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Martha Herr

Martha Herr, soprano, has performed in recitals, operas and recordings in Brazil, the United States and Europe as soloist and as a member of several chamber groups.  Her performance specialties include contemporary and Brazilian music. 

Her extensive list of artistic premiers include Morton Feldman’s opera Neither (Rome Opera) and John Cage’s EUROPERA V (No. American New Music Festival – recorded for Mode Records) as well as four Brazilian operas.  Her many recordings include the “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5” by Heitor Villa-Lobos with the Rio Cello Ensemble, songs by Virgil Thomson and many works by contemporary Brazilian composers.  In 2005, she participated in the first Brazilian production of Wagner’s Ring during the IX Festival de Amazonas in Manaus and in 2006 she premiered in the title role of the opera OLGA by Brazilian composer Jorge Antunes. She has received several awards for her work as a performer in Brazil.  In June of 2012, she participated in the New Opera Days Ostrava festival in the Czech Republic, performing Cage’s EUROPERA V.

With a DMA from Michigan State University and defense of a post-doctoral thesis at the State University of São Paulo (UNESP) on the performance of contemporary Brazilian music, she is coordinator of the voice area at UNESP (where she teaches on the graduate and undergraduate levels). In 2005, she organized the 4th Brazilian Vocal Encounter to promote the establishment of norms for lyric diction of Brazilian Portuguese.  After working extensively with colleagues from many universities, these norms have been published in Portuguese and, in November, 2008, in the Journal of Singing in English.  In 2009 she participated in the Symposium on the Pronunciation of European Portuguese for Singing, representing Brazil in that meeting, and was on the organizing committee for the congress The Portuguese Language in Music, held in Lisbon in 2012. 

During the spring semester of 2012, she was a visiting professor at Bennington College in Vermont.