CANCELLED: 2020 CSU Voice Intensive

Join us on the CSU campus for a day of masterclasses, presentations, and recitals designed for private voice students and their teachers!

Following an opening faculty recital and introductions, teachers from the CSU voice area will conduct clinics covering a broad range of topics for  students who are considering studying voice at the college level, including classical and music theater technique, body alignment and usage, and acting. Additionally, sessions designed specifically for private teachers include repertoire selection and tools for the private studio.

Both groups will have the opportunity to sing in masterclasses throughout the day, working on honing the craft of singing. The day will end with a culminating recital for a select group of singers who register before the April 15 early registration deadline. Both teachers and students should register below.

See the schedule (right) for a complete list of sessions.


STUDENTS: Please register to confirm your spot at the 2020 CSU Voice Intensive.

TEACHERS: Please register to confirm your spot at the 2020 CSU Voice Intensive.


Per Colorado State University policies regarding COVID-19, all School of Music, Theatre, and Dance events and related activities originally scheduled for March 23 through May 15, 2020 have been cancelled, including the CSU Voice Intensive.

CSU has no greater responsibility than the health of our students and broader community; therefore, this decision has been made out of an abundance of caution due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation. For up-to-date information on COVID-19, please visit the CSU Public Safety site.

Date: Saturday, May 2, 8 a.m. — 6 p.m.

Cost: $10 (includes lunch); please bring cash or check to the event

Location: Colorado State University Center for the Arts
1400 Remington Street
Fort Collins, CO. 80524


Nicole Asel — Assistant Professor of Music

Nicole Asel, D.M.A., mezzo-soprano, serves as an assistant professor of music at Colorado State University. A finalist in the 2010 Rocky Mountain Regional Metropolitan Opera Council Auditions, she is a devoted operatic and concert performer and recitalist. She has sung with Opera Carolina, Central City Opera, Opera Fort Collins, Greensboro Opera, Long Leaf Opera, The Martina Arroyo Foundation and Colorado Light Opera and with the Piccolo Festival del Friuli Venezia Giulia in Friuli, Italy.

After working with Mark Adamo, she was selected by the composer to represent his opera Little Women in the G. Schirmer New Opera Sampler CD in the role of Jo March. She has collaborated in new opera workshops with some of the North America’s most accomplished living composers, singing the role of Elizabeth Bennett in Kirke Mechem’s Pride and Prejudice, and the role of Carrie Madenda in Sister Carrie by the Grammy Award winning compositional duo Robert Aldridge and Hershel Garfein. In addition to new operatic repertoire, Dr. Asel has a passion for contemporary art song, including the intersection of popular and classical music in particular. Scholarly works include the history and tradition of Cabaret Song in the early Twentieth Century and the Music of Living American Song Composers Ricky Ian Gordon and Rufus Wainwright.

An advocate of body wellness in the voice studio, Dr. Asel is passionate about bringing her experience with yoga, body mapping and the Alexander technique, as well as scholarship in voice pedagogy into her teaching. She is an active member of the NATS organization where her students have been selected as finalists and won in local and national competitions. Her students have gone on to receive master’s degree in voice performance, choral conducting and opera direction. Dr. Asel also enjoys her work as a guest adjudicator and clinician for vocal competitions.

She was previously a faculty member at Sam Houston State University where she was an assistant professor of voice and the University of Texas Brownsville and The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley where she taught applied voice, diction, and directed the award winning opera company. She holds a D.M.A. in Voice Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado at Boulder, a M.M. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and a B.M. from Ithaca College.

Tiffany Blake — Associate Professor of Music; Coordinator of Voice; Director of Ralph Opera Program

Tiffany BlakePraised by Opera News Online for her “…truly virtuoso performance….immaculate tone, good support and breath to spare.”, soprano, Dr. Tiffany Blake, received her D.M.A. in Vocal Performance with a minor in Opera Stage Direction from the Eastman School of Music, where she also earned her M.M. and was awarded the prestigious Performer's Certificate.

Dr. Blake's operatic roles include Desdemona in Otello, Marguerite in Faust, the title role in Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, and Mercedes in Carmen among others. Solo engagements have included appearances with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Missouri Symphony Orchestra, and Opera Fort Collins. Dr. Blake has a special interest in song literature, and has given several recitals in Scotland, France, Salzburg, and across the U.S., appearances with Chicago’s Arts at Large and the Odyssey Chamber Music concert series in Columbia, Missouri, and a vocal chamber music recital with Salzburg International Chamber Music Concerts.

Students of Dr. Blake have been accepted at major conservatories and music programs across the United States, including the Eastman School of Music, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the University of North Texas. She has served on the faculties of the University of Missouri-Columbia, Syracuse University, Alfred University, and Sonoma State University.

She currently serves as associate professor of voice and director of the Charles and Reta Ralph Opera Program at Colorado State University.

John Carlo Pierce — Assistant Professor of Music; Coordinator of Freshman Voice Studio

 American tenor John Carlo PierceAmerican tenor John Carlo Pierce enjoys an international reputation for beautiful sound and incisive acting. He holds a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Connecticut. Prior to his appointment at CSU, Dr. Pierce was most recently assistant professor of voice at New Mexico State University (NSU), and director of the Doña Ana Lyric Opera, NSU’s educational opera company. He has directed productions of Dido and Aeneas, Serse, Orphée aux enfers, and Suor Angelica.

As a member of the Florida Grand Opera Young Artist Program, Dr. Pierce made his professional debut in 1995 as Brighella in Ariadne auf Naxos, and also sang the roles of Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor and Beppe in I pagliacci with that company. He made his European debut in 1997 at the Festival of Two Worlds in Spoleto, Italy as Victor in in Die tote Stadt. As a result of his work in this production, he was invited to join the International Opera Studio of the Cologne Opera in Germany. He was promoted soon after to principal soloist, and in the next two seasons sang leading roles in Die tote Stadt, Falstaff (Fenton) and Macbeth (Malcolm), among others.

From 2001-2006, Dr. Pierce held the position of resident lyric tenor for the State Theater in Mainz, Germany. He was responsible for over twenty-five roles covering a broad range of repertoire. Highlights from his tenure in Mainz include the role of Jonathan in Handel’s Saul, which was broadcast live on German television, and the world premiere of an opera based on the life of Johannes Gutenberg by Gavin Bryars. Other roles include Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail), Don Ottavio (Don Giovanni), Conte Almaviva (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Alfredo (La traviata) and Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi).

Dr. Pierce joined the Giessen Theater in 2006, and over the next three seasons, added several new roles to his repertoire including Prince Ramiro in La cenerentola, Narraboth in Salome, and Medoro in Orlando Paladino, which was broadcast live on German radio. Dr. Pierce has appeared as guest artist at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, the Aargau Festival in Switzerland, and in Darmstadt, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Freiburg, Halle, Heidelberg, Kassel, Nuremberg, and Schwerin.

Recent and upcoming credits include debuts with the El Paso Opera, the New Mexico Philharmonic, the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra and the St. John’s Bach Project in Albuquerque, N.M.


Registration and Faculty Recital

  • 8-9 a.m.: Student and studio teacher arrival/check-in (students can help check participants in)
  • 9-9:30 a.m.: Faculty recital and introductions

Group Sessions

Block 1, 9:45-10:45 a.m.:

  • Developing Kinesthetic Awareness and Healthy, Efficient Singing (students): Dr. Tiffany Blake
  • Straw phonation and other props in the Studio (teacher): Dr. Nicole Asel

Block 2, 11 a.m. — 12 noon:

  • Repertoire for beginning voices (teachers): Dr. John Carlo Pierce
  • Music Theater Masterclass (students): Dr. Nicole Asel

12-1:30 p.m.: LUNCH

Block 3, 1:30-2:30 p.m.:

  • Acting for Singers (everyone): Dr. Tiffany Blake

Block 4, 2:45-3:45 p.m.:

  • Masterclass for Teachers: Dr. John Carlo Pierce
  • Masterclass for Students, classical: Dr. Tiffany Blake

4-5 p.m.:

  • Culminating student recital

5 p.m.:

  • Casual reception

*Subject to change.