Life @ Longy: Joshua Smith, Opera
Name: Joshua Smith
Hometown: Valley Stream, NY
Area of study: Tenor, Opera performance
Degree program: Graduate Performance Diploma (completed the MM in 2015)
Class of 2016
Briefly describe your ideal career: Ideally, I'll be singing and teaching. I don't know where it'll bring me—although, naturally, I'd be delighted to find myself singing at the Metropolitan or La Scala. I know that I'll be elated just to continue to exist within music for the rest of my life.
Why did you choose to attend Longy?
I attended Emerson College for my undergraduate degree and when I was looking at heading back to school I knew I wanted to end up back in the Boston/Cambridge area. I found Longy and spent a day here sitting in on classes and meeting the faculty and student body and I knew it was a great fit—people invested and alive and open to possibilities; it never felt like a stuffy conservatory but, rather, a place that was alive and growing and open to possibilities that didn't have to fit the typical conservatory mold.
Now that you’re here, what do you think makes Longy special?
Well, Longy has lived up to my expectations—I still feel unlimited possibilities here; I can make my time here be what I want it to be. I can engage in intelligent discourse about things I'm passionate with other students and have them open my eyes to their particular passions. I have incredible relationships with not only my teachers but the administration here as well—we are a family and we encourage each other and challenge each other to be better, to be interesting and unique.
How would you describe a typical school day?
I arrive to school around 9:30 am to get warmed up and ready for several hours of opera scenes rehearsals right in the morning! Next, I grab some coffee and head to Aria/Monologue class—a core part of our Opera curriculum that is basically a mock audition/master class—nothing prepares you for singing in front of people quite like singing in front of people!
What is your favorite aspect of the Longy curriculum?
I'm constantly getting ready for a performance. There is virtually no downtime, just learning music, getting it ready, performing, onto the next thing. This past summer I sang with Opera Theater of Pittsburgh's Summerfest and that was just the pace—and thanks to Longy I was completely prepared for it!
Biggest unexpected challenge in your coursework?
I'm constantly learning new rep—CONSTANTLY. The amount of music swimming around in my brain at any given time is staggering. It's been a struggle but I never thought I'd be able to learn music as fast as I can now after a few years at this pace!
What advice you would give to incoming/prospective students?
Be prepared to put in what you want to get out; The faculty here is ready to give you everything they have, They are dedicated and I've seen them go above and beyond for students time and time again. Do your work and meet them at that level and you'll get the world.
What’s your favorite non-musical activity?
Honestly, I spend a lot of time baking bread. It's quite cathartic and creative, in my opinion, and requires an amount of patience. I like to think it helps me with my singing, but regardless it's quite delicious.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Longy is full of possibilities and open ears. If you have something you're passionate about and you want to see it here, you can make it happen.