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Britten, Mozart, and Puccini.

What is your unrealized project?

I would like to direct a movie someday with my father who is a cinematographer.