DEIRDRE LOBO, Lirico Spinto Soprano
Vocal Consultant / Coach
Artistic Director / Founder - Celia Lobo Academy of Voice (CLAV)
As a Concert & Solo Artist, I was winner of the GRAND PRIZE in the Fan Faire Foundation Messiah Soloist Competition, San Diego, California (Dec 4, 2011), and SECOND PRIZE in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition, New York (Dec 19, 2011).
I am a versatile artist, and frequently perform as soloist in concert, and in recital internationally as well as in the USA performing repertoire from various genres including: Pop, Broadway, Crossover, Oratorio / Sacred Music, Opera, and Lieder. I am now even considering working on Indipop and Ghazals.
As part of my Oratorio / Sacred Repertoire, I have been privileged to be soloist for the Messiah (Handel), Creation (Haydn), Gloria (Vivaldi), Magnificat (Vivaldi), Christmas Cantata (J.S. Bach), Mass in G (Schubert), Seven Last Words of Christ (Dubois), Ceremony of Carols (Britten), Magnificat (Pergolesi), The Armed Men (Jenkins), Magnificat (J.S. Bach), Mass in C Major (Beethoven), and Requiem (Mozart), among others.
I made my operatic debut playing the role of The Fist Lady in the Magic Flute. Other roles include: The Mother in Hansel and Gretel, and the snake and ower in The Little Prince. I have also covered the role of Amelia in Un Ballo in Maschera. I had to make a call on whether to have an operatic or concert career due to the fact I have a family, and chose the latter and so glad I did!
I have worked with stage directors, opera coaches, and conductors such as Dennis Jackson, Roger Brunyate, Carol Palca, Joann Kulesza, Kathy Cathcart, Richard Harrell, Peter Grunberg, Martin Isepp, Shulamit Hoffman, David Ramadanoff, Dr. Francisco Feliciano, Amelita Guevarra, Ernani Cuenco, just to name a few.
In 1996, I was invited to sing in Sangat an Indian International Music Festival held in Bombay, sponsored by the Mehli Mehta Foundation, and chaired by Zubin Mehta. In the San Francisco Bay Area, I have performed frequently in recital with the Rossmoor Concert Series, Noontime Concerts, Santa Rosa Concert Series, and the Community Music Centre Concert Series.
In 2009, I did a solo concert tour in India with concerts in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune. In Mar 2011 I made my European debut as soloist for the Mozart Requiem in Prague, the Czech Republic, and Dresden, Germany. In Feb 2013, I was invited to do a solo recital at the Monte Music Festival, Goa, INDIA. In May 2014, I sang a solo recital program of mostly Pop, Broadway, Classical, and Crossover repertoire, to a packed audience and standing ovations. In 2016 I was invited to sing a full recital at the Russian Centre, Mumbai, INDIA.
Upcoming concert engagements include:
Solo Concert with the Symphony Orchestra of India Chamber Orchestra, NCPA, Mumbai - April 26, 2018.
As a Vocal Consultant / Coach, I have been teaching voice since 1988. With 25+ years of teaching experience, in 2015 I finally gave up working a day job and dedicated my time to teaching, directing choir and musicals, and performing as a solo artist which I continue to do to this day. In 2015 I founded the Celia Lobo Academy of Voice (CLAV) to carry on the legacy of my mother. We currently have 4 locations, where I teach Group Voice Class and have a curriculum to include Theory, Sight Reading, Drama, Choral Music, Music Analysis, etc.
The Academy focuses on the holistic development of the student. We accept students from the age of 5 years and up. I concentrate on all genres of music to include, Pop, Broadway, Disney, Classical, and Indian Music. I believe students should be versatile and be able to sing anything they want as long as they have vocal technique that is healthy and enables them to sing effortlessly. I also work with students with special needs. Some of these students have performed in my shows and participated in competitions and been finalists.
Some of my students Online as well as in the United States, have performed on Broadway or in major productions. In the United States, Hannah Bautista who has played Ngana in SOUTH PACIFIC, Cosette in LES MISERABLES, to name a few. In India, Tara Sutaria has been host for Disney India, and has also played lead roles in musicals such as GREASE, and recently, Meher Mistry who has played lead roles in plays, and musicals, performed as Belle in India’s Disney production of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.
Another big part of my teaching career is doing voice workshops worldwide for high school, college, and university choirs, dancers, voice teachers, actors, and singers. I regularly conduct voice workshops for singers and teachers, not just in the US but worldwide, and am now expanding my work in the Far East, Middle East, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. I also do speaking workshops for corporate and executives, call centre professionals, etc., helping them with techniques enabling them to speak for long periods of time without hurting their voices.
Thanks to technology, as a follow up program to the workshops I conduct globally, I am now able to teach students online regularly through my Online Voice Studio. I currently serves students in Germany, Hong Kong, Dubai, the UK, and India. Deirdre also builds and oversees Vocal Divisions for dance schools, theatre groups, schools of academia, etc. worldwide. I will soon be starting workshops and group sessions online worldwide.
As Drama Director Deirdre I served Our Lady of Mercy School (OLM), Daly City, California where she worked with students ages 7–16 yrs. At As Drama Director, I have directed Musical Reviews that she envisioned such as DOWN BROADWAY, FROM RAGS TO RICHES, and CASCADES II, GODSPELL JR.
Upcoming productions include:
A MIXED UP FAIRY TALE & CHAOS IN FAIRYTALE FOREST - April 14, & 15, 2018
ALADDIN JR. - May 19 & 20, 2018
As Vocal Director for JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR (2014) in India, I worked with 45 singers and actors initially on Skype for 4 months, and for the first time had the honour of working with Alyque Padamsee, Shiamak Davar, Karla Singh, and Merlin D’Souza.
I continue to do my solo concert career over and above all of this and take care of my mother and mother-in-law who both live with us. I am extremely grateful for the family support that makes this possible without which I would be unable to do so.
I owe my thanks, support, and gratitude to both my parents – THE BEST, one could ever ask for AND to my husband, Neville D'Cunha and son Andre D'Cunha.
"A native of India, I come from an artistic and military background. My father TREVOR LOBO was an army officer, and so as kids we moved from place to place. However it soon got to a point where we could not keep moving with him as our education got disrupted, and so we three kids and our mother stayed in our family home in Bombay, while my father went from one posting to the next. We got to see him during holidays which we very much looked forward to. My dad, who was in the army for most of my childhood was the silent listener and suffered in silence especially when he had two singers in the house. My father, LT. COL. TREVOR LOBO passed away in 2013 of lung cancer, and is greatly missed.
My mother, CELIA LOBO, used to be a well known opera singer, theatre director, and voice teacher in India - teacher and director to many artists and personalities including Sunidhi Chauhan, Sachin Tendulkar, Shiamak Davar, Dalip Tahil, Sunita Rao, Shweta Shetty, etc. My mother came from a musical family. Her father was an accomplished pianist, composer and singer. At the age of 16 years my mother travelled to England by sea to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. While in England where she was for 5 years, she studied and worked. Upon returning to India and marrying my father she began her singing career, doing operas, and recitals. As a child, I grew up listening to Tosca, La Traviata, Norma, etc., while my mother practised daily before an opera. Mum was always the female lead. I knew the tunes of all the arias in the operas mum did. My mother tells me that I learnt to sing before I could talk! This was when there were opera productions on a regular basis in the 60s.
My siblings Ashley, Carolyn, and I would go for concerts, operas, and to the ballet. It is not surprising that my brother and I are both in the arts. My brother, ASHLEY LOBO is a well known choreographer in India and abroad, and artistic director of THE DANCEWORX PERFORMING ARTS ACADEMY as well as of NAVDHARA INDIA DANCE THEATRE. My sister, CAROLYN VINCENT is a Life Coach, and Passion Consultant, training CEOs and Executives in Australia and worldwide in addition to being a Community Builder.
My initial vocal training began with my mother and later on with Jean Kingdom-Vollenweider who I studied with for a year due to the fact that Jean moved to Switzerland. After that I was really without a teacher. Then in 1984 my mother was in Manila, Philippines on work, and learnt that there were excellent University Music Programs there, and brought me the best present ever - admission into the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music. That is when my formal music training began. While in Manila, 1984-1988 I was privileged to sing with major orchestras and choruses, as a foreign student including the Manila Symphony, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, and Coro de San Antonio. At the Conservatory, I studied with the late Katherine Sternberg who was not just my teacher, but a second mother to me.
On graduating from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Vocal Performance, I returned to India where I taught singing, formed my own choir called "Die Meistersingers," and did numerous recitals and concerts (1988-1990). This was not challenging enough for me as an artist, and hence I decided to come to the United States to do my Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance and was fortunate enough to be accepted into the program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado where I studied with Dr. Barbara Sable and later with Dr. Robert Harrison. While at the University I was like most struggling students and had to do numerous part-time jobs in order to pay for my studies, room and board. On graduating in 1993, I continued my studies at the prestigious Peabody Conservatory of Music, Baltimore, Maryland where I studied with Phyllis Bryn-Julson while pursuing a Graduate Performance Diploma in Vocal Performance. There again, I worked part-time while pursuing my musical studies.
On graduating in 1994 I moved to New York , where I lived with Joanne Grillo and Richard Kness, friends of my mothers and famous opera singers. I lived with them literally for nothing. They toured a lot with their touring Opera Company, the Ambassadors of Opera, and I would take care of their aged mother while they were on tour. They were second parents to me, and opened some doors. I was privileged to sing for Jerome Hines, Felix Popper, and Katherine Olsen while in New York. There again I worked at the Indian Embassy during the day and waited on tables at night. It was in between where I coached with coaches. In 1995 I met my husband Neville D'Cunha who lived in San Francisco at the time. We got married in October of 1995 in San Francisco and this is now home for me.
Between 1995-1997 I did a lot of concerts and some opera work with local concert series and opera companies. In 1997 my son Andre was born, and I dedicated quite a few years taking care of him. Today, Andre is a college student pursuing a degree in Psychology, and student athlete, playing college baseball as a pitcher. My husband and I are extremely proud of him and his accomplishments.
With all of this, I never gave up my singing. I am fortunate to have a husband who is extremely tolerant and supportive of my career. From 1995-2015 I worked during the day, and coached and attended rehearsals for operas and concerts in the evenings. I have had the honour of working with coaches such as Kathy Cathcart, Richard Harrell, and Peter Grunberg, and with teachers such as Herman Le Roux and Marilyn Zschau. I currently work with my teacher Voltaire Verzosa on Skype as he lives in Las Vegas. In 2000 I was hired by St. Matthews Catholic Church in San Mateo as their principal cantor and choral director. I have been with St. Matthews ever since. I am always called to sing at other churches, for masses, funerals and weddings.
In 2003, I founded Ensemble Vocalis a concert company with a view to presenting accomplished artists in the classical vocal field, in concert. As Artistic Director of Ensemble Vocalis, my intention in forming such a group was not only to showcase artists' particular talents but to provide a regular concert platform for interesting and popular works, both solo and ensemble, in a variety of genres. The company was very successful doing programs that included, for example, A Night at the Opera (a program of operatic excerpts), An Evening with Mozart (a program of Mozart opera, sacred music and songs), Broadway at its Best (a program of Broadway excerpts), etc. Mixed programs also formed a large part of the repertoire and a very popular format involved other performing arts organisations. For example, the World Festival of Music and Dance (a program of ethnic music and dance from different parts of the world) showcased the music and cultures of various countries.