The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) today announces the appointments of mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade and soprano Marnie Breckenridge to its faculty. Von Stade, a longtime friend of the Conservatory and honorary doctorate recipient, will take on coaching responsibilities within SFCM’s voice department, and Breckenridge, an alumna (class of ’96), will lead a private studio.
“I am honored to welcome Frederica von Stade and Marnie Breckenridge to our faculty,” says SFCM President David H. Stull. “Flicka and Marnie are valued colleagues and friends who have been associated with the Conservatory for many years. We are ecstatic to welcome them officially to our faculty and I know they will both serve as outstanding models, teachers, mentors, and advocates for our students.”
“It has been a great joy to be a part of the Conservatory family for many years as an admirer and cheerleader,” says Frederica von Stade. “So, I am thrilled to join the faculty and have the joy of coming to work in one of my favorite places. I am most thrilled at the prospect of helping any young artist enjoy a career as much as I have enjoyed my own. I am grateful and excited.”
“Moving back to the Bay Area recently from New York, I reached out to SFCM about getting more involved in giving back to my alma mater when home from operatic singing engagements,” says Marnie Breckenridge. “I'm deeply honored to be able to help guide singers who are just beginning this amazing journey of voice, spirit, and discovery. I endeavor to shepherd them to efficiently gain a solid understanding of their technique and what they have to say as artists in this ever-changing, fast-paced world of opera and classical singing. It's astonishing how polyphonic SFCM has grown in its scope and vision and I'm so thrilled to be part of the mix.”
Recognized as one of the most beloved musical figures of our time, Frederica von Stade is well known to audiences around the world through her numerous featured appearances on television, including several PBS specials and Live from Lincoln Center telecasts. She has made over sixty recordings with every major label, including complete operas, aria albums, symphonic works, solo recital programs, and popular crossover albums. Her recordings have garnered six Grammy nominations, two Grand Prix du Disc awards, the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Italy's Premio della Critica Discografica, and Best of the Year citations by Stereo Review and Opera News. Von Stade was awarded France's highest honor in the arts when she was appointed as an officer of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and in 1983, she was honored with an award given at the White House by President Reagan in recognition of her significant contribution to the arts. She received an honorary doctorate from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1993.
American soprano Marnie Breckenridge is recognized internationally for her passionate interpretations of roles in standard repertoire and contemporary works. She has been praised by the New York Times for her “lovely soprano,” and the Chicago Tribune has noted her “achieving both lyrical poignancy and dramatic power.” Breckenridge has performed with leading opera companies and at major festivals including English National Opera, LA Opera, Prototype Festival, Fort Worth Opera, Glyndebourne Festival, Bard Music Festival, Ravinia Festival, and San Francisco Opera, among others. She has also performed with orchestras across the United States including the San Francisco Symphony and Pacific Symphony, and at Carnegie Hall. Breckenridge is a featured soloist on the 2012 New World Records album of Victor Herbert songs and recently made her European and Asian debuts as Cunegonde in Candide. She received SFCM’s “Alumni of the Year” award in 2013.