Dr. Basil Considine is a Minnesota-based musicologist, composer-director, and playwright. He is the Artistic Director of Really Spicy Opera, teaches at Walden University in Minneapolis, MN, and is the resident Classical Music and Drama Critic at the Twin Cities Daily Planet. In 2015, he was named the National Opera Association‘s Regional Governor for the North Central Region.
Basil has been an active member of the Twin Cities’ musical and theatrical communities since 2013. In 2014, he was invited to join the organizing committee for the state-wide Minnesota Shakesyeare festival, representing the theatrical press. His work for the stage and church takes him across the United States, and musicological pursuits regularly see him straddling both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. 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.
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.
On 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.
Basil directed the opera The Frat Party at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August 2014.
On 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.
On 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.
In August 2013, Basil was a selected artist for the 2013 Freedom Art Retreat organized by Playwrights’ Commons.
During 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.
On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
Basil conducted field research on the island of Mauritius from 2011-2012.
On 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.
On 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.
On 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.
Basil conducted field research on hula and tourism in Hawaii during 2010 and 2011.
On 21 April 2010, Basil directed the world premier of Simple Gifts: A Copland Opera, by Aaron Krerowicz.
Basil travels the world regularly in search of music manuscripts, mezzo-sopranos and gelati.