About Ellen....


Ellen is a gifted voice teacher, noted for her vibrant and original instructional methodology. An accomplished mezzo soprano, she teaches all vocal styles, from opera and sacred music to jazz and musical theater. Ellen is a frequent lecturer in Northern New England on vocal health and Italian diction. Ellen’s students have performed on American Idol, MTV’s “MADE” and Star Search. Her students have won numerous NATS competitions, and have gone on to careers in voice, including the Metropolitan Opera.


Ellen graduated from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and continued her studies in voice at Dartmouth College. She interned with the Lake George Opera and pursued further studies in speech pathology through the Harvard Medical School.

Ms. Nordstrom made her European debut in 1995 with the Rome Opera Festival as Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus. She has also performed lead and comprimaria roles with the Brandenberg Opera, Liederkranz Society of Manhattan, Dartmouth Repertory Players, Granite State Opera, Handel Society, Northern Stage, Opera North, Opera Burlington, Operafest NH, Vermont Opera Theater and Woodstock Madrigals.



Why I do this


Since most traditional print and web-based media outlets have severely downsized or completely droppped their Arts sections, professional critical commentary on performances and performers is often hard to come by. Those who suffer most in this dearth of print media coverage are the artists who do not have international careers and wide name-recognition, the local and regional ones who are frequently every bit as good as the world-famous. I am seeking to fill this void, at least within the state of New Hampshire, by providing my professional observations. Hopefully these reviews will be informative and instructive. I prefer to focus on local and regional talent, but I will also include reviews of well known performers who come to New Hampshire to perform.  


My Point of View


I believe that a review should evaluate objectively, though not in minute detail, the overall level of quality of the performance.  It should point out the things that were positive and those that were negative.  It should be constructive, not destructive, suggesting how the negative aspects might have been avoided.  It should encourage the artist(s) to improve, change, or continue down a successful path. In the final analysis, it represents the opinion of the knowledgeable and informed writer, and perhaps coincidentally also that of varying numbers of others, but it is not a universally agreed-upon pronouncement. It should also, as appropriate, put the performance in the larger context of history and trends in performance practices, the other arts, ideas and philosophies, culture, or the world in general.


A review should encourage the reader to continue to be a listener and live-music attendee in order to explore and get to know and love the wealth of repertoire available that would require several lifetimes to hear.  It should encourage the reader to support the musicians through attendance at their future performances.