Dr. Basil Considine is an award-winning musicologist, opera director, and composer. He was named one of Musical America‘s Top 30 Movers & Shapers in 2017 and received (with Elissa Edwards) the Society for American Music’s Digital Lectures in American Music Award for 2019.
Dr. Considine is one of Minnesota’s pre-eminent music and theatre critics, with a specialization in opera history and new opera criticism. He is a specialist in French opera from the 18th and 19th centuries, and conducted ethnographic field research on music in Hawaii and Mauritius. His landmark doctoral dissertation Priests, Pirates, Opera Singers, and Slaves: Séga and European Art Music in Mauritius, the Little Paris of the Indian Ocean outlines the active musical history of this island from its first human habitation to the 21st century. His writings on P.G. Wodehouse and Donizetti are available from Ashgate and Brepols, and his writings on international education from Springer.
Basil has been the Artistic Director of Really Spicy Opera since 2005, curating more than two dozen world premieres of music-theatre works and a host of award-winning productions. Basil has served on the faculties and staff of Azusa Pacific University, Boston University, the University of Antananarivo, The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and Walden University. He is currently a faculty member at Abilene Christian University. With Really Spicy Opera, he lead the company’s 2020 and 2022 performance tours of France and Madagascar.
Basil was a 2018-2019 Research Fellow at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library, and received the American Musicological Society’s Janet Levy Award in 2019. He was the 2021-2022 U.S. Fulbright Faculty Scholar to Madagascar. He returns to Winterthur in July 2023 as a Maker-Creator Fellow.
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 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. His opera The Frat Party was also a semi-finalist for The American Prize in Composition for 2017-2018.
Basil is an active church and concert singer. He gave his professional 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 spent several years with 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; historical keyboard performance with Peter Sykes and Nancy Granert; 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. He in alum of the Nautilus Music-Theater Composer-Librettist Studio.
Basil travels the world regularly in search of music manuscripts, mezzo-sopranos, and gelati.