April 27, 2021

MSM Spotlight: Daniel Choi (MM ’21) performs on April 30th in MSM Graduate Opera Scenes: The Family Dynamic: Untangling the Ties that Bond

Daniel Choi is a 2nd Year Master’s Student in the Classical Voice Program and will perform in MSM Graduate Opera Scenes The Family Dynamic: Untangling The Ties That Bind directed by A. Scott Parry. 

He tells us about his experience in this production, why he chose MSM, and his hopes and dreams for the future. 

Tell us a little about yourself!

Daniel: I grew up in Suwon, South Korea, in a small town not too far from Seoul. At an early age, my parents took me to an opera singer for me to learn how to sing. At that time, I had no idea what opera was. We were just singing Korean folk songs. Being in his studio, all the students had to do the end of the year recital for the family. That was my first time being on stage and singing. And the next thing I knew, my family moved to the United States and I’m attending MSM. Here, my voice teacher Ashley Putnam has been helping me to really sing, express, and really love music even more.

What do you like about this concert and tell us what it’s like being a part of MSM Graduate Opera Scenes?

Daniel: The title of this concert is The Family Dynamic: Untangling the Ties That Bind. We are specifically doing scenes that feature family relationships. They deal with relationships with parents, siblings, and lovers. Because the topic of family is so near to our hearts, it will be easy for the audience to really be immersed in these scenes.

Being part of the Opera Scene is like being with a family. It is super inclusive, and a lot of work. We have the best faculty to coach us and to direct us to make the music come alive. And when we perform it really is the best experience ever.

How has this school year been for you?

Daniel: This school year has been a unique experience. I am now really used to taking class on Zoom. It is interesting to see everyone’s face while taking the class. One challenge was singing with a mask, but it all worked out in the end. The best part about this school year is (because the performance is recorded) I get to see the performance that I’m in as an audience member. I am thankful for this great performance and thankful for the learning experience we all had despite the pandemic.

Daniel Choi (MM '21), performing as Plagio in MSM's production of I due Figaro Fall 2019

What do you like best about the MSM Community and being at MSM?

Daniel: I feel that MSM really puts importance on being an inclusive community, therefore I feel that from my experience, students are very close to one another. Also, the professors are really cool, and you get to build relationships with them. I am naturally an awkward person, but I really got a chance to meet and make lot of friends at MSM.

What projects are you working on now?

Daniel: The filming for the Opera Scenes just ended. And it will be broadcast on the website at 7:30 PM on Friday, April 30. I am currently working on my graduate recital which will include songs by Vaughan Williams, Schumann, Tosti, and Ravel. And for summer, I am cast as Don Giovanni for Chicago Summer Opera, and I am very excited about that.

“Being part of the Opera Scenes is like being with a family.”

MM '21, Classical Voice

What do you like best about studying voice at MSM?

Daniel: The best part of studying classical voice at MSM is the abundance of performance opportunities. You can learn so much when you perform at the School because it is safe, and our coaches teach us how to be our best selves. Also, the best part is the voice teachers. I was able to learn so many techniques in singing so now I feel confident and secure when I sing.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?

Daniel: My hopes and dreams for the future are to continue to sing. Voice is the only instrument that has words. And it would be great to really master that instrument and make music. My short-term goal is to get into one of the young artist programs and perform and learn as much as possible. I would love to be in opera for the rest of my life because opera is such a gigantic piece of art that a person can experience both as an audience and as a performer.

Daniel Choi (MM '22), Behind the Scenes photo of Graduate Opera Scenes

MSM Graduate Scenes Presents:
The Family Dynamic: Untangling The Ties That Bind

A. Scott Parry, Director
Bryan Wagorn (DMA ’13), Music Director
Tazewell Thompson, MSM Director of Opera Studies

APR 30 | 7:30 PM EDT



Manhattan School of Music
130 Claremont Avenue
New York, New York 10027

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