A big voice cascaded through the octaves, blending with computer sounds and percussion, to portray Clytemnestra, the tormented figure of Greek mythology, in a 21st-century work by Roger Reynolds. At her faculty recital in March, soprano Tiffany Du Mouchelle stunned the audience with her vocal pyrotechnics and dramatic expressiveness.
In addition to exceptional talent, Du Mouchelle, a new adjunct assistant professor of music at UB and head of the voice program, possesses a rare versatility. She performs in genres ranging from classical opera to cabaret, has sung in 35 languages and is fearless in premiering challenging new-music compositions. “With contemporary music, I can collaborate with the people who are creating the scores,” says the 36-year-old recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant for American Opera Singers. “I love being able to explore something I’ve never heard recorded.”
Collaboration is important to Du Mouchelle. Seven years ago, just as she was finishing her master’s degree, her mother needed a new kidney. A perfect match, Du Mouchelle went forward with the surgery despite the risk that it could affect her voice. It didn’t, but the experience affected her greatly, helping her realize she was more interested in connecting and interacting with others than pursuing a solo career on the road.
In addition to her teaching duties and a rigorous performance schedule, Du Mouchelle is active in Cultures in Harmony (CiH), a nonprofit organization that encourages multicultural interaction through music. Through CiH, she has performed and taught in Cameroon, Egypt, Papua New Guinea and Tunisia.
“We need perspective about who it is that we are as people, and what it is that we’re doing with our lives,” she says of her wildly diverse musical projects. “Music can be a voice for that.”