Skip to main content

SFCM Voice Grads Put Versatility in the Spotlight

Latest SFCM News
News Story

SFCM voice graduates star in famous opera companies, Broadway productions, and cabaret shows spanning the scope of musical theatre and redefining what it means to be a professional singer in the modern economy.

July 31, 2023 by Mark Taylor

At SFCM it’s pretty easy to sing alumni praises. 

They’ve gone on to win Grammys, make history at opera companies, win coveted symphony spots, and the voice and opera studies program is no different. 

SFCM voice faculty aim to hone technique and expand artistry so each singer grows into the performer they’ve always dreamed of being, breaking barriers on the way. This summer alumna Carolyn Bacon, (‘14) debuted her New York solo cabaret show at The Green Room 42 with What You Don’t Know About Women, a first for her. “At SFCM, I always performed both musical theater and opera. My teacher, Jane Randolph, always encouraged me to sing any style I wanted,” Bacon said of the undertaking. 

Carolyn Bacon

Carolyn Bacon performing at her one woman show in New York City.

It has been a busy time for Bacon. Last year she was on the road with the national tour of CATS, while preparing for her cabaret show, and up next, she’s starring as Rachel in the Off-Broadway Friends parody at the Jerry Orbach Theater in New York. “Many Broadway singers have classical roots, and many opera singers do musicals or side projects in other genres. Singing is such a demanding, technical skill, and singers deserve to stay open to what opportunities might cross their path,” Bacon added.

Other alumni from the program are also seeing success across the globe, in diverse and traditional areas. Recent graduate Taylor See (‘23) is joining Shreveport Opera as a Resident Artist this year, while Efrain Solis (‘13) will be making his European debut at the Hamburg Staatsoper next season, and Camille Sherman (‘17) is joining the Basel Opera House in Switzerland for an entire season performing leading roles. “This opportunity feels like a major step forward in my career,” Sherman said, “I will perform in five operas for a total 47 performances on the mainstage, so it feels like a golden opportunity.” 

As graduating students navigate their careers on different stages, for SFCM voice faculty like Catherine Cook, what’s important is investing in themselves as young artists, “I feel a solid technique is essential,” Cook said. “At the end of the day we are all storytellers, good vocal technique frees you so you can express and communicate the story through the music on any stage.”

Catherine Cook.

SFCM faculty Catherine Cook.

It also comes down to collaboration and versatility as a singer. “Seeing students succeed across different genres is a testament to the education, experience, and training they received at SFCM,” Cook continued, “With the industry constantly changing and evolving, SFCM’s students are side by side with professionals who are still in the business and have a touchstone on what is happening right now. Our incredible faculty and guest artists create a collaborative, nurturing, and joyful atmosphere that prepares singers for success in every area of music,” Cook said. 

Whether emerging singers dream of performing an aria from their favorite opera, on the Broadway stage, creating their own show, or even succeeding in popular music, for alumni like Carolyn Bacon, getting the right preparation is key to making that dream come true, “Prospective students can trust that SFCM is a place where musicians are exploring and expanding what is possible for their careers,” Bacon said. 

Learn more about voice / opera studies or opera and musical theatre at SFCM.