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Meet Thea Tullman Moore of Baltimore Musicales

Today we’d like to introduce you to Thea Tullman Moore.

Thea, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I always loved to sing as a little girl. In middle school, I was cast as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and Wendy in Peter Pan, and after that, I was hooked! My high school had an excellent music program, and I was fortunate to have solo opportunities with the concert choir and leading roles in the school musicals.

I was encouraged to take voice lessons at 16 and I quickly fell in love with art songs. I knew that I wanted to pursue music in college but I was also interested in the humanities, particularly literature and foreign languages.

I ended up at Vassar College, where I studied French, German, and Italian and discovered that my passion for music and text was perfectly realized in opera! I received my master’s degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music and spent the next decade working as a professional singer, performing opera and concert repertoire in the U.S. and abroad.

Marriage and family life led me to Baltimore in 2009. I was eager to meet other artists living and working in the area, as I missed the sense of community I had found in NYC. I started Baltimore Musicales, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, in 2014 to create opportunities for singers, instrumentalists, and music-lovers to share music and poetry in an informal setting.

Eight years and more than 80 unique concert programs later, our roster has grown to nearly 100 professional musicians!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Pursuing a career as a professional opera singer is not an easy path—or a linear one! Art is subjective and there is no guarantee that you will get a return on the number of hours you have invested. We are often told as singers that we have to enjoy the process because there is so much uncertainty in terms of hiring and performance opportunities.

I think the biggest challenge as a young artist is staying true to who you are as an individual. When you are constantly auditioning, trying to fit into someone’s vision of a particular operatic role, or you are dealing with the inevitable rejections that all singers face, you can start to lose the joy that initially drew you to this work.

Perfectionism and self-doubt can also creep in and affect your performance.

I found myself wanting to reclaim my love of music; and at this point in my career, I am excited that I can design concert programs that I want to hear, perform the music that I love, work with talented and supportive colleagues, and create opportunities for other singers and instrumentalists!

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
Baltimore Musicales presents curated concerts of art songs, opera, musical theater, and vocal chamber music throughout Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and the Silver Spring area.

Modeled after the 19th-century French soirée musicale, or musical evening, our concerts feel like an intimate gathering of friends and neighbors. Each musicale is an opportunity for artists to express the human experience, reflect  the times, and share their own stories while uplifting and inspiring people through song.

We perform musical settings of poetry with universal themes, written across centuries and continents, and sung in over ten different languages. Each piece is introduced by the performer who shares their thoughts and the history of the selection, allowing listeners to form deeper and more personal connections to the music and the artists.

We follow each concert with a lively reception—a time to meet new people and connect with fellow music lovers.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I am grateful to have had people in my life who have supported and encouraged me, from my choir director in high school—Phil Smith, to my mentor at Vassar College—Richard Wilson, to incredible coaches in New York City like Pierre Vallet and Ellen Rievman, and now Ruth Drucker in Baltimore.

It is essential for young artists (or artists of any age!) to have a team of trusted, supportive advisors.

My advice: Be open to feedback and know that it can be constructive without being cruel. Find people who believe in your individual gifts and who want to give you the tools to grow and thrive. You will not please everyone and, honestly, that shouldn’t be the goal.

Learn more about the artists in your community and find ways to collaborate. Create your own opportunities! Do not wait for someone to give you permission to do what you love.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Ceylon Mitchell, M3 Mitchell Media & Marketing, Will Kirk, Homewood Photography Group photos by Ada Moore, Jack Sorokin, Brittany Stanley, and The ShutterBee Effect

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