The first piece Danielle Beckvermit performed in as a student of Vocal Performance at SUNY Freedonia, near Buffalo, was in the alto section of the chorus in Mozart’s Requiem. Now, on May 11, she will perform the soprano solo in that same beloved work with The Cecilia Chorus of New York in her Carnegie Hall debut. But she almost chose a path that would never have brought her there.
“I am the second of six kids. My father works in construction and my mother is the caregiver for my grandmother. I have always loved to sing, but we couldn’t afford private voice lessons so I earned money as a rollerblading car hop at the Sonic drive-in to pay for them. My high school in Kingston, NY, had a wonderful three-year voice program and I was able to take part in it. I found myself singing in Italian and learning art song in a group setting. But I never thought of performing as a career. I wanted to be just like our choir director and teach music for a living.
“So, I auditioned at SUNY Fredonia for the Music Education program. After I sang, I was asked to leave the room. My heart sank: was I that bad? Then after what seemed like an eternity, I was called back in. They told me, “We want you for our Vocal Performance program,” And with that, I was brought into a program with full opera productions, character study, music theory and history, analysis and ear training, and a wonderful opera seminar that I took every year.”
From Fredonia, NY, Danielle went on to the Mannes School of Music Professional Studies, a two-year Masters program. There, she has a team of teachers and coaches who help her focus on whatever she is working on at any time: roles, competitions, outside engagements. In addition to helping her improve her technique, language, inflections and character development, her ‘team’ advises her on her repertoire and also on the promotional aspects of her career, including the choice of publicity photos and what to put on her website. One program she especially appreciates is Mannes Performance Lab, where mock auditions are held. The students serve as panelists for one another’s auditions. “I think I learn more from being on the panel than from auditioning myself,” she says. “I’ve learned that panelists aren’t there to judge you negatively. They want you to do well. They want you to tell a story. I realize how important character interpretation is—it’s just as important as technique. And how important communication skills are to get that character across.”
The program has paid off. In addition to landing full operatic roles and winning or placing in numerous competitions, Danielle is currently a finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, competing with 8 other singers, down from an initial 1000, from across the United States.
As highly as she values her training at Mannes, Danielle is actually leaving the program at the end of her first school year to join the Minnesota Opera in Minneapolis. “The Professional Studies degree is important, but it’s all about prepping you so you can get a job. And that’s what I’ve done! This will be my first time not in school since I was four years old, and I’m incredibly excited."
For more information on Danielle Beckvermit, visit http://www.daniellebeckvermit.com.
BIO Danielle Beckvermit, Soprano
Soprano Danielle Beckvermit is a graduate of Mannes The New School for Music in Manhattan, where she developed a strong affinity for new music. She previously received her Bachelor’s Degree in voice from SUNY Fredonia in 2015. She has sung with several festivals, including: Charlottesville Opera, Chautauqua Festival, SongFest, and Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. Danielle will join the Minnesota Opera for the 2018-2019 year as a Resident Artist. Notable roles include: Fiordiligi, Donna Anna, Donna Elvira, and Anne Trulove. This summer she will sing Alice in Verdi’s Falstaff with the Crested Butte Opera Studio. Danielle has been recognized in several competitions, including: The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as a region winner,semi-finalist, and finalist; a finalist and award winner in The George London Foundation Competition; first place winner in The Classical Singer Online Competition; and first prize winner in the Civic Morning Musicals Competition in 2017.