- Levels Taught:
- Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
- Teaches students:
- Females 9+ and males 12+
- Teaching since:
- August 2006
Mezzo-soprano Rachel A. has captured audiences throughout the United States with her rich and warm timbre, beautiful blend, and dynamic stage presence. A native of Stockton, California, Rachel was born into a musical family and quickly developed an affinity for the performing arts. She first fell in love with classical music as an oboist and gradually found her niche as a singer through her passion for languages, literature, and theater. In the fall of 2012, she relocated to Connecticut where she continues to be an active performer of opera, oratorio, art song, crossover, and new music.
Most recently, she was seen as the mezzo-soprano soloist in Capella Cantorum Masterwork Chorus and the Old Lyme Congregational Church Choir's performances of Handel's Messiah, the mezzo soloisit in Vivaldi's Gloria and Magnificat with the Stamford Chorale, with Hartford Opera Theater as Elise in Dawn Sonntag's Verlorene Heimat, Pythia in Nkeiru Okeye’s We’ve Got Our Eye on You, and as Miss Paige in Dan Shore’s An Embarrassing Position which was nominated for Best Featured Ensemble in a Musical through the 2015 Broadway World Connecticut Awards. She has also performed with Opera Theater of Connecticut, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Madison Lyric Stage, Greater Worcester Opera, Revolution Opera Alliance, the Simsbury Light Opera Company, and the Greater Meriden Concert Chorale.
Prior to moving to Connecticut, Rachel lived in St. Louis, Missouri, where she frequently performed with the St. Louis Symphony as a member of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus. She has also performed with Winter Opera St. Louis, Union Avenue Opera, and the Southern Illinois Music Festival. In 2012, Ms. Abrams had the opportunity to be a sponsored young artist with Winter Opera St. Louis where she performed the role of Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos, covered Musetta in La Bohème, and performed in the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical review: A Grand Night for Singing. Ms. Abrams has also performed with Opera Fort Collins, Loveland Opera Theater, Victorian Lyric Opera, and Opera Classica Europa in Bad Schwalbach, Germany as an apprentice artist. Additional operatic credits include Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte, Giannetta in L’Elisir d’Amore and Miss Pinkerton in The Old Maid and the Theif.
A passionate performer of Jewish music, Ms. Abrams was featured as a soloist in Martin Bresnick’s puppet opera, Der Signál, with the Hartford Independent Chamber Orchestra during the 10th Annual Celebration of Jewish Arts and Culture at Charter Oak Cultural Center in October of 2014. As an active performer of art song, Ms. Abrams has collaborated with various musicians throughout the New England region to create diverse and accessible art song recitals. In April of 2015, Ms. Abrams and pianist Michael Korman presented a recital featuring the works of Schönberg, Ruth Schönthal, Previn, and Weill with the Maurice Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Hartford.
Since the winter of 2016, Rachel has been an active performer with Lollipop Opera Outreach. This touring opera company brings the joy of opera to thousands of school children throughout New England. This season, she will perform the roles of the Mother/Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Babe in The Three Pigs – A Pig Tale, and participate in the premiere of a new interactive “culinary” opera adventure: A Fairytale Kitchen.
In addition to being a passionate performer and collaborator, Rachel is a private music educator dedicated to the success of her students. Ms. A maintains a private studio of voice students out of her home in West Hartford, Connecticut. In addition to her private teaching studio, she is the alto section leader at St. James Episcopal Church in Farmington. She has also taught at Farmington Valley Academy Montessori in Avon, Arts Place in Cheshire and Summit Studios in Manchester.
As a voice teacher, Ms. A provides her students with a holistic, healthy, and age appropriate technique based on her studies of vocal pedagogy, years of lessons from master teachers, and her personal experiences as a performer. Through personalized vocal exercises and repertoire assignments, students will learn how to achieve a proper vocal onset, management of air pressure, increase vocal stamina, and maximize vocal freedom through balanced resonance. While Ms. Abrams teaches "classical" technique, her students apply her pedagogy to all styles of singing including, but certainly not limited to: musical theater, jazz, gospel, barber shop, and even rock!
Before opening her own private studio in Connecticut, Ms. Abrams lived in St. Louis, Missouri where she taught throughout the region. While in Missouri, she served as an Adjunct Voice Instructor/Lecture Professor at East Central College and a Private Voice and Music Instructor at St. John's School of the Arts.
In addition to her teaching experience in the Missouri area, Rachel was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Northern Colorado, where she was an assistant instructor for Music Survey and Music and World Cultures classes.
Ms. A holds a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Colorado and a Bachelor of Music degree from San José State University. She lives in West Hartford with her husband Ben and their anti-social diva cat, Bonnie. She is currently accepting new students!
*** Specialties ***
I teach classical technique, specifically focusing on proper resonance and breath control. This method can be highly useful to broadway, jazz, popular or any other style of singing.
Super nice person! Very encouraging throughout and I could feel myself getting better even on just the first lesson.
Rachel is a very good match for Christina! She is excited to return next week. Thank you.
Very enthusiastic and knowledgeable.
Wonderful first lesson!!