Empowering musicians to create their own path

Dana Lynne Varga is on a mission to transform the classical music industry.

A leading voice for change in the classical music industry, Dana Lynne Varga is a clinician, lecturer, and speaker on a mission to transform the traditional classical music career.

She brings extensive experience as an entrepreneur, artistic director, performer, voice teacher, lecturer, and writer to her life's work of empowering classical musicians.

Dana regularly writes and speaks about creating a sustainable music career, how build a financially stable future, entrepreneurship in classical music, and more. Previous engagements include Longy School of Music, NATS, New England Conservatory, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Harvard University, Classical Singer Competition, Boston Singers' Resource, and many others.

"Dana has the perspective, intelligence, and boldness to be a real game changer. She can help empower you to change your game—the way you sing and plan your own path—but she can also empower the entire singing community to view the art and business of singing in a positive, productive way moving forward.

"…She could change the entire system."

W. Stephen Smith

Author, The Naked Voice; Voice Faculty, Northwestern University

"Multiple students approached me to express that Dana’s lecture imparted some of the most valuable information they have received during their time at NEC. Perhaps most impressive was the quantity and clarity of information that Dana managed to impart in just an hour… Students left the lecture feeling enlightened and empowered by the clear steps they could take to build their careers."

Emily Siar

DMA student and organizer of the Vocal Pedagogy Guest Speaker Series, New England Conservatory

"Dana…offered a wealth of practical advice for singers, other musicians, and students of theater and fine arts, encouraging them to create their own opportunities and discover unique personal ways to pursue a fulfilling and financially viable career in the arts. [Her presentation] was both pragmatic and motivational for students grappling with the practicalities of life beyond college."

Valerie MacPhail

Assistant Director of the PSOM, Associate Professor of Voice, Converse College

Get inspired.

Bring Dana to your institution, conference, or retreat. Dana delivers presentations tailor-made to fit any need. Her workshops and keynotes are in high demand, with limited availability. Early bookings are encouraged

Most requested topics:

  • Creating a sustainable music career
  • Establishing a successful private music studio
  • How to avoid debt and build a financially stable future
  • Ethical dilemmas in academic music programs
  • Entrepreneurship in classical music
  • Toxic relationships in the arts

Founder and CEO of The Empowered Musician, Dr. Dana Lynne Varga brings extensive experience as a successful entrepreneur, artistic director, performer, voice teacher, lecturer and writer to her life's work of empowering classical musicians. A graduate of two intensive coach training courses through Graydin Coaching, Dana draws on her breadth of experience and deep industry knowledge to help musicians find and embrace their own authentic career path.

Read Dana's 2020 article in the Boston Globe

In addition to maintaining a full private voice studio for over 15 years, Dana served for seven years on the voice and opera faculty at the BU Tanglewood Institute, two years on the full-time voice faculty at UMass Amherst, and two years on the voice faculty at the New England Conservatory Prep school. Dr. Varga currently serves on the voice faculty at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She is also Founder and Co-Artistic Director of MassOpera.

Dana regularly performs a wide variety of repertoire on the opera and concert stages. Recently she made her Carnegie Hall debut as the soprano soloist in Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with Mid-America Productions. Dana’s 2019 appearance as Pallas Athene in Gluck’s rarely heard Paride ed Elena with Odyssey Opera garnered critical acclaim. Other notable engagements include Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with The Cantata Singers, Beethoven’s 9th with the Wellesley Symphony and Mozart’s Mass in C Minor with Coro Allegro. Favorite roles performed include Musetta/La bohème, Fiordiligi/Così fan tutte, Anna Maurrant/Street Scene, Rosalinda/Die Fledermaus, Micaëla/Carmen, Hanna Glawari/The Merry Widow, and the title role in Alcina.

Dana won the Second Place American Prize for Art Song and Oratorio in 2019 and was the First Place Winner of the professional division of the national Classical Singer Competition in 2016. She holds the Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree in Vocal Performance from Boston University, the MM in Vocal Performance from the New England Conservatory, and a BM in Vocal Performance from UMass Amherst.

Pedagogical Approach

In the studio, Dana focuses on tailoring instruction for each individual, freeing the voice using a combination of vocal function exercises, overall technique work and body tension release. She has been greatly influenced by the works of major pedagogues of the bel canto school, including Garcia, Vaccai and Marchesi, as well as the philosophies of W. Stephen Smith, author of The Naked Voice.

Dana also appears regularly on podcasts and other media platforms.

Previous appearances include:

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