DR. POLLY BUTLER CORNELIUS, soprano, is an international performer of opera, oratorio and song recitals. She has created a niche for herself by premiering contemporary American songs written by living composers, including Steve Heitzeg and Libby Larsen. By invitation, she performed recitals of American music in the San Dominico Auditorium in Foligno, Italy (2010) and the Universitá per Stranieri in Perugia, Italy (2008, 2010). Most recently, she performed selected songs by Paul Bowles as part of the Ludwig Diehn Series in cooperation with the Norfolk Chamber Consort and the ODU Literary Festival (October, 2011). She appeared with the Imaginary Friends Ensemble at the French Embassy in Washington, DC in June, 2011. In May, 2010, she performed on a recital of music by Libby Larsen at the Duffy Composers Institute with the Virginia Arts Festival. Polly has received awards and recognition from the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, The Fort Worth Opera Company, Shreveport Opera and the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Artist Award). She has performed leading roles with the Greensboro Opera Company, Piedmont Opera Theatre, Opera Company of North Carolina, Opera Carolina and the Brevard Music Festival. She has been a featured soloist with the Winston-Salem Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Eastern Music Festival, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Elon University Chamber Orchestra and the American Institute of Musical Studies orchestra in Graz, Austria, as well as in many churches including the Duke Chapel and Foundry Methodist Church in Washington, DC.. She has performed for American dignitaries including President Bill Clinton (2000) and Governor Sarah Palin (2009).
Dr. Cornelius has studied voice and coached with Dr. Robert Bracey, Doris Yarick-Cross, Elizabeth Colson, Nancy Walker, Arlene Shrut, James Douglass, Sylvia Plyler, Warren Jones and Nico Castel. She has performed under the baton of distinguished conductors including Robert Moody, Ted Taylor, Evan Rogister, Joseph Colaneri, Benton Hess, Valery Ryvkin and the late Norman Johnson. She holds performance degrees from Converse College (BM) and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (M.M., D.M.A). A dedicated and sought-out voice teacher, she is a Senior Lecturer at Elon University where she teaches voice and vocal pedagogy to music and music theatre students. Many of her music majors have been accepted to, and received scholarships and assistantships to prestigious graduate music programs. Her current and former students are performing leading roles on Broadway, on National Broadway tours and in regional opera theaters throughout the US.
Polly's Resume/Curriculum Vitae in PDF format.
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