CATSKILL- “When I graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2020,” says Rachel Wagman, “all my final performances and graduation were cancelled.” The promising young opera singer had no opportunities, no video footage. “I basically got thrown out into the pandemic world. There was absolutely nothing for me career-wise.”
And so, she headed home to Catskill, NY where she’s been for the past two years.
But things are looking up. On Sunday, November 20th, the operatic soprano will be performing selections including Strauss, Mozart, Puccini, Duparc, Debussy, Stravinsky and more. The live concert is a benefit for Temple Israel of Catskill and is being held at that location, 220 Spring Street, Catskill, beginning at 3PM. Tickets are $20.00 and should be purchased in advance at www.TempleIsraelofCatskill.org. Click here.
“I’ve certainly had a lot of time to think about what my next step should be,” she says. “How I can make my dreams reality.” Her decision? To apply to The Berlin Opera Academy. “It’s the capital of opera,” she adds. “It offers the most opportunity for singers. And, I love that I can combine my career and my love for travel, theater and music. I hope to sing at opera companies all over the world.”
She will be applying in December for the 2023 Summer program and, if all goes well, Wagman will be speaking rudimentary German by June. (The school offers language classes each morning prior to the musical curriculum.)
In the meantime, the 25-year-old continues to study with her voice teacher of almost 15 years, Kinderhook resident and singer, Amanda Boyd. In spite of the dearth of performance opportunities, having two years of intense training has helped develop and strengthen her voice. “It’s been wonderful to realize how much I’ve grown as a singer during this down time.”
All that quiet reflection is about to end. With a concert scheduled and Germany looming in her future, the soprano anticipates making her postponed dreams a reality.
Rachel Wagman will be performing in concert on Sunday, November 20th at 3PM. Tickets are $20.00 each. The performance takes place at Temple Israel of Catskill 220 Spring Street, Catskill, NY. For more information and to hear Rachel in rehearsal, go to www.TempleIsraelofCatskill.org.