- Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA BM Music Education
- Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA MFA Vocal Performance
- Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ DMA Vocal Performance
Professional Operatic Experience
Soprano, Donna Zapola-Connolly, has garnered acclaim in her international career from locales as diverse as Bangkok, Cairo, Manila, Hong Kong and Korea as well as the major opera and concert houses in New York City and elsewhere around the United States.
First coming to the opera-loving public’s attention with Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ acclaimed production of Il Viaggio a Reims, she has appeared as Violetta in La Traviata in Manila, Micaela in Carmen in Cairo,Agnese in Opera Orchestra of NewYork’s concert of Bellini’s Beatrice di Tenda conducted by Eve Queler, and under the direction of Leonard Slatkin with the St. Louis Symphony in Jana´cek’s Danube at Avery Fischer Hall in New York’s Lincoln Center. She has also toured the United States as Violetta in La Traviata with the New York City National Company and the Western Opera Theater touring company from San Francisco Opera. The soprano has toured and performed extensively in the Middle and Far Eastern countries.
Ms. Zapola-Connolly debuted her as Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus in New Orleans and Tampa, and returned to Tampa Bay Opera as Liu` in Puccini’s Turandot. Ms. Zapola-Connolly has also appeared as Fiordiligi in Cosi` fan tutte for Western Opera Theatre, Clorinda in Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ Cenerentola by Rossini, and the Countess and Fiordiligi in Mozart1s Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosi` fan tutte for the June Opera Festival of New Jersey. She had performed the lead in the world premiere performance of the late Jerome Moross’ Sorry,Wrong Number.
In the concert repertoire, Ms. Zapola has sung Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 2.,”Lobgesang”, with the Brevard Symphony; in Jana´cek’s Danube, Leonard Slatkin conducting; with the Pittsburgh Oratorio Society in Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis; with the Albany Symphony Orchestra in Mozart’s Requiem, Paavo Ja¨rvi conducting; with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra in Orff ‘s Carmina Burana; and with the Cayuga Chamber Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Carl St.Clair in Mozart’s Requiem and Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. For the Millennium, Maestro Jesus Lo´pez-Cobos selected her for his Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra Millennium presentation of Beethoven’s Ninth .
A Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition winner, as well as a first prizewinner in the Liederkranz Foundation Competition, and the National Federation of Music Clubs National winner, the soprano is also a recipient of the Sullivan Foundation Grant and the Puccini FoundationAward. BorninJohnstown,PA,Ms.Zapola-ConnollyapprenticedatChautauqua and Merola and was a member of the acclaimed Opera Music Theater International, Jerome Hines, Director.
Most recently Ms. Zapola-Connolly was a featured recitalist in a tour of Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Holy Land sponsored by Bravo productions and the Abu Dhabi Music Foundation. This year found Ms. Zapola-Connolly appearing at Carnegie Hall as a soloist in Stephen Crawford’s Ave Maria Mass. Later this year she will perform Rodrigo’s Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios with the Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra. Recently Ms. Zapola-Connolly performed the role of Tosca in the opera Tosca by Puccini in Dubai, UAE.
- ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PACT PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, CLEARWATER, FL (1993-1997)
- ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF VOICE UNIVERSITY OF CINCINNATI, CINCINNATI, OH (1999-2002)
- COORDINATOR OF VOCAL STUDIES ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF VOICE, NEW JERSEY CITY UNIVERSITY, JERSEY CITY, NJ
- DIRECTOR OF VOCAL MUSIC CLEARWATER HIGH SCHOOL, CLEARWATER, FL (1993-1995)
- INSTRUCTOR OF VOICE MUSICAL THEATRE COORDINATOR BROOKDALE COMMUNITY COLLEGE, LINCROFT, NJ (1997-1999)
- VP EXECUTIVE SECRETARY,HUMAN RESOURCES/LIPTON/UNILEVER ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ (1995-1997)
- Croatian Fraternal Union of America
- National American Teachers of Singing
- New York Singing Teacher’s Association, Inc.
- Rodoljub Croatian Singing Society
- Distinguished Alumni, Seton Hill University (1990)
- Mount Sinai Internship, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, NY (2002)
Thesis: An Interpretation of the Evolution and Metamorphosis of Six Selected Songs.” Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ (2006)
“Vocal Pedagogy” Sharjah University, American University of Dubai (2002-2005)
“Vocal Pedagogy” AIMS/American Institute of Musical Studies, Graz, Austria (2006)
“Vocal Pedagogy” Lorenzo de Medici Summer Music Program, Tuscania, Italy (2007)
- Seton Hill University, Greensburg, PA Certification/Liturgical Music
Vocal Pedagogy and research.
- Diction For Singers
- Opera Workshop
- Survey Of Music
- Vocal Literature
- Vocal Methods I
- Vocal Methods II
- Vocal Pedagogy
- Voice Class