After four years of hard work and dedication in the Mercyhurst College Department of Music, senior Lynn Dula is looking forward to what comes next.
Seeking her Bachelor of Music with a concentration in vocal performance, Dula has had a winding path leading her where she is now and an even more exciting one on the horizon for after graduation.
This sensible singer is clearly appreciative of all she has accomplished in her time here at Mercyhurst and all the ways in which she has grown.
A native of Pittsburgh, Dula began her vocal pursuits in high school through attendance at the Spotlight Performing Arts Academy, where she trained mostly in musical theater style.
Though intending to attend a big college at first, Dula has found great satisfaction at Mercyhurst. The small size allowed for personal attention and many performance opportunities.
“I didn’t get some of the perks of a big school. But I got a career, so it’s OK,” she said.
Dula originally applied to the music department in a teaching concentration, but after a few years under the mentorship and tutelage of Mercyhurst professors, changed to the performance track.
“Mercyhurst has really been such a blessing,” she said. “It’s so lucky I ended up here. Ms. (Louisa) Jonason has really helped me find the right track.”
Dula has never been a stranger to long rehearsal hours, and still the learning process here at Mercyhurst has been a challenging one. Switching from her previous experience in musical theater to the process of preparing for opera has been quite an adjustment. It is a far more elaborate process of character development that takes nearly all year, a shift which Dula has found simultaneously refreshing and challenging.
Undoubtedly the performance opportunities available through Mercyhurst have been exceptional and quite a highlight for Dula. She was given the chance to perform last year with the After Dinner Opera in New York City for the world premiere of The Day Boy and the Night Girl, an incredible résumé booster.
Along with this Dula has performed in many of the Mercyhurst College productions and is looking forward to performing in Cosi Fan Tutte in March and Opera 1,2,3 in April.
Now facing graduation, Dula is looking forward to a career in opera performance. Having recently learned that more people attend operas than professional football games, there are few who could blame her.
However, being a contralto, a rare voice classification, Dula’s voice will not fully mature until around age 30, leaving Dula with lots of options. Most likely she will take a year off to continue studying before heading to graduate school at either University of Southern California or Rice University in Houston, Texas.
After earning her master’s in voice, she hopes to move on to a full and vibrant career in opera performance. Dula has a special passion for American Opera and is considering Houston Grand Opera as well as Civic Light Opera in Pittsburgh for her future.