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NATs-LA Fall General Meeting and Presentation, "Performance Pedagogy"

  • First Presbyterian Church of Fullerton 838 N. Euclid St Fullerton, CA 92832 (map)
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Mezzo-Soprano, Master-Teacher and Speech Pathologist Kathryn Cowdrick will be our guest for the NATS-LA Fall Presentation: Performance Pedagogy. A professor at Eastman School of Music, Ms. Cowdrick will share about her experience as a Columbia-trained Speech Pathologist and how this continues to influence her teaching following a performance career which took her to leading opera houses in the US and abroad. A masterclass for NATS-LA affiliated students will be divided into 3 sessions: high school, undergraduate, and graduate/young artist, and will cover classical/opera and musical theater from the “Golden Age” (pre-1969).

Since beginning her teaching career at Eastman in 2002, Kathryn Cowdrick has appeared in over 40 regional opera performances, and continues to be in demand as one of today’s foremost singing actresses. A graduate of Penn State and of Columbia University with a masters degree in Speech and Voice Pathology, Ms. Cowdrick was a member of the Opera Center at the Juilliard School and an Adler Fellow with the San Francisco Opera. She is a well-respected masterclass clinician for Young Artist Programs and lectures on vocal health and longevity, professional issues and audition techniques. She serves as a Singing Voice Specialist for singers in vocal recovery. She was awarded the 2004 Outstanding Alumni Award from Penn State University in addition to winning Metropolitan Opera National Council, Liederkranz Foundation, Merola Opera, Baltimore Opera, Washington International Competition and George London Foundation prizes. She is the President of the Central NY Finger Lakes chapter of NATS.

Video submissions for Masterclass singers may be submitted via our Google form. Questions should be directed to Programs Chair Joel Balzun at
Deadline for submissions is September 15.

Admission: $30 NATS-LA Members • $40 Non-Members • $10 Students w/ID
For more information, email NATS-LA Programs Chair Joel Balzun at

Ms. Cowdrick with Marilyn Horne as Dame Quickly, Pilar Lorengar as Alice, and Ruth Ann Swenson as Nannetta

Ms. Cowdrick with Marilyn Horne as Dame Quickly, Pilar Lorengar as Alice, and Ruth Ann Swenson as Nannetta

Opera News has described Kathryn Cowdrick as an artist who “brightly infused every scene with her singing, dazzling fioratura, and her sexy, warm, comedienne personality,” a remark which seems to convey the essence of this charismatic mezzo-soprano. Trained as a speech therapist and educator of the deaf, Ms. Cowdrick’s career began when she was awarded an Adler Fellowship with the San Francisco Opera. She has since appeared in many roles with the company, including Paulina in PIQUE DAME, Meg Page in FALSTAFF, Siebel in FAUST, and in San Francisco Opera’s productions of DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE, DON QUICHOTTE, IL RITORNO D’ULLISSE, ROMÉO ET JULIETTE, and THE MEDIUM.

Best known for her elegant portrayals of Rossini heroines, Ms. Cowdrick made her European debut at the Netherlands Opera as Rosina in Dario Fo’s controversial production of IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA. She has also performed the role for Scottish Opera, Vancouver Opera, the National Arts Center in Ottowa, Cologne Opera, L’Opéra de Marseille, Opera Memphis, and on tour with the New York City Opera. She has sung the title role in LA CENERENTOLA for the Western Opera Theatre, Utah Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Kentucky Opera. Other roles have included Isabella in L’ITALIANA IN ALGERI for Utah Opera and Chautauqua Opera, Isolier in LE COMTE ORY for Chautauqua Opera, and Zaida in IL TURCO IN ITALIA for San Francisco Opera. 

Ms. Cowdrick has appeared with Ireland’s Wexford Festival in Gluck’s RETURN TO MECCA, with Washington Opera in THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, with the Carmel Bach Festival for concerts and productions of L’ORFEO and L’ORMINDO, and with Virginia Opera as Nicklausse in THE TALES OF HOFFMANN and as Smeton in ANNA BOLENA. Other roles have included Varvara in KATYA KAVONOVA with Lost Angeles Opera, Elizabeth Proctor for THE CRUCIBLE at Tulsa Opera, Dorabella in COSit FAN TUTTE for the Wildwood Festival and Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO in over 200 performances for companies including Ft .Worth, Arizona, Omaha, Vancouver  and New York City Operas.

Theatrical credits include Little Buttercup in HMS PINAFORE, Katisha in THE MIKADO, Ruth in the PIRATES OF PENZANCE for Chautauqua Opera and Ft. Worth Opera, the Fairy Godmother in CINDERELLA and Mrs Lovett in SWEENY TODD for the Princeton Festival at the Mc Carter Theatre and for Augusta Opera.  She was a frequent soloist with the San Francisco Pop’s for an EVENING WITH RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN.


Kathryn Cowdrick can be heard as Charmian on the New World Records 1985 Grammy Award winning recording of Barber’s ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, recorded live at the Spoleto Festival, where she also appeared in Ken Russell’s televised production of MADAMA BUTTERFLY. She performed Karolka in JENUFA with Opera Orchestra of New York, recorded live from Carnegie Hall on Grammaphone Bis.

Other previous engagements have included a return to San Francisco Opera as Grimgerde in DIE WALKÜRE and as La Laitière in LOUISE; Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Filippyevna in EUGENE ONEGIN, the Marquise in LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT, Berta in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA, and the Old Prioress in LES DIALOGUES DES CARMÉLITES with Arizona Opera; Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Opera Omaha and Maine’s Portland Opera Repertory Theatre; the Lady with the Hat Box and the Foreign Singer in Dominic Argento’s POSTCARD FROM MOROCCO with Opera Festival of New Jersey; Fidalma in Cimarosa’s IL MATRIMONIO SEGRETO and the Marquise in LA FILLE DU RÉGIMENT with the Lake George Opera Festival; Frugola in IL TABARRO and Zita in GIANNI SCHICCHI with Bohème Opera New Jersey; Meg Page in FALSTAFF with Opera Illinois; and the Marquise in THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT with Kentucky Opera.           

Engagements have included Katisha in THE MIKADO and Berta in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with New York City Opera; Augusta Tabor in THE BALLAD OF BABY DOE and the Witch in HANSEL AND GRETEL with Augusta Opera; Ruth in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE and Cecilia March in LITTLE WOMEN with Fort Worth Opera; Berta in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA and Filippyevna in EUGENE ONEGIN with Tulsa Opera; the Old Lady in CANDIDE and Mrs. Gibbs in Ned Rorem’s OUR TOWN with Lake George Opera; Berta in IL BARBIERE DI SIVIGLIA with Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera, Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Arizona Opera; Suzuki in MADAMA BUTTERFLY with Artpark and Mercury Opera Rochester; and Larina in EUGENE ONEGIN with Kentucky Opera.  

Ms. Cowdrick created the role of Julia Child in Lee Hoiby’s operatic monologue for mezzo-soprano entitled BON APPETIT, based on an actual PBS episode of the internationally renowned chef’s original television series, with a libretto by Julia Child herself. Ms. Cowdrick’s appearances as Julia Child in BON APPETIT have been featured in various venues throughout the United States; during the 2007-08 season, she again performed the opera to commemorate Julia Child's induction into the National Women's Hall of Fame, and recorded it for Albany Records. From 2007-2013 she has appeared in the title role of THE MEDIUM , as Zita for a double bill in GIANNI SCHICCHI and Michael Ching’s BUOSO’S GHOST and  Engagements during the 2008-09 season included Mrs. Lovett in SWEENEY TODD with Augusta Opera, Marcellina in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO with Utah Opera, the title role of Orpheus in Gluck’s ORPHEUS AND EURYDICE with Opera Memphis, Suzuki in MADAMA BUTTERFLY and Meg Page in FALSTAFF for Mercury Opera. In 2014 she was the stepmother in CENDRILLON with Kentucky Opera. She also appeared as Despina in Opera Saratoga’s COSI FAN TUTTE in 2013- celebrating her opera debut in the role 30 years ago in NYC.

Kathryn Cowdrick currently serves a Professor of Voice at the Eastman School of Music, where she teaches voice and pedagogy.