At a conservatory, you can get too hemmed in. Here, you have the opportunity to continue your love of music or discover talents you may not have even known you possessed.

Emily Martin

As a performer, Professor Emily Martin, music, has sung at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, and worked with the Santa Fe Opera and Chautauqua Opera. As a faculty member, she strives to make opera accessible to the campus and community — from the Weis Center for the Performing Arts to local elementary schools.

"We're going to honor the company's 25-year history," says Martin, a soprano who teaches voice and directs the Bucknell Opera Company. "But in addition to opera, we'll now be performing more musical theater, cabaret and jazz."She encourages her students to explore a wide range of musical genres. "Music classes at Bucknell are open to anyone who can read music," she says. "That's the beauty of a liberal arts education. At a conservatory, you can get too hemmed in. Here, you have the opportunity to continue your love of music or discover talents you may not have even known you possessed."

Under Martin's direction, the company has performed a variety of operas and musicals including Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, Mozart's The Magic Flute, Sondheim's Company and an original piece titled The Ghosts of Monticello, based on a libretto by Professor Carmen Gillespie, English.

Outreach is important to Martin, who recently received a grant from the Pennsylvania Council for the Arts to help her bring music to the local community. She teamed up with Professor Kim Councill, who coordinates the music education program at Bucknell, to place voice students in local public schools. "We wanted to make opera less intimidating," Martin explains. "We ended up showing them it's fun."

Martin also partnered with the film & media studies program to promote a showing of the film version of Offenbach's The Tales of Hoffmann. Her students sang excerpts from the opera in the Bucknell Barnes & Noble Bookstore just prior to the screening across the street at the Campus Theatre. "We hope our music touches the whole community," she says.

Posted Oct. 7, 2015

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