WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2013/2014

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

Issue link: https://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/210435

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Page 97 of 211

DARIO ACOSTA Opera Singers in Our Midst Mongiardo when she was 12 she met the classically pated in the Wellesley High School Canticles Select Choir and trained teacher Donna Jeanne Turnell who took her under her wing. District Choir and traveled to Disney World. At the Wellesley Village At her first formal voice lesson, Mongiardo vocalized up to a high Congregational Church Mongiardo performed with a group of musi- C. "Opera found me," she says. She discovered she has a naturally high cally inclined teens (including television star Jay Harrington and film voice that moves very fast, a coloratura, and opera is the best outlet. writer and actor Tim Dowling) that staged productions including Vision Mongiardo and her family arrived in Wellesley just days before her in Self Defense. She appeared as soloist with the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra in performances from Lucia, Manon, and The Magic Flute. and participated in the drama program. That was fortunate, because not all opera singers get to study acting, she notes. During a performance of We l l e s l e y We s t o n M a g a z i n e | w i n t e r 2 0 1 3 / 2 0 1 4 sophomore year began at Wellesley High School. She played field hockey Turning P oints "Glitter and Be Gay" she met mezzo-soprano Leslie Holmes and began At Northwestern University in Chicago, Lawrence reached a turning private lessons. Holmes encouraged her to give up Broadway and work point. At age 19 he decided to pursue a career in opera. He stopped toward opera, giving her many of the pieces she sings to this day. taking musical theater and journalism courses and dropped out of his "During my time at Wellesley High, I did amazing things," she says. "Teachers like Tom Megen, Carol Devendorf, and Janis Wightman is the ultimate embodiment of music, drama, and spectacle and takes a encouraged me. I was even able to conduct a choral piece." She partici- 96 a capella group to focus on classical technique and repertoire. "Opera fierce amount of talent," he says. That was everything.

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