Rising Filipino opera singer Pauline Tan takes the world stage
A Filipino mezzo-soprano and rising international opera singer by the name of Pauline Tan captivates audiences with her mesmerizing rich, deep and powerful voice and moving performances. She breathes new life into classical melodies on the international stage and reintroduces Filipino folk music to the new generation.
One of the few Filipina mezzo-sopranos poised to conquer the world stage, she pursued her love of music by traveling to the United States to study vocal performance at the New England Conservatory in Boston on the Wallace Fellowship, and later, a master’s degree. Graduated in Vocal Arts from Bard College-Conservatory of Music in New York under the artistic direction of renowned opera singer and recitalist Stephanie Blythe and protégé of voice masters Edith Bers, Christopher Arceo and Karen Holvik.
As a soloist, Tan has fearlessly tackled major classical pieces, such as Maurice Duruflé’s Requiem, George Frideric Handel’s Messiah and Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Were it not for the Covid-19 pandemic, she would have had to make her debut with Bard’s The Orchestra Now as alto soloist in Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, which has been postponed.
In opera, Tan won hearts as Amastre in Serse, Ottavia in L’Incoronazione di Poppea, the title role of Carmen and as Mrs. Quickly in Falstaff. She also co-wrote and performed the Stephanie Blythe-designed opera, Rest in Pieces, which drew music from five popular operas where each character found themselves forging a new, self-determined path in the world of opera.
His natural talent, charisma and potential ultimately earned him a place in the American opera company Chicago Opera Theater’s Young Artist Program in 2021. The two-year residency trains artists with exceptional career promise in the opera as well as composers, librettists, conductors and directors, including musical director Lidiya Yankovskaya.
This month, the native of Tarlac will participate in a new opera called The Beekeeper. The Beekeeper is part of the Chicago Opera Theater’s Vanguard initiative which develops original productions suitable for modern audiences. The story follows a young couple who leave town full of dreams but instead find themselves struggling with endless issues with their inherited home and land. Tan will play Melissa, one of his key characters.
Beyond honing her craft, Tan has continually demonstrated courage and her generous, loving nature in using her talent to inspire and promote inclusivity and equality. In collaboration with the non-profit organization Aural Compass Projects (ACP) which promotes new and less performed works to foster equality and better representation in the arts, she used her voice to sing in Songs without Borders, which featured composers, poets, and performers who are all 2019 American Immigrants or Refugees.
In 2020, Tan became the first artist to be featured in Wear Yellow Proudly, an initiative that aims to raise awareness of Asian culture and strengthen connections within the global community. The initiative was launched to tackle the devastating upsurge in xenophobia directed against Asians in light of the pandemic.