Dr. Basil Considine is a Minnesota-based musicologist, composer-director, and playwright. He is the Artistic Director of Really Spicy Opera, teaches at Azusa Pacific University, and is on the music staff at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, MN. He is also one of Minnesota’s pre-eminent music and theatre critics.Basil’s work frequently takes him across the United States and to Western Europe. He has conducted ethnographic field research on music in Hawaii and Mauritius, and lived in Mauritius from 2011-2012 to conduct ethnographic research for his doctoral dissertation, Priests, Pirates, Opera Singers, and Slaves: Séga and European Art Music in Mauritius, the Little Paris of the Indian Ocean. His writings on P.G. Wodehouse and Donizetti are available from Ashgate and Brepols.
Basil has been the Artistic Director of Really Spicy Opera (formerly The Reduced Spice Opera Company of Brookline) since 2006.
Basil began his musical studies at the age of 4 in the Boston area, where he attended the Boston Archdiocesan Choir School, Suzuki School of Newton, and New England Conservatory of Music Preparatory School. He received a bachelor’s degree in music (vocal and piano performance) and theatre from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree in sacred music and composition from the Boston University School of Theology. He holds a completed PhD in music (historical musicology and ethnomusicology) and drama from Boston University, and wrote a musical and military history of the island of Mauritius for his dissertation.
Basil is an active church and concert singer. He gave his concert debut in Boston’s Symphony Hall at age 11, as the boy soprano soloist with the BSO in John Corigliano‘s Of Rage and Remembrance. His concert appearances have included performances with the Boston Pops, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Festival Chorus, Marine Band San Diego, and the Boston Boy Choir. He is currently a member of the Cathedral Choir and the Schola Cantorum at the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis, one of the largest and most important Catholic churches in the Upper Midwest.
Basil’s teachers include Simon Carrington and Ryan Murphy (conducting), Christopher Adler and Samuel Headrick (composition), and Lydia Diamond (playwriting). He studied Medieval and Renaissance music with Sean Gallagher, Marianne Pfau, Joshua Rifkin, and Jeremy Yudkin; ethnomusicology with Steven Cornelius and Brita Heimarck; church history and liturgy with Christopher Brown and Karen Westerfield Tucker; historiography with Barbara Diefendorf and Andrew Bacevich; music and drama with James Winn; opera with Ron Shaheen; and contemporary music with David Kopp and Andrew Shenton.
- June 2017: Directing Disney’s Aladdin, Jr., Disney’s 101 Dalmations – KIDS, and Godspell, Jr. for Morningside Theatre Company in Edina, MN.
- May 2017: On tour with Really Spicy Opera.
- February 2017-April 2017: Directing The Enchantment of Beauty and the Beast for Northern Starz Children’s Theatre in Ramsey, MN.
- 25-31 January 2017: Lectures and master classes at Azusa Pacific University and the Coronado School of the Arts.
- 7-22 January 2017: On tour with Really Spicy Opera’s 2017 Hawaii Fringe Festival Circuit tour with a revival of Game of Thrones: The Musical.
- 15 October 2016: Basil presented “The Thematic Language of Game of Thrones: ‘The Rains of Castamere’ and Other Songs” at the American Musicological Society–Capital Chapter’s Fall Meeting in Ashland, VA.
- 26 September 2016: Basil presented a program of original music and musical theatre classics, The Basil Spiceherb Cabaret, at Troubadour Wine Bar in Minneapolis.
- August 2016: Basil musically directed the world premiere of Game of Thrones: The Musical at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
- June 2016: Basil participated as a composer in Nautilus Music-Theatre’s 2016 Composer-Librettist Studio.
- June 2016: Basil musically directed Really Spicy Opera’s 10th Anniversary Production of Verdi’s Rigoletto.
- 2 April 2016: Basil moderated the panel “Nontraditional Paths to Teaching Academic Writing Through a College Writing Center” at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs in Los Angeles, CA.
- 26 March 2015: Basil presented the paper “Anglo-Dutch Seafarers and Musical Diplomacy in the Age of Discovery” at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America in Berlin, Germany.
- 9 January 2015: Basil gave the pre-performance lecture “Secret Subsidies and Government Propaganda: Behind the Scenes at the World Premiere of La Fille du Regiment” for Greensboro Opera’s production of Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment.
- 15 November 2014: Basil presented the paper “Slaves, Music, and Ruse in the Anglo-Dutch Invasion of Mauritius (1748)” at the 2014 Meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology in Pittsburgh, PA.
- August 2014: Basil directed the opera The Frat Party at the Minnesota Fringe Festival.
- 12 April 2014: Basil presented the paper “A Singer from Casanova’s Circle: Louise ‘Lolotte’ Gaucher (c. 1717-1765), Fille d’Opéra and Courtesan” at the 2014 Spring Meeting of the Midwest Chapter of the American Musicological Association in Minneapolis, MN.
- 5 April 2014: Basil presented the paper “Boscawen’s Repulse and the Sound of the Drums: A Case Study in Ethnomusicologically Informed Military History” at the 2014 Meeting of the Midwest Society for Ethnomusicology in Appleton, WI.
- August 2013: Basil was a selected artist for the 2013 Freedom Art Retreat organized by Playwrights’ Commons.
- June 2013: Basil attended the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute Empires and Interactions across the Early Modern World, 1400-1800 at Saint Louis University in St. Louis, MO.
- 24 May 2013: Basil delivered an invited lecture entitled “Liszt, the Symphonic Poem, and Wagner’s Mature Style” at Mercer University’s Townsend School of Music in Macon, GA.
- 6 April 2013: Basil presented the paper “Challenges to Greco-Roman Concepts of Music in Marin Mersenne’s Questions Harmoniques” at the Renaissance Society of America’s Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.
- 1 February 2013: Basil presented the paper “Music and the Pirates of Madagascar” at the Winter Meeting of the New England Chapter of the American Musicological Society at Tufts University in Medford, MA.
- 4 November 2012: Basil presented the paper “The Rise and Fall of Classical Music in Colonial Mauritius, ‘The Little Paris’ of the Indian Ocean” at the Joint Meeting of the American Musicological Society, Society for Ethnomusicology, and Society for Music Theory (AMS/SEM/SMT) in New Orleans.
- 8 October 2012: Basil presented the paper “Re-Attributing London-Royal College of Music MS1070: New Technologies and Insights” at Boston University’s Medieval and Renaissance Symposium.
- 3 July 2012: Basil presented the paper “Identity in Mauritius: the Role of Government Policy and Tourism in the Formation of ‘National Culture'” at the International Musicological Society Congress in Rome.
- 29 June 2012: Basil presented the paper “Music, Musicians, and Aspirational Marketing in the Tourism Industry of Mauritius” as part of the Current Trends in Ethnomusicology 4 Doctoral Workshop in Hildesheim.
- 2011-2012: Basil conducted field research on the island of Mauritius.
- 17 September 2011: Basil presented the paper “La Fille du Régiment and the Construction of French Patriotism and Identity in the Inter-Empire Period” at the conference VIVA V.E.R.D.I. in Pistoia.
- 3 September 2011: Basil presented the paper ” Confrontation and Accommodation in the Battle of Séga and Christian Song in Mauritius” at the conference Christian Congregational Music: Local and Global Perspectives at Ripon College Cuddesdon.
- 26 March 2011: Basil presented the paper “The Tudor Rose, Anne Boleyn, and Heraldry in the Attribution of Royal College of Music Manuscript” at the Renaissance Society of America’s Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada.
- 2010-2011: Basil conducted field research on hula and tourism in Hawaii.
- 21 April 2010: Basil directed the world premiere of Simple Gifts: A Copland Opera, by Aaron Krerowicz.
Basil travels the world regularly in search of music manuscripts, mezzo-sopranos, and gelati.