A native of Northport, NY, Dana Zenobi is an engaging performer, educator, and presenter. An active recitalist, Dr. Zenobi earned national recognition as an interpreter of art song by women composers when she was awarded an Honorable Mention for Exceptional Repertoire by The American Prize (2016). She has appeared as concert soloist with ensembles including the Austin Civic Orchestra, the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorale, the Austin Chamber Ensemble, and line upon line percussion ensemble. She has also performed with Viola by Choice chamber music ensemble, and is featured on their 2010 debut recording, Florilegium.
Zenobi joined the voice faculty of Butler University in 2018, after a decade of teaching at Southwestern University. She currently teaches voice, song literature, vocal pedagogy, vocal diction, and vocal repertoire courses. She also directs the Butler University Vocal Competition for high school singers. Zenobi founded BELTA.org, a nonprofit that provided free crowdfunding services and entrepreneurial support to artists and musicians for ten years. She has presented lectures and lecture recitals at numerous conferences and festivals including the Texoma Regional Conference of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), the Music By Women Festival, and the Associated Colleges of the South Gender Studies Conference.
On the opera stage, she was deemed "the chief vocal pleasure" of Lyric Opera Cleveland's The Pirates of Penzance, and named "a soprano to listen for" by the Cleveland Press. The Houston Chronicle praised her "emotionally intense and technically inspired singing" as Konstanze [Die Entfürung aus dem Serail]. She has garnered similar success in roles ranging from Mozart heroines to Puccini's Mimi and Verdi's Violetta Valery. Her portrayal of Adina [L'Elisir d'Amore] earned her an Austin Critic's Table Award Nomination. Dr. Zenobi's interest in contemporary music has lead to engagements with Austin Lyric Opera in the American premiere of Philip Glass' Waiting for the Barbarians, and the first production of Mark Adamo's Little Women directed by the composer (Lyric Opera Cleveland). She collaborated with composer H. Leslie Adams in a concert performance of his song literature, and premiered "Love While You May," a song cycle by Ashley H. Craft with trombonist Eileen Meyer Russell in 2014.
On the competition circuit, she won the voice division of the Entergy Young Texas Artists Music Competition and second place in the National Federation of Music Clubs' Biennial Young Artist Competition. She has been a finalist for The American Prize for the past four consecutive years, and was selected as a semi-finalist or finalist in numerous competitions, including the Center for Contemporary Opera, Opera Birmingham and the Austin Wednesday Morning Music Club Fielder Career Development Grant Competition.
Dr. Zenobi earned her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in Voice Performance with specialization in Voice Pedagogy at UT Austin under the direction of Darlene Wiley. Her research interests include aural modeling and acoustic analysis of the singing voice. She holds a Master's Degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where she studied with Martha Deatherage, and a Bachelor's Degree from Duke University, where she was a student of Susan Dunn. Her teachers and mentors include Irene Gubrud, Gioacchino Li Vigni, Juli Wood, David Heid and Hank Hammett.