Giving Voice to Perfection

click to

In the beginning, there was the “brutal 1979 Pinto” — as her brother described it — that she drove to and from wedding and church singing gigs. These days, Deborah Voigt, one of the opera world's most in-demand leading sopranos, jets first class to engagements around the globe. All this may seem removed from Fullerton, but follow her opera roots back and they lead to her alma mater … and to a very persistent and wise teacher.

Prior to finding her 'voice,' Voigt recalls, “I sang primarily gospel music and Broadway show tunes, and it really wasn't until I got to Cal State Fullerton and studying with Jane Paul [professor emeritus of music] - I thought I was going to be a choral major, study choral conducting.”

Paul introduced Voigt to opera and had her singing some classical music, and then encouraged her to start entering different competitions. “I think one of the first ones I did was the Music Associates competition. I found myself winning them and entering them just as a way to make a little extra money for school, and thought, ‘Well, there must be something to this if I keep winning these competitions.’”

“She didn't have any top,” says Paul, recalling Voigt as a new student. “She had a lovely low voice, but no high.”

Voigt also hadn't yet developed the confidence and command that would become her trademark on stage. Continue »

Deborah Voigt