Mackey Lecture – March 8, 2020

Mackey Lecture/Recital – March 8, 2020 4:00p.m.

“The Spirituality of Music”

Dolora Zajick

Mystical Rose Oratory – Chaminade University/Saint Louis School Campus

Dolora Zajick7 color - David Sauer

“One of the greatest voices in the history of opera…” New York Times

Dolora Zajick comes to the Mackey program with both a strong spiritual background and an impressive career in the world of opera. Drawn to the Carmelite tradition for many years, Zajick considers the Carmelite Order part of her family. When she’s not performing and touring internationally, she spends her time at her home in Reno, Nevada, and at the local Carmelite Monastery.

“Mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick remains a vocal phenomenon of the first order…for sheer visceral thrills in this music she’s hard to beat.” (San Francisco Chronicle)

If anyone can animate a scene, it’s Dolora Zajick, who offered a moving and powerful accounting of her first outing as Madame de Croissy, the Old Prioress, whose flawed and very human death, questioning God and raging against her fate, is one of the opera’s emotional centers. Zajick’s voice, with a hint of metal at the back of the upper notes and cavernous expansion in the lower ones, is still a couple of sizes bigger than most people’s, and as an actress, too, she delivered the goods.” (Washington Post)

Hailed as a “force of nature” (Variety), Dolora Zajick has been internationally acclaimed as that rare voice type, a true dramatic Verdi mezzo-soprano, typified by the composer’s most famous and difficult mezzo-soprano roles. With her expressive vocal palette, seamless technique and ability to communicate even the most complex character, Dolora is particularly renowned for her interpretations of Azucena in Il Trovatore, Amneris in Aida, and Eboli in Don Carlo on the world’s greatest stages.

She has appeared in opera and concert with some of the foremost conductors of today, which include James Levine, Anthony Pappano, the late Bruno Bartoletti, James Conlon, Daniele Gatti, Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Charles Mackerras, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Michael Tilson Thomas, and the late Mstislav Rostropovich.


Highlights of the 2018-2019 seasoninclude performances in Verdi’s Requiem with the Malmö Symphony, a major Verdi Gala at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow with Anna Netrebko, appearances as Amneris in Verdi’s Aida at the Metropolitan Opera and Laura Adorno in Ponchielli’s La Gioconda in Barcelona.

In recent seasons Dolora has continued to take on new roles such as  Gertrude in Hansel and Gretel, Mary in Wagner’s Der Fliegende Holländerat the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Mrs. Grose in Britten’s The Turn of the Screwwith the Dallas Opera and as Madame de Croissy in Poulenc’s Les Dialogues des Carmelites with the Washington National Opera. As well she premiered two of her own compositions:  Roads to Zion was performed at the international gathering to celebrate the life of St. Teresa of Avila and her work commissioned for the National Youth Choral Festival was given its first performance in San Francisco.  Roads to Zion was reprised in concert with Spain’s Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid

Other highlights include performances as Ortrud in a new production of Lohengrin at Madrid’s Teatro Real, a role in which she made her debut at the Los Angeles Opera in 2010, as Zia Principessa in Puccini’s Suor Angelica in Barcelona, as Ježibaba in Dvorák’s Rusalka, as the Countess in Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades at the Metropolitan Opera where, in a single season, she also took on Verdi’s three premier mezzo roles: Azucena in Il Trovatore, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera and Amneris in Aida.  She Houston welcomed her as Amneris in Aida and as Azucena in Il Trovatore and Washington National Opera as Adalgisa in Bellini’s Norma.


Dolora’s discography includes recordings of AidaIl trovatore and Don Carlo on Sony Classical and conducted by James Levine; La forza del destino and the Verdi Requiem with Riccardo Muti on EMI; Alezander Nevsky with Mstislav Rostropovich and Hérodiade with Valery Gergiev, both on Sony Classical; and Rusalka with Sir Charles Mackerras on Decca. On Telarc, her highly acclaimed solo disc entitled Dolora Zajick: The Art of the Dramatic Mezzo-Soprano contains not only the dramatic mezzo-soprano arias for which she is famous, but also coloratura mezzo-soprano arias by Rossini and several dramatic soprano arias.

Her most recent DVDs are the 2011 release of Aida from the Met’s Live in HD series (Decca) and her 2008 performances of Eboli in Verdi’s Don Carlo at La Scala (Hardy Classics), about which Opera News exclaimed “’O don fatale,’ a Zajick showstopper…At this point in her vocal life, she can do almost anything.” Also on DVD are her performances as Amneris in Aida and Azucena in Il Trovatore, both from the Metropolitan (Deutsche Grammophon), as well as productions of Aida from Arena di Verona (TDK) and Naples’s Teatro San Carlo (Image Ent). On television and DVD, Dolora has been seen in several Richard Tucker Foundation Galas (having been a winner herself early in her career), on several Pavarotti Plus Galas, and in two anniversary galas from the Metropolitan Opera stage, one commemorating the 25th anniversary of James Levine and the other the 30th anniversary of Luciano Pavarotti.


Dolora Zajick’s first major composition, Roads to Zion, an ‘opera scene’for solo voice, women’s chorus and small orchestra, received its world premiere on August 22, 2014, at the celebration commemorating the 500thyear since the birth of Saint Teresa of Avila. Presented by the Discalced Carmelite Family of the Western U.S., “The Creative Spiritual Genius of St. Teresa of Avila Today,” took place in San Jose, California.  Roads to Zion received a second performance in Madrid in 2015.

In addition to Roads to Zion, Dolora was commissioned to write a work for Chanticleer, the internationally renowned all-male choir. Other composing projects are in the works.


In addition to her outstanding performance career, Dolora is a passionate vocal pedagogue, having founded the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices in 2006, a vocal training program for large or unusual voices designed to help nurture their development according to their unique needs, and to help these young singers reach the world stage. The institute offers an intensive 3-week summer program of study with leading coaches and voice teachers who understand the nature of large or unusual voices.


Oregon-born but Nevada raised, Dolora Zajick studied voice with Ted Puffer, the conductor and former Artistic Director of the Nevada Opera, as well as professor at the Manhattan School of Music. She came to his attention when she joined the chorus of the Nevada Opera, while she was in pre-med at the University of Nevada. She graduated from the University with both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in music, before going to New York for further music studies at the Manhattan School of Music. After winning the Bronze Medal at the 7th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow and being accepted in the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Program, she made her major operatic debut with the San Francisco Opera as Azucena in Il Trovatore which launched her into international stardom.

Dolora Zajick was one of the first recipients of the Opera News Award held in 2005 along with James Conlon, Régine Crespin, Susan Graham, and Plácido Domingo, and in October 2009 was honored by the Giulio Gari Foundation in recognition of her extraordinary operatic career. In 2011 she received the Ortrud Award from the Committee for the Marjorie Lawrence Awards for Opera Excellence and OMTI.


May 2019

Mackey Lecture – October 11, 2020 4:00p.m.

“Women in Scripture”

Sr. Barbara Reid, O.P. Reid_Barbara

(Additional Morning of Recollection on October 10 at 8:30a.m.)

Mystical Rose Oratory – Chaminade University/Saint Louis School Campus


Professor of New Testament Studies                             Chicago Theological Union


MA Aquinas College                                                                                                                           PhD, Catholic University of America

Sr. Barbara is a Dominican Sister of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and has served on the CTU faculty since 1988. She has served as Vice President and Academic Dean and has been actively involved in the Association of Theological Schools, including service on their Board of Directors. She has led many of CTU’s Israel Retreats and Biblical Lands Study and Travel Programs in Greece, Turkey, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, Jordan, and Egypt. A former Spanish teacher, she has given presentations in México, Bolivia, Perú, Uruguay, Brasil, Guatemala, and Santo Domingo. She has also lectured in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the Philippines, Thailand, and Rome.


Sr. Barbara is one of the leading scholars in feminist interpretation of the Scriptures. She is General Editor for the Wisdom Commentary Series, a new 58-volume feminist commentary on the Bible published by Liturgical Press (see, where her Introduction to the series can be downloaded gratis).


She is past President of the Catholic Biblical Association (2014-2015). She was inducted into Aquinas College Hall of Fame in 2016 and has received the Yves Congar Award for Theological Excellence from Barry University (2017), St. Martin DePorres Award from the Southern Province Dominican Friars (2016), Jerome Award from Catholic Library Association (2012), Theological Award for Distinguished Women Theologians from the College of Mount St. Joseph (2010), the Sophia Award from Washington Theological Union (2000).