Fellow Travelers - Florida Grand Opera
“Under Senturia’s baton, the comparatively small orchestra nevertheless surges with power and grace..."
- Sun Sentinel
Drawing from her diverse experience as a violinist, conductor, and coach, EMILY SENTURIA approaches operatic repertoire with a sympathetic affinity for both singers and instrumentalists. In 2023, Senturia made debuts at The Glimmerglass Festival with Rinaldo and The Atlanta Opera with L’amant anonyme, and led Lucretia at Temple University; recently, she has conducted at Minnesota Opera (Rinaldo), Florida Grand Opera (Fellow Travelers), and New Orleans Opera (Il barbiere di Siviglia). She music directed the world premiere of Denis & Katya at Opera Philadelphia's O19 Festival, and has been on the music staff at Houston Grand Opera (Nixon in China, Tosca, Faust, Aida), the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (Le nozze di Figaro), Wolf Trap Opera (The Ghosts of Versailles, Giulio Cesare, La bohème), and Opera Philadelphia (Sky on Swings, Elizabeth Cree, War Stories). Senturia is an alum of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, Wolf Trap, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Royal Academy of Music. She studied orchestral conducting at Boston University and violin at Rice University.
Every path to opera is a little different. As a child, I attended Les Miserables and was astonished at the big emotions elicited by actors singing on stage. I studied violin, reveling in the power of my youth orchestra’s collective focus. I played piano to accompany my mother singing, discovering the joy of supporting someone else’s breath.
Professionally, my job titles have been simply coach and conductor, but that has encompassed playing rehearsal piano and orchestral violin for the same production; playing gong, thunder sheet, and bird whistle offstage; calling supertitles; directing a semi-staged production; music directing unconducted shows; calling sound cues to a mic operator; chorus mastering; playing violin, piano, harpsichord, harmonium, and celeste onstage; and being on call to sing the shepherd boy from Tosca.
Opera, in its enormous range from tragedy to comedy, verismo to minimalism, black box theater to grand opera house, is one of our most magnificently versatile means to tell stories and let an audience cry, laugh, escape, or dream. As an opera conductor I prioritize pacing, narration, and drama — making sure musical and dramatic goals align.