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Kristi Whitten

Kristi Whitten

Dr. Kristi Whitten, Professor of Music, joined the Belmont University School of Music Classical Voice Faculty in the fall of 2001.  She earned her Master of Music and her Doctor of Music in Vocal Performance and Literature with minors in Musicology and Speech and Hearing Sciences at Indiana University where she studied under the direction of the renowned Romanian soprano, Virginia Zeani, and with Kammersingerin, Patricia Wise.  She holds the Bachelor of Music from Belmont University. Prior to joining the Belmont faculty she served as Assistant Professor of Voice and Assistant to the Vocal Department Coordinator at Brevard College where she taught applied classical voice, vocal diction, and opera workshop.  At Belmont Dr. Whitten previously served as Coordinator of the Graduate Vocal Pedagogy area, Vocal Arts Laboratory, and the Summer Vocal Pedagogy and Performance Workshop.  She has taught Graduate French and Italian Song Literature and teaches applied Classical Voice to a full studio of undergraduate and graduate students.  She also serves as the Music and Artistic director of the Belmont Opera Theatre Program.  During the fourteen years under her direction, the Belmont Opera Theatre has presented such works as Le Nozze di Figaro, The Merry Widow, The Magic Flute, Dido and Aeneas, Little Women, Suor Angelica, Ballad of Baby Doe, Ruddigore, The Bartered Bride, The Tender Land, Così fan tutte, Cendrillon, The Medium, Help! Help! The Globolinks!, Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Die Fledermaus.  The opera workshop also received the privilege of working on the critical edition score of Rossini’s L’occasione fa il ladro under the guidance of late musicologist and bel canto opera historian, Dr. Philipp Gossett.

Dr. Whitten’s guest clinician work includes masterclasses, choral retreats, and workshops.  She has enjoyed adjudicating for music and vocal competitions such as The Blair School of Music MTNA Voice competition and Concerto Competition, Trevecca Nazarene Aria Competition, and the Schmidt competition.  She has also had the honor of serving on the 50th National NATS Convention Committee in Nashville.   

As a performer her past repertoire includes various roles from the Baroque, Classical, and Bel Canto operas such as Pamina in The Magic Flute, Silvia in Haydn’s L’isola disabitata, Isifile in Cavalli’s Il Giasone, Venus in John Blow’s Venus and Adonis, Norina in Don Pasquale, and Nanetta in Falstaff. Her choral and concert soprano solo appearances regionally and in Nashville have included the Mozart Requiem; Mass for the Children by John Rutter; Rejoice in the Lamb by Benjamin Britten; Elijah, Felix Mendelsohnn: Passio Secundum Joannem and Magnificat, J.S. Bach; Gloria, Antonio Vivaldi; Haydn’s Missa Brevis No. 7 in B-flat: and the Rutter Requiem.  Dr. Whitten has enjoyed contributing as performing faculty with occasional performances on the Faculty Concert Series, as well as appearances with the Belmont Camerata.  These appearances are representative of her immense love of art song and thematic material and programming.  She has also appeared with regional opera groups such as the Asheville Lyric Opera and the ARDO opera of Bloomington, Indiana during its existence.   

Dr. Whitten is highly committed to her students’ preparation, development, and success as young performers, musicians, and educators.  They have excelled as finalists and winners in the NATS Mid-South Regionals, finalists in NATSAA National Finals, and finalists in the Orpheus Vocal Competition and the Metropolitan Opera Competition.  Many of her students are consistently selected for summer music programs and festivals both nationally and internationally and have gone on to prestigious graduate programs at New England Conservatory, Indiana University, Northwestern Beinen School of Music, Eastman School of Music, and others.  She has also had the privilege of teaching many of Belmont’s Nashville Opera Association Fellows and preparing them for young artist development.