Johanna Dordick
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A Return to Opera

"Only in men's imagination does every truth find
an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination,
not invention, is the supreme master of art, as of life."
~Joseph Conrad

Johanna gradually started coaching with Fritz Zweig, the great German conductor; she took classes at UCLA, then began working with Dr. Jan Popper in his Opera program at UCLA. She traveled weekly for voice lessons with Metropolitan Opera baritone Martial Singher at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. During that period, tenor Tom Moser, who later gained great fame in Europe, was accompanist for her sessions.

Johanna learned many roles, and sang an occasional performance. But now it was always opera and concert music. Her roles included Aida, the Leonoras in II Trovatore and La Forza del Destino, Tosca, Manon Lescaut, Desdemona in Otello, Maddalena in Andrea Chenier, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Ariadne, and numerous arias, duets and art songs. This music was the fullest expression of her heart and soul.

When Dordick appeared as soloist for the William Hall Chorale's West Coast premiere of Mahler's Das Klagende Lied, LA Times music critic, Martin Bernheimer praised Dordick saying she "revealed an exceptionally gleaming, lustrous top, and a ravishing pianissimo," and later suggested to her that she would be an excellent Norma. At the same time, all her teachers were encouraging her to go to Europe.

She made several trips, coached, studied, saw performances in all the great houses, and met numerous respected opera figures who shared with her their knowledge of opera and production. She was offered a Turandot and a Senta, roles she felt were too heavy for her voice. She was torn. As much as she loved the music, how could she possibly leave her family to follow her heart? She was already in her 40s. Those precious years she spent in show business were now behind her. Realizing it was too late for herself, she thought of the many gifted young singers who also dreamed of a career in opera.

Surely there had to be a way to serve the music she so loved, and to also help the younger singers fulfill their dreams. And wasn't it time Los Angeles finally had an opera company?

Listen to Johanna Dordick Sing

 

Johanna Dordick

Johanna Dordick

Johanna Dordick

Johanna Dordick

 
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