Alum in the spotlight
This past summer, Towson alum Corinne Winters returned to the East Coast under a new alias, Violetta.
As one of the youngest opera singers to perform this role in the well-known opera “La Traviata,” Winters said she was glad to finally perform with the Wolf Trap Opera Company so close to her home.
“It was really great to have all my family there because they normally have to fly to see me,” Winters said. “I am from Frederick, Md. so that was really nice and a lot of my high school friends and college friends and everybody were able to come out and see the show.”
Though a 2005 graduate, Winters first attended the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill to major in music, but transferred after receiving a scholarship for studying music from Towson University.
“I knew I would get a good, rounded education because they had a good music program and a solid Liberal Arts program,” Winters said.
While at Towson, she looked at many different majors, including psychology and deaf studies, but continued to pursue music. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, she then chose to continue her education at the Peabody Conservatory of John Hopkins University and the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
As a former student at Towson, Winters attributes many of her successes to the time she spent and the work she did while as a student. Her favorite memory of college was the art history class she attended, which was taught by Professor Carl Schmidt.
“It was the toughest class I’d ever been in, but I learned so much, and it really prepared me for my career,” Winters said. “In fact, I saved some of the essays and reports that I wrote for that class because they really helped me in studying for my roles.”
While at Towson, she also met her friend and mentor Jason Ferrante. When they met, Winters was a mezzo-soprano, a lower voice type than she is now, and after hearing her sing, Ferrante suggested that she should instead be a soprano.
“He wasn’t my voice teacher but he kind of put the spot in my head that maybe I should switch voice types, so I ended up working with my teacher on a repertoire that fit and that ended up being the path with which I have taken for my career,” Winters said.
Her performance of “La Traviata” this past year at the English National Opera was her first international gig. She said she considers this to be her favorite performance thus far.
“The public in London just welcomed me with open arms, they were so kind and I felt so much love that night and it really changed my career,” Winters said.
Traveling has become a large part of Winter’s life and currently she is in Louisville, Ky. with the Kentucky Opera preparing for her part in “La Bohéme” as Mimi. Although she loves traveling and seeing new places, Winters said that it is still hard to be away from home for a long time. She will be returning to the area however in March 2014 with the Washington Chorus at the Kennedy Center in D.C.
Winters said that she feels so blessed and lucky that she gets to do what she loves not just for fun but also as a career, and enjoys living her passion everyday studying music and her characters and immersing herself in the world.
“I want to show people that you can make a difference in the arts,” Winters said. “Art is what keeps a society going, even through war, depressions, or an economic crisis, people still go to the theater or the opera because the arts is what binds us together.”