DMA Student Brings Kentucky to Ecuador in Virtual Master Class Series

July 2020 would have been the month that first year DMA Voice student Wagner Pastor would be traveling to his home country of Ecuador to participate in a week of Master Classes with Dr. Everett McCorvey.   

Due to COVID-19, that week had to be postponed indefinitely.  

When UK advised students, faculty, and staff to work remotely for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester, the UK Vocal program organized weekly live Q&A sessions via Zoom. The goal was to help motivate voice students to continue their work while they were sheltering in place by hearing from some heavy hitters in the Opera and Vocal Performance industry. This gave Pastor an idea. 

“Dr. McCorvey gave me the idea to implement something similar in my home country," Pastor said. "At the beginning of July, I talked to María Fernanda Argotti, Director of the Fundación Cultural Armonía, where I studied and worked my last two years in Ecuador. We thought that we could organize Zoom Q&As with Master Classes live-streamed on the FCA Facebook page to promote opera with an initiative called "Arte Lírico,” which I serve as founder, translator and coordinator.”

Pastor reached out to some of his former and current voice teachers from the University of Kentucky and the University of North Carolina School for the Arts, as well as alumni of both programs and some stars in the opera industry - René Barbera, Isabel Leonard, and Elizabeth Caballero

“When the pandemic hit and Wagner saw how we held our UK weekly master classes on zoom, he decided to work with a colleague in Quito, Ecuador to create similar online zoom masterclasses," Dr. McCorvey said. "He went even further and engaged other UK Alumni, as well as professors from other universities and also professional singers to appear in different zoom master classes, and work with the singers in Ecuador. It has been a big hit!”

“We have reached more than 7,000 viewers so far, and we will be streaming an online opera concert featuring all Ecuadorian composers and performers. We will be singing along with all the students who have participated in "Arte Lírico Ecuador" on September 5th and 6th at 8pm EST. The concert will be streamed on YouTube as a private fundraiser to keep the initiative alive and to help Fundación Cultural Armonía in their endeavors to educate through music.”  

The live Q&A sessions will be available on the FCA Facebook page August 11 - 14, at 4pm EST.