Gifted soprano graces Central Pennsylvania stages

Dorea Schmidt ′09
Theatre major

Theatre major Dorea Schmidt ′09 is willing to take risks.  Extending her love for music and acting beyond roles such as Luisa, the leading role in Open Stage Harrisburg’s regional production of The Fantasticks (“Schmidt’s crystal-clear voice transports you …” Patriot News, April 2007), and Juliet in Messiah College’s 2007 production of Romeo and Juliet, she’s also stepping on stage to perform opera.

“Performance is a gift of the self; it requires vulnerability, which is scary,” says Schmidt, a gifted soprano. “Damian Savarino [senior lecturer in voice] helped me overcome my fears, to trust my voice, by providing a caring and constructive environment. He always shows an interest in what I’m doing and how I can stretch myself.”

Schmidt’s emotive and sparkling soprano voice transitions beautifully to any form-dramatic, comedic, or operatic. This spring she adds Samuel Barber’s one-act opera, The Old Maid and the Thief to her broad repertoire of theatrical and musical achievements. Schmidt has also performed masterfully for Messiah audiences in Noel Coward’s popular comedy Blithe Spirit (2007) and Anton Chekov’s humorous and heartbreaking Three Sisters (2008).

This November, Schmidt wrote and performed Journey of an Artist, a collection of monologues and songs depicting her relationship with theatre throughout her years at Messiah College. Schmidt intentionally placed audience members onstage, creating a dynamic exchange between actor and observer. “Theatre is a live art form, a give and take between actor and audience member,” she says in intense, hushed tones. “By telling stories of human interaction, theatre brings us closer to the truth about who we are and how we engage others.”

Each role yields further professional growth for Schmidt, who plans to audition for Yale’s graduate theatre program this January. But she also sees her experiences as a process of spiritual growth. “I’m astounded by the reality and vastness of grace and want to bring that into everything I do, including encouraging others.”

UPDATE, Jan 12, 2009:  The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra has contracted Dorea to perform the role of “Leila” in their concert production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s time-honored classic Iolanthe, a comic opera about an exiled fairy.

Posted in 2009, Arts, Theatre | 1 Comment »

Posted on January 8th, 2009

One Response to “Gifted soprano graces Central Pennsylvania stages”

  1. Messiah College: Messiah News - Messiah Homepage News Archive » Student selected to sing with Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra Says:

    […] Read a recent profile of Schmidt. […]


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