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Dr Tessa Romano

Tessa Romano image

Pūkenga/Lecturer and Head of Voice

AB (Princeton University), Certificate in vocal performance (Princeton University), MMus (University of Michigan), DMA (University of Colorado Boulder), Certificate in College Teaching (University of Colorado Boulder).
Joined the staff in 2019.

Tel +64 3 479 8908
Email tessa.romano@otago.ac.nz

Dr Tessa Romano is an internationally renowned mezzo-soprano, and an internationally published academic on vocal pedagogy. Their research aims to bring a critical decolonizing lens to tertiary voice institutions and repertoire.

Teaching

Performance papers:

MUSI 141 – Vocal Performance 1
MUSI 241 – Vocal Performance 2
MUSI 341 – Vocal Performance 3
MUSI 441 – Vocal Performance 4 (Honours)
MUSI 442 – Repertoire Studies (Vocal Performance)
MMus and DMA in Vocal Performance

Other papers:

MUSI 249/349 – Contemporary Vocal Pedagogy
MUSI 371/471 – Research Methods and Approaches
MUSI 375/475 – Studio Teaching Pedagogy
ENGL 219 – Poetry and Music

Supervision

  • Olivia Pike, MMus, “The Contextualisation of Technical Demands: A Maturing Lyric Soprano’s First Encounter with Verismo and Slavic Repertoire”
  • Rhiannon Cooper, MMus, “Creating a Versatile Voice: An evaluation of the pedagogical techniques required for a singer to work in both a solo and ensemble environment”
  • Scott Bezett, MMus, “A Singer Prepares: An Interdisciplinary Assessment of the Use of Stanislavski’s Systems in a Singer’s Preparation of Song Cycles”
  • Anna Leese, DMA, “The Collaborative Process: Working with New Zealand Composers to Create Song(s) and Opera Repertoire for the Lyric Soprano Voice”

Research

Dr Tessa Romano has performed with orchestras from across the globe, including the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, Hartford Symphony, Sound Symphony, and the American Handel Society. They have held opera fellowships at the Aspen Opera Centre and the University of Colorado New Opera Workshop. Past awards include First Place in the Florida Grieg Voice Competition, Winner of the Art of Art Song Competition, and Winner of the Franco-American Vocal Association’s Grand Concours Prize. For an extended bio, please see their artist website:

www.tessaromano.com

Research expertise

  • Decolonising Vocal Pedagogy
  • Vocal Pedagogy and Technique
  • Comparative Western Vocal Technique (Operatic, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Pop)
  • Transgender and Gender Queer Voice
  • Hindustani (North Indian) and Carnatic (South Indian) Classical Voice
  • Norwegian Art and Folk Song
  • WWII Jewish Italian Art Song Composers
  • Early Jewish Italian Music History
  • Italian Language and Literature

Research output selections

  1. She Sings: Songs of Truth, Hope & Joy” with the Octagon Ensemble in March of 2021. The Octagon Ensemble is Dunedin’s premiere small vocal ensemble, which Dr Tessa Romano founded with John Buchanan in 2020. This particular programme featured exclusively female-identifying singers performing works exclusively by female-identifying composers. One such work included Dame Gillian Whitehead’s “Almost an Island” sung by Tessa Romano with Sharon McLennan on piano.
  2. The premiere of The Turning Wheel composed for Tessa Romano by Aotearoa NZ composer Jeremy Woodside to text by Ruth Dallas.
  3. Deux stèles orientées by Jacques Ibert performed with flutist Elisa Muzzillo.
  4. Mirabai Songs by John Harbison organized and performed at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2018.
  5. Je te veux” by Erik Satie performed in concert at the Aspen Music Festival in 2016.

Distinctions

  • 2018: University of Colorado Boulder Certificate of Excellence for outstanding performance and lasting contribution as a Lead Teaching Assistant
  • 2017: University of Colorado Boulder Best Should Teach Silver Award
  • 2017: University of Colorado Boulder Excellence in Graduate Teacher Leadership
  • 2016: University of Colorado Boulder Best Should Teach Silver Award
  • 2016: University of Colorado Boulder NORIS Graduate Student Award
  • 2016: University of Colorado Boulder Louis & Harold Price Foundation Scholarship
  • 2016: Mu Phi Epsilon Music Fraternity Sarah Eikenberry Scholarship for a mezzo-soprano excelling in graduate work
  • 2016: Mu Phi Epsilon Excellence in Performance
  • 2016: Great Composers Competition Art of the Art Song Winner
  • 2015: Civic Morning Musicals Young Artist Competition Finalist
  • 2015: Edvard Grieg Society of America, Inc. Florida Grieg Competition Voice Division Winner
  • 2015: Fulbright Performing Arts Scholarship Finalist
  • 2014: Franco-American Vocal Academy Grand Concours Prize Winner
  • 2013: Princeton University Isidore and Helen Sacks Memorial Prize for excellence in music performance

Doctoral dissertation

Romano, T (2018). The Singing Voice During the First Two Years of Testosterone Therapy: Working with the Trans or Gender Queer Voice. University of Colorado, Voice and Opera Graduate Theses & Dissertations

Conference Contributions

  1. Romano, Tessa M (panel member), ‘Obtaining a Tenure-Track Academic Position.’ Spring Workshop Series, Center for Teaching & Learning, University of Colorado Boulder, February 16, 2021.
  2. Romano, Tessa M (poster presentation), ‘The Variegated Effects of Testosterone Therapy on the Voice of Singers Assigned Female at Birth & Differentiation by Type of Administration.’ The Fall Voice Conference, Virtual, October 23, 2020.
  3. Romano, Tessa M (featured presenter), ‘Testosterone Therapy and the Voice: Working with Transgender Singers During the First Two Years of Testosterone Therapy.’ New Zealand Association of Teachers of Singing Virtual Workshop Series, May 10, 2019.
  4. Romano, Tessa M (featured presenter), ‘Including Trans* Folx: Opera as a Precedence for Acceptance.’ NZ Musicology Conference, University of Auckland, December 1, 2019.
  5. Romano, Tessa M, ‘Better Serving Our Trans* Students: A Look at Gender and the Voice.’ International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Document Centres New Zealand National Conference, University of Otago, November 2019.
  6. Romano, Tessa M, ‘Vocal Health for the University Singer.’ Princeton University Voice Day, Princeton University, April 2019.
  7. Romano, Tessa M, ‘Graduate School and Mental Health.’ Graduate Teacher Program Friday Forum Series, University of Colorado Boulder, April 2018.
  8. Romano, Tessa M and Bullington, S, ‘Gender and the Voice.’ University of Colorado Voice Department Friday Speaker Series, April 2018.
  9. Romano, Tessa M, ‘The Effects of Testosterone Therapy on the Voice.’ TRANSforming Gender Conference, University of Colorado Boulder, March 2018.
  10. Romano, Tessa M ‘Gender and the Voice.’ Graduate Teacher Program Spring Conference Ignite Session, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, February 2018.
  11. Romano, Tessa M, ‘Teaching and Vocal Health.’ Graduate Teacher Program Music-Specific Lecture Series, University of Colorado Boulder, February 2017.
  12. Romano, Tessa M (panel member), ‘Evaluating Creative Work.’ Graduate Teacher Program Fall Intensive, University of Colorado Boulder, September 2016 and 2017.

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Publications

Romano, T. (2022). Types of testosterone therapy and their effects on the voices of transgender singes. Journal of Singing, 78(3), 327-336. doi: 10.53830/GFWW5031

Dennis, T. (performer), McGrath, T. (performer), Romano, T. (performer), & Ritchie, A. (performer) (2021, 1 December). John Ritchie at 100: A memorial concert, music by alumnus, John Ritchie and musical decidations by Philip Norman, Ken Young, Anthony Ritchie, Julie Johnson and William Green, Marama Hall, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Romano, T. (mezzo) (2021, 24 January). 6:24 Voices of Aotearoa Performance, New Zealand Opera, Auckland, New Zealand. [Performance].

Romano, T. (performer) (2021, 6 November). Verb Readers & Writers Festival: Eighth Annual LitCrawl: Silence Is..., St Peter's on Willis, Wellington, New Zealand. [Performance].

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2021, 14 May). New Zealand Music Month Recital: The Turning Wheel with Tessa Romano & Jeremy Woodside, including works by Woodside, Whitehead, Freed, McLeod, Lang and Korngold, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Romano, T. (2022). Types of testosterone therapy and their effects on the voices of transgender singes. Journal of Singing, 78(3), 327-336. doi: 10.53830/GFWW5031

Journal - Research Article

Dennis, T. (performer), McGrath, T. (performer), Romano, T. (performer), & Ritchie, A. (performer) (2021, 1 December). John Ritchie at 100: A memorial concert, music by alumnus, John Ritchie and musical decidations by Philip Norman, Ken Young, Anthony Ritchie, Julie Johnson and William Green, Marama Hall, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Kapohe, D. W. (soprano), Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), McCormick, A. (vocalist), Thompson-Holloway, H. (vocalist), du Plessis, H. (cello), Dennis, T. (piano), & McGrath, T. (piano) (2021, 11 August). Music Programme Showcase: From Bach to Broadway, with classical and contemporary staff of the School of Performing Arts, works by Bach, Buchanan, Délibes, Bizet-Hammerstein, Mitchell, Bareilles, Brown, Wright/Frankel/Korie, and Sondheim, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (artistic advisor, vocal coach, alto) (2021, 18 July). Octagon Ensemble: Winter Song, performing works by Bach, Cesis, Daley, des Prez, Monteverdi, Shaw and a world premier by Friesen, St. Paul's Catherdral, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (artistic advisor, vocal coach, alto) (2021, 7 March). Octagon Ensemble: She Sings: Songs of Truth, Hope and Joy, performing compositions by women composers, including New Zealand composers Buchanan, Elliot, Holmes and Whitehead, Knox Church, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo soprano) (2021, 12 May). Music Programme Showcase: New Zealand Music Month Concert, a programme of new music including Jeremy Woodside's The Turning Wheel and works by Young, Monteath and McIndoe, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo) (2021, 24 January). 6:24 Voices of Aotearoa Performance, New Zealand Opera, Auckland, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2021, 14 May). New Zealand Music Month Recital: The Turning Wheel with Tessa Romano & Jeremy Woodside, including works by Woodside, Whitehead, Freed, McLeod, Lang and Korngold, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2021, 16 June). CBS Music: Wednesdays at One: Tessa Romano & Jeremy Woodside, including works by Lang, Korngold, Whitehead, McLeod and Woodside, Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Christchurch, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2021, 29 May). City Choir Dunedin: Applaud! Women in Music, Knox Church, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), & Dennis, T. (piano) (2021, 22 September). Music Programme Showcase: Meet the Mozart Fellow: Kenneth Young, in conversazione format, with School of Performing Arts staff, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), & Dennis, T. (piano) (2021, 28 July). Music Programme Showcase: Spain in View, a programme of music from Spain, Portugal and Central and South America, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), & McGrath, T. (piano) (2021, 17th April). Dunedin Arts Festival: Olveston at Six: Fanny and Felix, works by Mendelssohn-Hensel and Mendelssohn, Olveston Historic Home, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), & Petersen, T. (concertmaster, violin) (2021, 3, 4 July). Dunedin Symphony Orchestra: Songs and Serenades, including works by Elgar, Mozart, Copland and Schubert, Kings and Queen's Performing Arts Centre, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2021, 6 November). Verb Readers & Writers Festival: Eighth Annual LitCrawl: Silence Is..., St Peter's on Willis, Wellington, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (alto, artistic advisor, vocal coach) (2020, 11, 12 July). Octagon Ensemble: Unlocked, performing works by Britten, Esenvelds, Purcell, Gesueldo, Briggs, Forrest, Childcott/U2, and Powell, including the world premiere of an S. Wellington piece, First Church, Knox Church, Invercargill, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (alto, artistic advisor, vocal coach) (2020, 29 February, 1 March). Octagon Ensemble: Beginnings, performing works by Monteverdi, von Bingen, Biebi, Poulenc, Chilcott, Gjeilo, Ramsey, Hagen and Laurenson, First Church, Knox Church, Invercargill, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (artistic advisor, vocal coach, alto) (2020, 14, 15 November). Octagon Ensemble: A Rose Sprung Forth, performing works including Hymns to the Mother of the God (Pārt, Dett, Tavener & Britten), Haydn, Brahms, Ritchie, and Hamilton, First Church, St. Paul's Cathedral, Invercargill, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), & Dennis, T. (piano) (2020, 18 March). Music Programme Showcase Series, premiere of S. Wellington (USA) "Beholden", and works by Copland, Barber and Harris, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), & Dennis, T. (piano) (2020, 22 July). Music Programme Showcase Series: French Cleopatras, works by Massenet, Debussy, and Berlioz, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), Manghi, L. (flute), & Lardelli, D. (guitar) (2020, 8,15 March). Canti di Consolzaione, A concert series hosted by The Italian Embassy in Wellington, performing works by Monteverdi, Gendall, Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Berio, Lardelli, Bo, da Milano, Montari, and Alici, The Philip Carter Family Concert Hall, St. Luke's Church, Christchurch, Auckland, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (script writer, cast member) (2020, 20, 21 November). Opera Otago: The baritone must die: A notflix original, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (alto) (2019, 10 December). Handel's Messiah, with the City Choir Dunedin and the Dunedin Symphony Orchestra, Dunedin Town Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo soprano), Ritchie, A. (piano), Petersen, T. (violin), du Plessis, H. (cello), Dennis, T. (piano), & McGrath, T. (piano) (2019, 29 September). Philip Neill Memorial Prize in Music Concert, works by Lilburn, Ritchie, Adams, Buchanan, Holmes, Varaine, Mayall, and Newall, St Paul's Cathedral, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2019, 16-17 December). Handel's Messiah, with Auckland Choral & Pipers Sinfonia, Auckland Town Hall, Auckland, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2019, 17 February). Tessa Romano '13, works by Ibert, Vyas, Spillman, Roussel, and Heggie, Taplin Auditorium, Fine Hall, Princeton, NJ. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2019, 2 April). ENAensemble: Serial Opera Project, works by Bach, Villa-Lobos, Ibert, Spillman, Williams, and Crawford, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2019, 26 March). Recital: Tessa Romano, Reynolds Recital Hall, Bozeman, MT. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2019, May 19). A Journey of Self-Discovery [Church of the Redeemer Concert Series], works by Grieg, Poulenc, and Harbison, Church of the Redeemer, Astoria, NY. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), & Dennis, T. (piano) (2019, 22 February). In Recital, works by Mozart, Poulenc, Grieg, Harbison, and Malloy, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano), & Dennis, T. (piano) (2019, 8 September). Inaugural Recital: Tessa Romano, works by Grieg, Poulenc, Harbison, Harris, and Berlioz, Marama Hall, Dunedin, New Zealand. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (soloist, mezzo-soprano) (2019, 7 June). Memorial Concert, works by Franck, Caccini, Beethoven, and Mahler, Infant Jesus Chapel, St. Charles Hospital, Port Jefferson, NY. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (soprano) (2019, 9 June). Sound Symphony Orchestra, with works by Beethoven, Mahler, and Franck, Comsewogue High School, Port Jefferson, NY. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo soprano, alto) (2018, 16-17 March). Spectral Landscape: A Multimedia Concert by Zachary Patten, Black Box Theatre, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2018, 12 April). Tessa Romano [Doctor of Musical Arts recital], including works by Fukai, Berlioz, Ibert, and Harbison, Grusin Music Hall, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (mezzo-soprano) (2018, 28 February). Pendulum New Music, works by Patten, Villwock, Wellington, and Winters, Black Box Theater, ATLAS Institute, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2017, 14 April). Voice Area Special Event: Master Class with Michelle DeYoung, works by Barber, Mozart, Guridi, Lehár, Berg, Griffes,, Grusin Music Hall, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2017, 14 February). Maria Kurchevskaya, Piano [Doctor of Musical Arts recital], works by Santoliquido, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Dvořák, Brahms, Grusin Music Hall, Imig Music Building, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2017, 17 June). CU New Opera Workshop, works by Specht, Allen, Olson, and Wellington, ATLAS Black Box Theater, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2017, 25 February). Ben Sieben, Collaborative Piano [Master of Music recital], works by Schumann, Poulenc, Webbon, Corea, Beethoven, Grusin Music Hall, Imig Music Building, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2017, 5 February). Deborah Hui, Piano [Doctor of Musical Arts recital], works by Ives, Barber, and Crumb, Grusin Music Hall, Imig Music Building, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2016, 11, 13 March). Eklund Opera Program: Dialogues of the Carmelites, by Francis Poulenc, Macky Auditorium, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2016, 14 November). Tessa Romano, Mezzo-Soprano [Doctor of Musical Arts recital], works by Backer-Grøndahl, Tveitt, and Grieg with Deborah Hui, piano, Chamber Hall, Imig Music Building, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2016, 18 March). Ben Sieben, Collaborative Piano [Master of Music recital], works by Dutilleux, Barber, Debussey, and Beethoven, Chamber Hall, Imig Music Building, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2016, 23 July). Aspen Music Festival and School, works by Nicolai, Mozart, Sondheim, and Verdi, Wheeler Opera House, Aspen, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2016, 30 November). Robert Hjelmstad, Piano [Doctor of Musical Arts recital], works by Hindemith, The Academy, College of Music, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2016, 5 April). Mina Gajic, Piano [Doctor of Musical Arts recital], works by Brahms, Chamber Hall, Imig Music Building, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2016, 6 April). Pendulum New Music, featuring world premieres by Goodison, Merz, Spect, and Mehlenbacher, Grusin Music Hall, Imig College of Music, Boulder, CO. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (performer) (2016, 6 November). Live! At the Everson: A Centennial Celebration! Helen Boatwright, works by Boatwright, Ives, Beethoven, and Schubert, Hosmer Auditorium, Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY. [Performance].

Performance

Romano, T. (2015, 13 April). Tessa Romano, Mezzo-Soprano [Master of Music recital], works by Ravel, folk songs, Haas, Harbison, and Thyagaraja, Stamps Auditorium, Walgreen Drama Center, Ann Arbor, MI. [Performance].

Performance

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