Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Faculty Experts

Dana Zenobi

Part time Assistant Professor of Applied Music


Areas of expertise
Voice Performance and Pedagogy

Dana Zenobi Headshot

Dana Zenobi joined the faculty at Southwestern University in 2007. A versatile performer who embraces both traditional repertoire and new music, she appeared in the American Premiere of Philip Glass's Waiting for the Barbarians with Austin Lyric Opera, and performed with Lyric Opera Cleveland in the first production of Mark Adamo's Little Women directed by the composer.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised her "dazzling coloratura" and "irresitible phrasing" as Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, and she has garnered similar success in roles ranging from Mozart heroines Konstanze and Donna Elvira to Verdi's Violetta Valéry.  She is featured on Viola By Choice Chamber Music Ensemble's 2010 debut recording, Florilegium. Her recital performances earned her national recognition as a finalist for The American Prize in Art Song in both 2013 and 2014.

A native of Northport, NY, Dr. Zenobi is active in the local community as the executive director of BELTÀ - Building Empowered Lives Through Art, a nonprofit organization that supports emerging artists as they build successful careers.  She recently completed her DMA in Voice Performance and Pedagogy at The University of Texas at Austin, where her research focused on aural modeling and acoustic analysis of the singing voice.


DMA in Voice Performance and Pedagogy,The University of Texas at Austin 2011
MM in Opera Performance,The University of Texas at Austin 2003
BA in Music and Women's Studies,Duke University 1999


Interests include aural modeling, acoustic analysis of the singing voice, and studio voice technology.


"Reflections on the 2011 Institute for Jaques Dalcroze Education," Dalcroze Society of America Journal, Fall/Winter 2011

"A Study of Listening Behavior and The Effectiveness of Aural Modeling with Undergraduate Level Singers," DMA Dissertation, The University of Texas at Austin, 2011.



Concert and operatic performance highlights include:

Reich Music for 18 Musicians, Fast Forward Austin Music Festival, 2013
Alford Lightener of the Stars, Austin Chamber Ensemble, 2013
Rorem Ariel, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012
Jalbert Icefield Sonnets/The University of Texas at Austin New Music Ensemble/2010
Poulenc Gloria/The University of Texas Choral Arts Society/2010
Copland "As it Fell Upon a Day"/Georgetown Festival of the Arts, Georgetown, TX/2010
Guest Artist Recital (Rossini, Rachmaninoff, H.L. Adams)/Duke University, Durham, NC/2008
Lowell Liebermann Struwwelpeterlieder/Viola By Choice Chamber Music Ensemble, Austin, TX/2008
Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni/Opera in the Heights, Houston, TX/2007
Star in Waiting for the Barbarians (US Premiere)/Austin Lyric Opera, Austin, TX/2007
Gala Concert (Arne, Offenbach, Puccini)/Montgomery County Performing Arts Society, Conroe, TX/2007
Konstanze in Die Entführung aus dem Serail/Opera in the Heights/2006
Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance/Lyric Opera Cleveland, Cleveland, OH/2006
Blonde (Cover) in Die Entführung aus dem Serail/Lyric Opera Cleveland/2006
H. Leslie Adams Art Song Recital, Directed by Composer/Lyric Opera Cleveland/2006
Beethoven Ninth Symphony/Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, McAllen, TX/2005
Alinda in Giasone/Aspen Opera Theater Center, Aspen, CO/2005
Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni/The Living Opera, Richardson, TX/2005
Mimi in La Bohème/Opera in the Heights/2005
Fourth Maid in Elektra /Austin Lyric Opera/2005
Violetta in La Traviata/Opera in the Heights/2004
Amy (Cover), 1st Voice in Little Women/Lyric Opera Cleveland (Directed by Composer)/2004


Creative Works

Florilegium, Viola By Choice Chamber Ensemble, Recording Released in 2010

Seminars & Presentations

Panelist: Choosing a Dissertation Topic, UT Austin Butler School of Music, 2012
Guest Lecturer: Research Methods/Acoustic Analysis, Vocal Pedagogy Class, UT Austin, 2011
Panelist: Negotiating the Academic Career Path, UT Austin College of Fine Arts Career Services, 2011
Guest Artist: Master Class, Duke University, 2008

Honors & Awards


Finalist, The American Prize - Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, Art Song Division, Professional, 2013
Winner, Entergy Young Texas Artists Music Competition, Voice Division, 2005
Second Place Winner, National Federation of Music Clubs Biennial Young Artist Awards, Woman's Voice, 2005

Critical Acclaim

"[In the American Premiere of Philip Glass's Waiting for the Barbarians] In the supporting roles, Adrianna Zabala (the Barbarian Girl), Dana Zenobi (Star) and Georgia Pickett (Cook), all shone."   - Willard Spiegelman, Opera News, April 2007

"Two segments stood out [In Mozart's The Abduction from the Seraglio]. In Konstanze's great Act Two aria, soprano Dana Zenobi caught fire and elevated her into emotionally intense and technical inspired singing. And in Act Three, Zenobi and tenor John Day found the key to impassioned singing about pensive worry and deep longing." -Charles Ward, The Houston Chronicle, November 12, 2006

 "The chief vocal pleasure is Dana Zenobi, whose radiantly sung Mabel [in The Pirates of Penzance] sounds like a healthy warm-up for Violetta. Her coloratura dazzles, and her phrasing is irresistible and melting. Zenobi is a soprano to listen for." - Donald Rosenberg,The Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 16, 2006

"As sickly flower-maker Mimi [in La Bohème], Dana Zenobi looks like a drawing by Ingres, and her voice is just as inky: a deep, luscious soprano that spills out Puccini's achingly beautiful tunes with grace to spare. There isn't a false move in her performance, either." - Nancy Galeota-Wozny, D.L. Groover and Lee Williams, The Houston Press, April 7, 2005

Specific subjects or issues you can knowledgeably discuss:
voice performance, opera performance, vocal pedagogy, dalcroze eurythmics, acoustic analysis of the singing voice and voice technology, career development for fine artists

I am willing to talk to the media: yes

I am willing to talk to community groups about my area of expertise: yes

Can you do interviews in Spanish? no

Other languages you are fluent in:

Experience with the news media (especially electronic media):

Contact Details:
(512) 863-1124(office)
Office: Fine Arts 161