An Oral History of Central Pennsylvania Opera Singers, Their Role Preparation, Performance Technique, and Local Influences

by Olivia Ober

Oral history collections and personal stories of opera singers who are involved in Opera Lancaster were found and recorded with the ultimate goals of preserving the methods, performance techniques and influences of central Pennsylvania performers. In this research, both personal and performance histories, as well as the techniques and preparation methods of each performer, were documented. A particular emphasis was placed on how performance has shaped performers’ lives. Before interpreting the interviews, a general understanding of musical knowledge in regards to preparation was needed. Since each performer belongs to a local opera company (Opera Lancaster), an understanding of the latter and their role was critical in formulating three sets of interview questions. The first set focused on early career, influences, and education. The next set of questions focused on “Performance Practices Versus Performance Analysis” and “Singing style.” Lastly, a set of questions was geared towards reflection of their lives and choices.

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About Olivia Ober


Olivia Ober is a Junior Vocal Performance Major at Millersville University. Olivia has performed both locally and internationally, and has won several prestigious vocal awards including first place at the National Association of Teachers of Singing district competition, and being the first recipient of the Opera Lancaster student scholarship. Olivia is a member of Opera Lancaster, and has been featured in several fund raising concerts, as well as their production of Don Pasquale. Olivia is also a member of the Millersville Research Fellows, and is the founder and president of the Music Performance Association at Millersville University.

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