My approach to teaching is based on freeing the voice using a combination of vocal function exercises, bel canto technique work, body alignment and tension release, musicality, and expression. Breath management and vocal tract shaping are complex and require a highly individualized approach. I do not believe that one approach can be applied to all students, and easily tailor my instruction to the individual singer.
I’ve been greatly influenced by the works of major pedagogues, both of the past (Garcia, Vaccai, Marchesi) and within the current landscape (Smith, Miller, Coffin, Helding, Bozeman, and many more). I have studied vocal pedagogy at length and pull both scientific and holistic teaching techniques from my study. I regularly attend professional development programs to stay as up-to-date as possible. Most recently (summer 2022) I attended a new Pedagogy Summit in Aspen headed up by Renee Fleming.
I have an intense love and passion for teaching voice and encouraging young singers and believe that together we can find a freer way of singing and a more beautiful, resonant sound. Additionally, my vast experience as a career coach and entrepreneurship lecturer/author will help you craft your unique career path within the industry.
Dr. Dana Lynne Varga is a sought-after soprano, voice teacher, and career coach, as well as the Founder and Artistic Director of MassOpera. She is a fierce advocate for singers, devoted to progressive change in the classical vocal industry and encouraging individuals to forge their own career paths. She regularly presents vocal master classes as well as entrepreneurship lectures for musicians all over the country.
Praised for her “radiant soprano”, Dana has established herself as a dynamic interpreter of a wide variety of repertoire on opera and concert stages. She has very recently been seen on the stages of both Carnegie Hall and Boston’s Symphony Hall, performing as soloist in both the Mozart and Brahms Requiems and in a professional octet with the Boston Pops.
Dana’s favorite opera roles performed include Fiordiligi in Cosi fan Tutte, Musetta in La bohème, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Micaëla in Carmen, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow, and Alcina in Alcina. Her 2019 appearance as Pallas Athene in Gluck’s Paride ed Elena with Odyssey Opera garnered critical acclaim. She has appeared with Teatro Nuovo, Opera Maine, MassOpera, Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, Opera Boston, PANopera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, the Aldeburgh (Britten-Pears) Festival, and many others.
Dana maintains a busy schedule on the concert platform. She made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2019 singing Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Mid-America Productions. Additional highlights of her concert career include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cantata Singers, Bach’s Magnificat and B Minor Mass with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with the Greenwich Choral Society, Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphony with the Metropolitan Chorale, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor with Coro Allegro, and countless performances of Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Creation and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony.
Dana was the second place winner of the 2019 American Prize in art song and oratorio, and the first place winner of the 2016 Classical Singer National Vocal Competition. She won second place in the 2016 Rochester Oratorio Society Classical Idol Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2016 Oratorio Society of New York Competition. She earned her DMA in Vocal Performance from Boston University and her MM in Vocal Performance from The New England Conservatory of Music.