Rita Shane

Professor of Voice



Rita Shane was a leading soprano for 10 seasons (75 performances) at the Metropolitan Opera. She holds a BA degree from Barnard College and studied voice with Beverley Peck Johnson. In the United States, in addition to the Metropolitan, she sang at the Chicago Lyric, San Francisco, Santa Fe, and New York City Opera companies, as well as some 20 other American companies. She made her European debut at Teatro alla Scala (Milan) and sang at the Vienna State Opera, Bavarian State Opera (Munich), Opera du Rhin (Strasbourg), and a dozen other houses in Europe and South America. Her major roles included her famed assumption as the Queen of the Night (her Metropolitan debut), Lucia, Violetta, Donna Anna, Constanze, Zerbinetta, Berthe (Le Proph├Ęte), Lulu, Oscar, Gilda, and Musetta. Miss Shane was heard at the festivals of Salzburg, Glyndebourne, Vienna, Munich, Perugia, Aspen, and Mostly Mozart (New York).

Miss Shane made orchestral appearances as soloist with the London Philharmonic, Santa Cecilia (Rome), RAI Naples, Vienna Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and others. Her recordings included RCA, CBS, Turnabout, and Louisville labels. On television, she has been seen on CBS and Bayerische Rundfunk. Miss Shane was chosen to sing premieres of works by Argento (Miss Havisham’s Fire), Henze, Hovhaness, Reimann, and Schat. She also performed under the batons of such maestri as Mehta, Schippers, Kempe, Sawallisch, Kubelik, Haitink, Levine, Gielen, Jochum, Schmidt-Isserstedt, Maag, Rudel, and many others. She held awards from the William Matheus Sullivan Foundation and the Martha Baird Rockefeller Foundation.

Following her active stage career, Miss Shane has conducted master classes, judged vocal competitions, and provided commercial voiceovers for radio and television. She has been a member of the Eastman faculty since 1989.