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May 29, 2009

Stefania Dovhan, alum of Baltimore School for the Arts, enjoys triumph at Spoleto Festival USA

From Howard Kissel, writing for, comes this rave about soprano Stefania Dovhan, a product of the Baltimore School for the Arts and University of Maryland and winner of the Rosa Ponselle Young Classical Singers Competition (2000). She has the title role in Charpentier's neglected gem, Louise:

The Spoleto revival, which runs through June 6, is blessed with Stefania Dovhan, a soprano who clearly understands both the musical and dramatic potential of the title role. Dovhan, making her U.S. debut with these performances, is a remarkable discovery. She has a voice rich in every register and a sure sense of theater. She conveyed all the lushness and suaveness of the hit tune (“Depuis le Jour”) as if she had been singing it all her life.

And from Tim Page, guest critic for the local Charleston paper, another rave:

Posted by Tim Smith at 3:07 PM | | Comments (2)


Hopefully she will get more gigs through this role because she was absolutely breathtaking as Louise!! And it was great to hear Barbara Dever as the mother...such a beautiful voice and presence.

Thanks for the comments. I wouldn't be surprised if this success led more companies to take a fresh look at 'Louise.' TIM

Hi Tim, just stopping by on your blog. I'm down here playing in the Spoleto Festival Orchestra. We in the pit have been enjoying Stefania's performances (though we can't see very well...). She is also singing on a recital right now but I can't make it, though I'm sure it will be great.

Thanks for the report from the down under, as it were. I have a feeling we'll be hearing a lot more of and from Stefania after this. TIM

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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