DR. HARRY N. DUNSTAN, tenor, musicologist, accompanist, translator, stage director, lecturer, independent scholar, and raconteur, is the Founding Artistic Director of The American Center for Puccini Studies. From his earliest years, he always marveled at the transformative power of music. As a little boy attending church with his family in Tidewater, Virginia, he was always amazed how the majestic sounds of the pipe organ and the congregational singing could thrill, inspire, and transform. He learned early on that music, above all else, was to be experienced! He also understood, because he felt it, that the mere experience as a listener was enough to transport him. Those early musical/spiritual encounters led to a lifetime of loving music and a continuing, abiding, profound appreciation for the healing and regenerative powers that music offers humanity. With full confidence, he believes that we move through life as creations of spirit having human experiences within “the song of life.” Nothing speaks to this existence more than music, and nothing has the power to raise our vibration and heal us more than music. Music forces us to remember and experience our latent spirituality and enables us to heal ourselves and others as we evolve to greater creations.
Dr. Dunstan was awarded a Ph. D. “With Distinction,” (back when that actually meant something) in Historical Musicology from Catholic University, and he also holds a Masters’ Degree in Vocal Performance from Catholic University, and a BA in Music History from Old Dominion University. He serves as a consultant to opera companies, conductors, and musicians on every continent, save Antarctica, and has been a musical advisor to renowned movie producer, Peter Jackson. Dr. Dunstan has translated rare Italian, French, and German texts; recovered obscure performing editions of operas and brought them to dramatic life on the stage; and championed the great universal humanity of Puccini’s music through the work of the American Center for Puccini Studies. He has transformed lives with his voice, his teaching, and his BBQ, and has enabled thousands of people to find unexpected relevance and beauty in the classical music art form.
In addition to his international reputation as a Puccini singer and scholar, Dr. Dunstan also presents seminars on Music and the Emotional Brain in the burgeoning field of Neuro-Aesthetics. His far-ranging interests include music, music history, anthropology, neurology, philology, mythology, phenomenology, (lots of other subjects that end in “ology”), linguistics, theatre, comparative religion, sports, wine, and every kind of BBQ! He is also probably the only Musicologist ever accused of being "too funny"! He believes that as humans we are most set apart by our unique abilities to make music, cook, and, above all, treat and heal those that are ill. As we move through life as creations of compassion, and seek to nourish “body and soul,” Dr. Dunstan believes that our greatest guide and animating force is music.
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KAY KREKOW, soprano and accompanist, is the Managing Director of The American Center for Puccini Studies and an internationally acclaimed interpreter of the operatic heroines of Giacomo Puccini. Described as one of the finest Puccini sopranos of her generation, she has sung world premieres and standard operatic and oratorio repertoire at The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and The National Cathedral, as well as in Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic. She has murdered villains; thrown herself from tall buildings; stabbed herself to end it all; died of consumption, thirst, grief, and mysterious opera death; become a vengeful dancing zombie bride; had tragic love affairs; poisoned herself; run a saloon; and also ridden off on a million dollar stallion into the sunset to live happily ever after….all in the name of opera!
Raised on a farm in Iowa—to which she has now returned—she can drive a tractor, plow a field, ride a horse, milk a cow, slop a hog, hang a shelf, bake a blue-ribbon peach pie, and then sit down and play and sing a Puccini opera. A graduate of Stephens College, Ms. Krekow received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance and a minor in Music Education and Organ. Additional studies brought her to the East Coast and she has since been in constant demand as a singer, voice teacher, and accompanist, although she is most beloved for her cooking skills and Sunday afternoon croquet parties.
Ms. Krekow (who is also Mrs. Dunstan) is a specialist in the vocal music of women composers and has presented concerts featuring the poetry and music of women troubadours, songs of the women of the Italian Renaissance, the works of 19th Century opera divas, and is a frequent recitalist presenting her original program, She is Music: a thousand years of vocal music by women composers (SheIsMusic.com).
She was recently inducted into her hometown’s Hall of Fame for her lifetime of musical and educational achievements….yes, you CAN go home again!
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