Dan Klein: Homegrown Star

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With a true passion for beautiful music, Great Neck’s native son Daniel Klein brings music to the world and is now focusing on bringing the classics back home. “We need more classical music,” he told the Great Neck Record when he brought his troupe, North Shore Music Festival, to Steppingstone Park as the summer wound down.
On a beautiful late-summer evening, Klein and his company presented the Great Neck Park District’s performing arts concert production of Rigoletto. Klein, co-founder and current executive director, performed before his hometown audience as Monterone in the opera.

Daniel Klein in The Marriage of Figaro.
Daniel Klein in The Marriage of Figaro.

Klein, a bass-baritone opera singer, is amazingly versatile and says that he “evolves as an artist” as have the roles that he “is called upon to interpret.”

Meeting with Klein just prior to the Great Neck performance, he was delighted to see old friends and he shared his love of opera. “Often I find opera more real than real life,” he told the Record. “The audience really feels the mood, as in Rigoletto.”

As for the role of Monterone, he explained that he had chosen this smaller role, as it allowed him the necessary time to head his company. Recently, he has also appeared as Mustafa in Vermont’s Opera Company of Middlebury’s performance L’italiana in Algeri, with the Brooklyn Philharmonic in the world premier of excerpts from Misha Dutka’s holocaust opera Liebovar, as John Proctor in IVAI Tel Aviv’s production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible, and as the Podesta in Bronx Opera’s La Gazza Ladra.

Klein has performed in operas world-wide and across America. As recent as last fall he performed in Argentina, and he has performed and/or studied in Italy, Austria and Germany.

In 2008 Klein was invited to join the Evelyn Lear and Tom Stewart Emerging Singers Program of the Wagner Society of Washington D.C. and appeared in their annual concert.

And there is more­—his voice can be heard in soundtracks by Emmy Award winning film composer James Michael Dooley.
Klein grew up in Great Neck, in a house once owned by his mother’s parents. He attended Saddle Rock Elementary School and Great Neck North Middle School, as well as St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows.

As a youngster he accompanied his dad to St. Aloysius Church choir rehearsals, where the choir director recognized his talent and provided his first professional voice lessons. Klein still performs with the St. Stephen’s Church Choir in Port Washington, with the same music director.

Klein holds a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University. In 2002, he graduated from the University of Southern California’s Flora L. Thornton School of Music with a Master’s in Vocal Arts. He attended La Universita per Stranieri di Perugia, Italy and attended Die Neue Schule, Berlin, Germany.

In 2006, as part of Angels Vocal Arts Center he worked intensely in televised master classes with legendary tenor Carlo Bergonzi, who declared that Klein has a “truly a Verdian voice, absolutely.”

Throughout elementary, middle and high school the young Dan Klein participated in musical theater productions and chorus programs. He also participated in the Great Neck Library Levels theater programs in performing or directing capacities.
Not enough to do? Klein also provides voice lessons to both beginning and professional singers in the area, but in Manhattan and in Queens. Check out his teaching website: www.thinkbreathesing.com

For more information on Daniel Klein, head for his personal website: www.danielkleinonline.com

To keep up with Klein and the North Shore Music Festival and to see performances: www.northshoremusicfestival.org

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Wendy Kreitzman is the former editor of Great Neck Record.

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