B i o g r a p h y
Drawing from her diverse experience as a violinist, conductor, and coach, San Francisco Bay Area native Emily Senturia approaches operatic repertoire with a sympathetic affinity for both singers and instrumentalists. Her earliest theatrical memory is of attending Les Miserables at age seven, afterwards driving her parents up the wall by singing the lyrics nearly every day for the next decade. She studied violin with Berkeley educational powerhouse Anne Crowden and was an enthusiastic member of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra.
While earning a Bachelor of Music in violin performance with Ken Goldsmith at Rice University, Emily managed to spend most of her undergraduate years working on ad hoc musicals and operettas (conducting The Mikado, Iolanthe, and Kiss me, Kate). Summers were spent at the Young Musicians Program for middle- and high-schoolers at UC Berkeley, creating the weekly schedule and teaching everything from piano and theory to string ensemble and musical theater. Emily continued to go off-curriculum during her Master of Music studies in orchestral conducting at Boston University, working with both the MIT and Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players (conducting A Little Night Music and The Yeomen of the Guard respectively).
Suspecting that opera was the natural meeting-place of her various musical pursuits, Emily spent half a year living in Florence and Berlin to begin Italian and German studies, then attended an array of young artist programs: Brevard Music Center, Nashville Opera, Virginia Opera, and Pensacola Opera. She polished her conducting and coaching skills with studies at Indiana University, the Solti-Peretti Repetiteurs' Institute, the Aspen Music Festival, and the Royal Academy of Music.
Four years at Houston Grand Opera solidified Emily's priorities as a coach and conductor: connecting with an audience, balancing listening with leading, and helping dramatic and musical goals inform each other.
Emily credits any musical talent to her parents; her father, Michael Senturia, who was a professor of orchestral conducting and music theory at UC Berkeley from 1963-92, taught her the importance of rhythm and structure; her mother, Pauline Ma-Senturia, taught her how to sing with ruthlessly accurate relative pitch and how to breathe with a singer while at the piano. A fan of coffee, cocktails, and crossword puzzles, Emily lives in San Francisco with her partner, Jacques, and their tuxedo cat, Pumpkin.
photograph by Carlin Ma