Divas & Donuts

Divas and Donuts is the Potomac Vocal Institute celebrity master class series.  These events are a unique opportunity to learn from performers who are out singing on the great stages of the world.  While we all enjoy our fancy master classes, ie: well-dressed, stressful, mostly-for-donors, these events are about the expert teaching and about our students learning. Our Master Teachers take time over donuts to talk (and eat) in order for us to get to know them, their personal lives, and how they made their careers.  The result is a more casual atmosphere, but the work we do immediately following is anything but that. Our guest artists then listen to four PVI singers and help them with style, interpretation, and technique: they are the best in their field and put the students through their paces!

These fun classes are not restricted to singers! We welcome everyone to join us at our next Divas and Donuts: Let’s get sugared up and down to work!



Stephen Powell joins us for Divas & Donuts on December 1st, 2-5pm

Mr. Powell, known equally well for his work on the world’s opera stages and for his concert appearances with major orchestras, has a remarkable gift. His beautiful baritone sound coupled with the force and intensity of his acting make him one of the most solid talents in the field today.

Come meet this extraordinary artist!

The dynamic American baritone Stephen Powell brings his handsome voice, elegant musicianship, and robust stage presence to a wide range of music, from Monteverdi and Handel through Verdi and Puccini to Sondheim and John Adams. Opera magazine has hailed him, writing "the big news was Stephen Powell's gorgeously-sung Onegin: rock solid, with creamy legato from top to bottom and dynamics smoothly tapered but never exaggerated," while The Wall Street Journal lauded his "rich, lyric baritone, commanding presence, and thoughtful musicianship." In his recent debut in the title role of Verdi's Falstaff, the Washington Times had this to say - "Vocally, Mr. Powell has a dominant, authoritative instrument but capably works falsetto and humorous tics into his routine as well. He is quite simply a marvelous, fully realized Falstaff, which is, after all, what this opera needs....with a Falstaff like Mr. Powell, everything else in the production pretty much falls into place."

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Leah Crocetto Joins us for Divas & Donuts

Described by the New York Times as possessing an “agile coloratura technique and a feeling for the Italianate style… with warmth, full penetrating sound and tenderness,” American soprano Leah Crocetto continues to astonish audiences with her moving portrayals of opera’s greatest heroines. Ms. Crocetto begins the current season with title role of Norma in concert with North Carolina Opera, followed by her solo recital debut at Carnegie Hall with pianist Mark Markham. With the Seattle Opera, she sings Leonora in Il trovatore, and makes her Australian debut with the Melbourne Symphony as the soprano soloist in Verdi’s Requiem. Later in the season, she performs the Soprano II role in Mahler’s Symphony No, 8 “Symphony of a Thousand,” first with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, and subsequently with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival under Marin Alsop.

Last season, Ms. Crocetto performed the title role in Aïda first with Washington National Opera, and subsequently with Seattle Opera. She sang Leonora in Il trovatore with Oper Frankfurt, returned to San Francisco Opera as Liù in Turandot and performed the title role of Tosca with Pittsburgh Opera. In concert, she sang Verdi’s magnificent Requiem with the National Symphony and the NTR Symphony, and performs a solo recital in Ann Arbor, MI. She sang her debut performances as the title role in Aïda with the San Francisco Opera in the 2016-2017 season. Also in this season, she made her role debut as Eleonora in the first US performances of Donizetti’s L’assedio di Calais with the Glimmerglass Festival. On the concert stage, she performed Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center at Alice Tully Hall and sang a solo recital in her hometown of Adrian, Michigan.

Ms. Crocetto made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the 2015-2016 season as Liù in Turandot. She also made her role debut as the titular character in Rossini’s seldom-performed Semiramide with Opera National de Bordeaux. Additional highlights of the season included Anna in Maometto II with the Canadian Opera Company, Luisa Miller in San Francisco, and Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with Santa Fe Opera. She made her New York City recital debut at Pace University with pianist Martin Katz, and performed a solo recital under the auspices of Washington National Opera with pianist Mark Markham at the John F. Kennedy Center.