Dr. Lara Brooks is a Lecturer in Applied Voice & Director of Opera Studies at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas. Comfortable in opera, musical theatre, and jazz, she has performed in a variety of roles and venues, such as Titania in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Poppea in L’incoronazione di Poppea, Eurydice in Orpheus in the Underworld, Lilli Vanessi/Kate in Kiss Me, Kate, Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Clara Johnson in The Light in the Piazza, to name a few and has been the soprano soloist for Bach’s Cantata 147 and Vivaldi’s Gloria.
As a contemporary voice specialist, Dr. Brooks frequently presents workshops regarding flexible voice technique and cross-training of vocalists. Sessions ranging from “Crossing Genres: A Classical Singer’s Guide to Jazz”, “I’m Not Singing Opera Today”, to “Healthy Belting Techniques for Classical Singers” have been presented at The International Congress of Voice Teachers in Stockholm, Sweden, The National Association of Teachers of Singing, The National Opera Association and to universities and high schools throughout the Mid and Interior West. Dr. Brooks previously taught at the Michigan Opera Theatre for their Operetta Workshop as the Vocal Coach since 2013; productions Ruddigore (2016), HMS Pinafore (2015), Pirates of Penzance (2014), & Patience (2013), was a Professor of Voice at The University of Illinois Springfield, and was an Instructor of Voice at Millikin University. She has been a guest clinician at universities, high schools, music schools, and competitions. Dr. Brooks enjoys working with students of all ages and abilities preparing for a career in music; focusing on healthy technique, interpretation, style, audition and competition preparation. She is a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, The Jazz Education Network, The Kansas Music Educators Association, Sigma Alpha Iota, Pi Kappa Lambda, and the National Opera Association. Dr. Brooks holds a DMA in Jazz Studies, Voice, and a Masters in Classical Vocal Performance & Literature from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and a double Bachelors in Music Education, Choral Emphasis, and Vocal Performance from Central Michigan University, cum laude.