Peter Furlong (Master of Music, Vocal Performance) studied at Hartt from 1993 to 1995. He is currently living in Berlin, Germany.
What have you been up to since you graduated from Hartt?
Hoo, boy. That’s a long one (which means it’s been a long time). Right after graduating from Hartt, I was an apprentice at The Santa Fe Opera (for whose audition I sacrificed a vocal jury at Hartt) for two summers. From there I was a Young Artist at Opera Colorado for three seasons and was eventually asked back to sing as a MainStage artist by none other than Maestro Julius Rudel. From Denver, I moved to NYC where I sang with Dicapo Opera and I received my three NY Times reviews (all positive, thankfully) during a ten-year period of being a guest artist there. I also sang with other companies around the US (Opera Colorado, Fort Worth Opera). Then I moved to Dortmund, Germany to sing a one-year fest contract. From there I called Italy home for almost ten years while I sang in Italy, Scotland, NYC, Portugal, Ireland, Spain, and Berlin (where I reside, now). It’s not all been fun and games, though. There was a two year hiatus to deal with acid reflux which had been making singing impossible and threatening to end my career, and a recent Fach change from lyric tenor to Heldentenor took me out of the performance business for a year to learn a lot of new repertoire.
What are you involved with right now?
Right now, I am co-producing a concert with my wife (soprano Julie Wyma) called Lovers’ Quarrels: Arias and Duets from the dysfunctional world of opera, which we are performing in Niemegk, Germany (Berlin/Brandenburg) on March 27th, and in Concord, NH on April 8th as part of the Walker Lecture Series (free admission).
After that, I am very excited to be singing my first Max in Der Freischütz at Kloster Chorin (Chorin Cloister) near Berlin June 6, 7, and 13.
Then it’s back to the USA to another co-production concert this time called Three Tenors and a Soprano which will be July 23rd as part of the Summer Music Associates concerts in New London, NH.
In addition to the above, I am also a founding member of a group of opera singers here in Berlin called Voci Inglesi. We are a group of classically trained, English speaking singers who are bringing high-quality, English-language opera and art song to European audiences. Our inaugural season begins this July, 2015.
What is one of your most memorable things about your time at Hartt?
I would have to say the friendships I made, which continue to this day, working at the music library with so many people there who had so much knowledge, some great teachers – namely Dr. Wilheim, Jerome Pruett, Dr. Sherry Overholt, Jack and Joyce Zei, Ron Luchsinger, and Anthony Rauche (who taught me to enjoy Schenkerian Analysis).
What did you learn during your time at Hartt that you did not appreciate or recognize until after time passed and you had some time to reflect?
I feel that what I did not appreciate enough (or put in a better way, realize how much I appreciated it) was the friendship and camaraderie that was ever present at Hartt. These were smart, intelligent, and hugely talented people who were as passionate about music as I was, if not more so. The conversations, debates, and just all around wonderful times I had with everyone I had the pleasure to share that slice of time with are things that I continue to look back on with a mix of nostalgia and pure joy for having experienced it. So much of my adult life is spent explaining my passion to those who don’t quite understand why I have chosen this insanity. At Hartt, there was none of that. It was understood why we were there and, even though I did not always have the most open reception by the faculty, my fellow students never questioned my commitment and were always there to support not only me (sometimes in ways I had not even expected), but each other. And for that, I am eternally grateful.
What is next for you?
In addition to singing Max and the concerts and Voci Inglesi, I’ve just signed on with a new American Management (Mia Artist Management) and now seeing life as a Heldentenor, there are some more opportunities coming down the pipeline. The future looks bright.
If you want people to get in touch, how can they do so?
You know, in the usual way. My website is here, FB professional site is here, and there’s email here. Carrier pigeons that can travel the Atlantic are also welcome! I would love to hear from alumni.