She is young and talented, with high ambition and a passion for working with fellow musicians and students of music. Soprano Carley DeFranco is currently working on a Master of Music degree, studying with Carol Mastrodomenicao, at the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, MA. Carley’s most recent stage appearance was at the Longy School of Music Early Opera Project’s production of Dido and Aeneas. There she captured the attention of The Boston Music Intelligencer which praised her for her “poised stage presence” and adding that her performance was “lilting and full of charm.”
Carley graduated from the American University (Washington DC) magna cum laude, where she was described as “one of the most talented soloists to ever graduate from the university”. She received the distinguished Evelyn Swarthout Hayes Award and was one of five founding nominees to the Directors’ Musicians of Accomplishment. In the Fall of 2013, Carley and her fellow nominees were featured in the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage Concert series, where they presented an eclectic program of contemporary music featuring highly collaborative chamber works in the American style, including two world premiere performances of works by contemporary composers.
While at American University, Carley spent a semester in Glasgow, studying aesthetics and music performance. She gave a recital focusing on the works of Francis Poulenc and John Corigliano, and she also conducted the international Glasgow University Music Club Chorus and was featured as a soloist with the critically acclaimed Glasgow University Madrigirls. In the summer of 2011 Carley performed as a soloist with the AU Chamber Singers on a concert tour of Spain and Portugal. In May 2013, Carley appeared as the principal soloist in Handel’s Dixit Dominus with the Chamber Singers on a tour of Russia. Carley was a frequent soloist with the American University Chorus, Chamber and Symphony Orchestras, and sang J.S. Bach’sChrist lag in Todes banden, BWV 4, John Corigliano’s Fern Hill, Kódaly’s Budavari Te Deumand more. She will return to her alma mater in April of 2014 to perform Mozart’s C Minor Mass with the AU Symphony and Chorus.
Carley grew up in the town of Rush in Western New York. She hails from a huge family with Italian-American heritage, and her home life was filled with Neapolitan popular music and opera. She credits this, combined with an excellent music education at school, with paving her way into music as a profession. She is a passionate music educator and has worked with young singers in Washington, DC, at the Sitar Arts Center in Adams Morgan, the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, and, most recently at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, where she pursues an assistantship as a teaching artist with various vocal ensembles. Her experiences as a music teacher have been some of the most enlightening of her young life, and as her artistry develops, so does her music-teaching philosophy.