Julia Soojin Cavallaro
Julia Soojin Cavallaro, mezzo-soprano, is an accomplished solo and ensemble singer whose repertoire spans oratorio, opera, art song, choral works, and chamber music. Critics have praised her “warm mezzo, perfect diction, and easy phrasing” (New York Classical Review) and “round, chocolaty tone” (Boston Classical Review).
Born and raised in the Boston area, Julia grew up in an Italian/Korean American household filled with music and art. She received her bachelor’s degree in music from Harvard College and master’s degree in vocal performance from Boston University. She also attended young artist training programs at the Amherst Early Music Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt, Longy School of Music of Bard College, and Vancouver Early Music Festival. She has since gone on to sing with leading ensembles in the United States, including the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Boston Opera Collaborative, Handel and Haydn Society, New Camerata Opera, New York Philharmonic, and GRAMMY-nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble and True Concord Voices & Orchestra.
Frequently heard as an oratorio soloist, her concert highlights include the Bach Christmas Oratorio, Magnificat, and Mass in B minor; Handel Messiah; Haydn Lord Nelson Mass; Mozart Requiem and Vespers; and Vivaldi Gloria and Dixit Dominus. Reviewers have lauded her interpretation of Baroque music in particular: “Singing throughout her range with a pure and lovely tone, she knows how to shape and ornament a vocal line with just the right amount of freedom… Her ability to ring changes in vocal characterization from dramatic narration to hopeful expectation to passionate outcry to cheerful moralizing was astonishing” (The Boston Musical Intelligencer).
Her stage roles include Cupid in Blow’s Venus & Adonis with New Camerata Opera, Madame de Volanges in Susa’s The Dangerous Liaisons with Boston Opera Collaborative, and the Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido & Aeneas with the Harvard Early Music Society. Her rendition of Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben in a site-specific, immersive staging with Boston Opera Collaborative was hailed by Boston Classical Review as one of its Top Ten Performances of 2017. Critics also commended her portrayal of Cupid in Venus & Adonis, writing, “Julia Cavallaro was a model of consistency, bringing a firm, warm mezzo, perfect diction, and easy phrasing as Cupid” (New York Classical Review) and “[she] excelled by means of humor and superb diction” (Voce di Meche).
Julia is an experienced choral artist and church musician. Reviewers have highlighted her ensemble work, writing, “Julia Cavallaro’s mezzo-soprano voice possesses a distinctive, beautiful quality all her own. As an ensemble singer, she is able to convey variations in vocal color, enhancing the blend” (The Concord Journal). She has performed with the Handel and Haydn Society chorus since 2012, and more recently with Ensemble Altera and GRAMMY-nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble and True Concord Voices & Orchestra. She toured England twice with the choirs of Trinity Church in the City of Boston, in residence at Westminster Abbey and the Cathedrals of Salisbury, Wells, and Winchester. She has also sung with the Choir of the Church of the Advent and Emmanuel Music in Boston. Now based in New Haven, she is a member of the choirs of St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church at Yale.
An avid chamber musician and recitalist, Julia is passionate about early music, art song, and contemporary repertoire. While in the Boston area, she appeared regularly with Renaissance ensembles Schola Cantorum of Boston and Seven Times Salt, performing works by composers such as Byrd, Dowland, Josquin, Monteverdi, Palestrina, and Tallis. She collaborates frequently with composer and pianist Rodney Lister. Together they have presented recital programs ranging from Babbitt to Brahms, Fauré to Finzi, Satie to Schumann, and more. She also composes for voice, piano, and chamber ensemble, having studied composition with John McDonald at Tufts University. Her work has been premiered at Tufts and in Vancouver, BC, as part of Art Song Lab.
In addition to her career as a vocalist, Julia has worked for fifteen years in arts administration. Through this work, she strives to support music education at the highest level for students of many ages and diverse backgrounds. She previously served as Administrative Coordinator of the Tufts University Department of Music and Program Director at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education. In her current role, as VP of Marketing and User Experience for Artusi: Interactive Music Theory & Aural Skills, she helps music educators and students use Artusi’s innovative platform to teach and learn music fundamentals, harmony, counterpoint, and aural skills. She loves meeting new instructors, thinking about intuitive design, and discussing the nuances of voice-leading rules.