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Kirk A. Severtson

Kirk A. Severtson

Title: Professor: Vocal Coach/Conductor Opera Orchestra/Chair of Music Theory, History & Composition Department
Department: Crane School of Music
Phone: (315) 267-2427
E-mail: severtki@potsdam.edu
Office: Bishop Hall C106

Kirk Severtson (Conductor/Vocal Coach) serves as musical director of the Crane Opera Ensemble, coaches singers and pianists, and teaches classes in art song repertoire and accompanying. Recent performances of the Crane Opera Ensemble under his musical direction have garnered numerous first-place awards from the National Opera Association and The American Prize, as well as honors from the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival. He is actively involved in the steering committee and as music director for the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize which in November 2018 premiered Tom Cipullo's work MAYO.

His professional operatic activity has included serving on the music staff for numerous recent productions at The Dallas Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Atlanta Opera, and Opera Saratoga, including three notable world premieres in Dallas: GREAT SCOTT by Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally, and BECOMING SANTA CLAUS by Mark Adamo, and EVEREST by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer (for all of which he also played in the orchestra). He has conducted at the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival and coached at Opera Viva (Verona, Italy), the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, Opera North (NH), the Opera Theater of Lucca (Italy), the Cincinnati Opera outreach program, the Rising Star Singers festival, Dorian Opera Theater, and as a Vocal Chamber Music Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival.

A versatile collaborative artist, he appears frequently as pianist and harpsichordist in song and chamber music recitals, and as principal keyboardist with the Orchestra of Northern New York. He served six years as chair of the Music Performance Department at Crane and continues to work actively with the National Opera Association, serving as Associate Executive Director. He holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati (D.M.A. and M.M., both in piano performance) and Luther College (B.A. with majors in music, math, and computer science).