About Katherine Kaufman Posner

Master Teacher of Voice

Teacher of Singing

My private studio is in Raleigh, North Carolina.  I can be easily reached from all over the Triangle.  I teach private lessons in my home studio.

What is Bel Canto?

I teach Bel Canto. Bel canto translates as “beautiful song.” Actually, it is several things.

About Katherine

A proponent of a functional approach to singing, based on an understanding of the nature and physiology of the vocal mechanism. Her teaching brings about a transformative experience leading to healthy, free, and beautiful singing.

Why do I teach singing?

I teach singing because I consider singing to be a tremendously BIG DEAL. There is an ancient tradition that sound is spirit in action. If so, then making sound is an act of expressing the spirit in us. I believe this. Our voices express our very nature and creative power.

Wait! Breathe! Sing!

A short video documentary, detailing Katherine’s teaching style, vocal style, and singing technique along with 10 tracks from "Sweet Harmony" by Katherine Kaufman Posner.

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Whether you’d like to schedule vocal lessons or follow-up with a question, I’d love to hear from you! Please use the form below to write me a message.

Katherine Kaufman Posner is a master teacher of voice.

Katherine is a proponent of a functional approach to singing, based on an understanding of the nature and physiology of the vocal mechanism.  Her teaching brings about a transformative experience leading to healthy, free, and beautiful singing. Katherine has a reputation as a gifted, caring and down-to-earth instructor who is highly successful in leading singers to increased vocal health and high level performing ability.

In 1965, Katherine became a student of the world-renowned Cornelius L. Reid, author of five highly respected books on singing, including The Free Voice and Bel Canto: Principles and Practices.  Through her work with Reid, she became deeply committed to understanding and also replicating the teaching of the Italian masters of the bel canto tradition.

The success of Katherine’s teaching has convinced her that perfection in singing is attained by obtaining true pitch and purity of vowel.  These two, combined with attention to an ideal balance of the vocal registers, create proper laryngeal function, and a tone that is free from tenseness and constriction. Understanding the relationship between vowel, pitch, and healthy registration of the voice based on an understanding of laryngeal function is at the heart of the bel canto approach to singing.  The teaching of Cornelius L. Reid, and those who advocate his approach, is not a “method.”  No prescribed method of vocalization will work for all singers, guaranteeing freedom of the voice.  Every singer requires an individualized training that has at its heart the correction of pitch and vowel leading to a natural way of producing sound which is in agreement with the known, correct physiology of the vocal mechanism.

Through her study with Reid, Katherine gradually made a decision to focus her work on teaching. She now has more than fifty years of teaching experience, and has had appointments to the faculties of four universities, including Duke University and The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she also enjoyed a performing career in faculty recitals, chamber music, and opera.

Katherine was called by Metropolitan Opera Conductor Kurt Adler, “One of the voices of her generation.” After winning the Metropolitan Opera National Auditions at the age of twenty – at that time, the youngest ever to have been a national winner – she made her professional debut at the Santa Fe Opera.  She also appeared at the San Francisco Spring Opera as Lisette in La Rondine, sang four trans-continental tours with the Goldovsky Opera Theatre as Rosina in Barber of Seville, Micaela in Carmen, and as both Mimi and Musetta in La Boheme. She was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Studio, performed at Avery Fisher Hall as Micaela in Carmen, with the Duluth Opera as Oscar in The Masked Ball. Other roles she has performed include Filene in Mignon, Ophelia in Hamlet, Creuse in Milhaud’s Medee, Monica in The Medium, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, both Gretel and the Mother in Hansel and Gretel, and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni.  She coached and did role study with Kurt Adler, as well as other prominent musicians and coaches, such as Martin Rich, John Moriarty, Anton Coppola and Emerson Buckley.

Early in her career, Katherine was a featured soloist with the Amarillo Symphony, the Oklahoma Symphony, as well as the U.S. Naval Academy orchestra and chorus. She has enjoyed the opportunity to perform chamber music in the New Composers Series at UNC, Re-encuentro Cubano Festival (modern Cuban composers) in Miami, and with the North Carolina Chamber Players. As anyone who has had a opportunity to hear Katherine in recital can attest, Katherine has a special affinity and fondness for the recital platform. In fact, in addition to her transcontinental opera tours, she has performed throughout the U.S., including recitals at venues as varied as the Brooklyn Museum, WNYC radio and television, the Community Concert Series in New Mexico, the Edna Hibel Museum in Palm Beach, and the Raleigh Museum of Art.

Katherine is not only a singer and extraordinary teacher of singing, but also an experienced stage director and teacher of acting.  She has also been an arts advocate for organizations in North Carolina and Florida and participated in fundraising campaigns for both arts and educational institutions. In the 1970s, she worked to bring opera to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area of North Carolina and was a founder and the Artistic Director of the North Carolina Lyric Opera. At the same time, she served on Governor James B. Hunt’s Cultural Advisory Committee and was also Co-Chairman of his Opera Policy Sub-Committee. Later, in Miami she served on the Barry University Institutional Review Board, the task of which was to supervise the use of human subjects in graduate research projects leading to theses and dissertations.

My Inspiration

Many talented singers have inspired me over the years, probably too many to mention. There are those, however, that deserve special mention and are listed here:

Sopranos
  • Luisa Tetrazzini
  • Mary Garden
  • Amelita Galli-Curci
  • Alma Gluck
  • Frida Leider
  • Kirsten Flagstad
  • Rosa Ponselle
  • Hellen Traubel
  • Zinka Milanov
  • Dorothy Kirsten
  • Eleanor Steber
  • Birgit Nilsson
  • Eileen Farrell
  • Renata Tebaldi
  • Leonie Rysanek
  • Regine Crespin
  • Montserrat Caballe
  • Martina Arroyo
  • Teresa Stratas
Mezzo-sopranos
  • Gladys Swarthout
  • Jennie Tourel
  • Ebe Stigniani
  • Regina Resnik
  • Christa Ludwig
  • Rosalind Elias
  • Teresa Berganza
Contraltos
  • Ernestine Schumann-Heink
  • Louise Homer
  • Maureen Forrester
Tenors
  • Enrico Caruso
  • Leo Slezak
  • John McCormack
  • Tito Schipa
  • Beniamino Gigli
  • Lauritz Melchior
  • Jan Peerce
  • Josef Schmidt
  • Jussi Bjoerling
  • Nicolai Gedda
  • Jon Vickers
  • Fritz Wunderlich
  • Luciano Pavarotti
  • Placido Domingo
Baritones
  • Tita Ruffo
  • Lawrence Tibbett
  • Leonard Warren
  • Herman Prey
Basses
  • Feodor Chaliapin
  • Ezio Pinza
  • George London
  • Cesare Siepi
  • Giorgio Tozzi
  • Norman Treigle
  • Walter Berry
  • Thomas Quasthoff

About Me

In addition to her professional development support from the Metropolitan Opera, Katherine was a recipient of grants from The Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, the Borden Company, and the Weyerhauser Paper Company.  Katherine Kaufman Posner is a lecturer in voice production and an expert in coaching musical styles, teaching English and foreign language diction, acting and stage movement.  She has a private voice studio in the Triangle.

Reviews

Katherine Kaufman captivated…She gave notice of a major talent.

Los Angeles Times

“The hit of the evening was Katherine Kaufman. Her voiced matched… her ability to communicate with the audience.”

OPERA, London

“…the most brilliant was Katherine Kaufman…strong-voiced, well-controlled and superbly comic…”

Oakland Tribune

A Special Thank You:

I am a disciple of the world-renowned Cornelius Reid, rediscoverer of the principles of the bel canto tradition. I was also was fortunate to study under the great Elisabeth Parham who was a professor of voice at Oklahoma University, and who guided me to a national award in the Metropolitan Opera Auditions. I will always be grateful to these two teachers who changed my life and made it possible for me not only to be successful as a singer, but also to teach in a way that enables the human voice to be as nature intended, to function correctly and therefore to be beautiful and free.

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