A native of Rehoboth, Massachusetts, soprano Bonnie Pomfret sang entire songs before speaking in sentences. She began piano studies at age seven, and received degrees in voice from the Musikhochschule in Freiburg, Germany; Boston Conservatory, and Indiana University where she was a student of Virginia Zeani.
Dr. Pomfret has performed music from the 12th to the 21st centuries in seven languages in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Special interests include the music of the bel cantoperiod and that of our own time. Appearances include the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Capitol Cities Opera, Indiana Opera Theatre, the Olympia Chamber Orchestra (Washington), Sinfonia da Camera, West Deutsche Rundfunk, and with regional orchestras and choral societies in the United States. Recital venues include Atlanta, Berlin, Beijing, Bremen, Geneva, Freiburg, Los Angeles, San Diego, St. Petersburg, and Strasbourg.
Oratorio credits include Beethoven Choral Fantasy and Ninth Symphony, Berlioz and Bruckner settings of the Te Deum, Dvorak Stabat Mater, Handel Messiah, Haydn Lord Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn Elijah, Mozart Grand Mass in C, Orff Carmina Burana, Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem and the Requiem masses of Mozart, Brahms, and Verdi.
As Ortlinde in Wagner’s Die Walküre, Act III, with Atlanta Symphony, Donald Runnicles conducting, she “….stood out for strength of voice and graceful phrasing” (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Classical Voice NC described her in recital in Raleigh as having “true power, control, and acting ability.” In 2005 she released a critically-acclaimed solo compact disc, De toda la eternidad; Songs by American Women, including a song cycle composed for her by Libby Larsen.
Pomfret was a Rotary Ambassadorial Fellow in Florence, Italy and Berlin, Germany. In 1994 she was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship to research the evolution of staging in Wagner’s Ring cycle at the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, Germany.
Pomfret is a Certified McClosky Voice Technician and Master Teacher, and has served as President and Secretary of the McClosky Institute of Voice; she was integral in bringing the Institute to national activity in the 1990’s. She has taught and/or coordinated 38 seminars for the McClosky Institute, and co-designed with Janet Alcorn and taught its certification courses 1996-2008. Currently she teaches voice at Boston University, (www.bu.edu/music) South Shore Conservatory (www.sscmusic.org), Brookline Music School (www.bmsmusic.org), and privately (www.bonnipomfret.com).
Bonnie Pomfret, DM
Adj. Assoc. Prof., Boston University
Assoc. Prof. Emerita, Illinois State University