“It Seems like I’ve Been Singing My Whole Life.”
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Dane Reese has been using his voice to entertain audiences from all over the world. From his start at age 7 in the Texas Boys Choir, he knew his true love was music. Having a very supportive family, he was able to pursue his craft to its fullest extent at a young age. While at Texas Boys Choir, Dane started doing musicals with his elementary school and community; performing in the company, Kids Who Care, a children’s theater where he did a number of shows, including his first full musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
In high school, his focus shifted to Classical Music. His voice now starting to mature in that of a young Baritone, he realized a career where he could perform constantly was what he wanted. He began serious training with Burr Phillips, a vocal instructor at Southern Methodist University who only took one high school student, Dane. He was named to the Texas Private School All-State Choir four years in a row as second Chair Baritone. and received high marks in several NATS competitions and was asked to sing in Carnegie Hall with Mid-America Productions, performing Mozart’s: Requiem and Orff’s: Carmina Burana.
After high school, he attended New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. There he had the privilege to be mentored and taught by Edward Zambara, the renowned Baritone teacher. Zambara essentially re-taught Dane how to use his voice. Dane says he didn’t “sing one note for the first 3 months of lessons. While there he performed briefly with NECLOC, New England Conservatory Light Opera Company, but found that he wanted to be out on stage doing more than variety shows.
During the summer of those years, he started auditioning for rising artist programs and was hired for two summers at Seagle Music Colony, one of the oldest summer music training programs in the country located in Schroon Lake, New York. He performed in both Musical Theater and full Opera productions and participated in Masters Classes. It was here where he met, Darren Woods, Director of the Fort Worth Opera. Mr. Woods offered Dane a chorus part in L’italiana in Alergi, the main stage production of FortWorth Opera in their up-coming season; quite a high achievement for such a young singer. His Credits at Seagle Music Colony included: Servant to Flora-La Traviata; the Lakai-Araidne AufNaxos; Mr. Dashwood-Little Women (opera); and Bud Frump-How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.
After NEC, Dane moved to New York City to begin his professional career. He attended the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA). His instructor, Jacklyn Scheider, cultivated and sculpted his voice into a “resonant, controlled, and bold instrument.” AMDA also gave Dane acting and dancing skills which he found was something that was lacking in most classical music programs. Many of his instructors themselves were still active performers. They taught him the skills he needed to survive. But it was the weekly performances that he loved. Each week he would have to showcase a new song, have a new piece of music to perform, and by direct experience, he learned what it felt to be a performer on stage. Since his graduation, he has performed musicals and operas in Texas, South Carolina, New York, New Jersey, and New Hampshire as well as Rome and Viterbo, Italy.
Dane’s resume shows the diversity of this aspiring young talent. After AMDA, Dane’s first company was the New London Barn Playhouse in New Hampshire. There he gained a new appreciation for all the work that goes on behind the curtain when we assisted the technical crew for the summer. He learned scenic construction, light board and light design, as well as performing in 6 fully staged shows. His bigger roles included the voice of Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors; Chief Sitting Bull in Annie Get Your Gun; and Bustopher Jones in CATS. Apart from these, Dane also made his dramatic play debut first as Speed in The Odd Couple and was asked to step in at the last minute as Emperor Joseph II in the award winning play, Amadeus.
Back in New York, he auditioned for both for musical theater and opera. He auditioned for the Bronx Opera Company and for Michael Spierman, it’s Conductor. He did two shows with them, one of which being his Cover Debut as Styx from Offenbauch’s, Orpheus and the Underworld. Dane has performed in the Off-Broadway Show, Christmas Rappings, a showcase of all types of music ranging from Country, to Gospel, to Operatic, and Musical Theater. It would become one of the greatest shows he had done thus far in his career. Comprised of a chorus 100 strong, where Dane performed multiple custom solos. He still participates every year it is produced. From Bronx Opera Company to Cicso, Texas, he was cast in his first lead in a musical, Jamie Lockheart in “the Robber Bridegroom,” a comedic Bluegrass musical. Though new to this style of music, he loved performing it. By transforming his voice, he found a character which was “Clever” and who “Commanded the Stage,” per local reviews.
In New York again, he set his attention to Opera for Young Artist Programs. His first Young Artist Program was with the Dicapo Opera Company, New York City where he would remain for the next few years performing in Main-stage and Outreach Operas, as chorus, soloist, and lead. Over his seasons with Dicapo, he sang in New Jersey, Cape Cod, Philadelphia, and Worcester, Massachusetts. He was also involved in many premiers such as the New York Premier of Thomas Passatieri’s, The Hotel Casablanca and the World Premier of Francesco Chilufo’s, Il Caso Mortara. Some of his larger credits include: Schaunard (Cover), La Boheme; Count Ceprano, Rigoletto; Burton, The Hotel Casablanca; Alidoro, La Cenerentola; and Father in Giannini’s opera, Beauty and the Beast. During this time, he did not forget about musical theater. He continued to audition was cast for his first Equity show in Hilton Head, South Carolina, making him an Equity Membership Candidate. He was in the company of South Pacific where he understudied the iconic part of Emile Debeque. Though he was young, the producers felt his now quite powerful and rich baritone voice was just the sound for which they were searching.
After leaving Dicapo, and started auditioning not as a young artist but as an emerging professional, auditioning for major roles. With The Opera Manhattan Repertory Theater where he was cast as Peter in Hansel and Gretel, the opera.
Dane made his Italian debut in July 2010 performing the part of Marcello in La Boheme. Performing in Viterbo and Rome, Italy, his Marcello was well received by the Italian audience. One of his biggest honors, The Tuscia Opera Festival in Italy has asked Dane to come back and perform as Papageno on their main-stage production of The Magic Flute. In July od 2011, these performances will be seen in Rome and Viterbo and will be televised throughout Italy.
Dane’s flexible voice and his love of all forms of music have lead to a career allowing him to express himself in many forms and genres. Dane considers himself a pure performer. Not wanting to define himself as just Classical or Opera or Musical Theater but just wanting to spread his voice to audiences, theater patrons, and all lovers of music, wherever he goes.