There was a moment, after Lynn Torgove already earned a B.A. in theater and a B.S. in occupational therapy, that the Jamaica Plain resident had an epiphany. Driving down the road, Torgove, who remembers singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” to her grandmother when she was 5, and singing “Hava Nagila” at her nursery school graduation, decided to apply to graduate school for music. Thinking back on it now, sitting in her Sumner Hill living room, she says she didn’t know if she would be able to make a living at music, but there was nothing she wanted to do more.
What’s a typical week for you these days?
There is no typical week; every week is different because I teach at Longy School of Music, and I’m on the faculty of the School of Jewish Music at Hebrew College, where I’m also finishing up my Masters in Jewish studies and cantorial ordination. Plus, I’m always involved in a number of different performance projects – both directing and singing. And I own my own company, Gabriel Associates, with my friend Patricia Weinmann. We do communications and presentation skills training. I love to go at this pace.
How often do you get to perform?
I sing with Cantata Singers a lot. I’ve sung with Emmanuel Music, with Zamir, with Koleinu – the Jewish community chorus. I’ve sung all over the United States and I’ve traveled around the world to sing.
What do you sing in the shower?
I’m usually warming up my voice in the shower, so it’s exercises. I mostly do my singing out of the shower.
You have a degree in theater. Do you get to do much straight acting?
I was in the company of the American Repertory Theater for one season. But I must say that I’m a better singer than I am a straight actress. I recently had the great fortune to perform the role of Maurya in the one-act opera “Riders to the Sea” with Cantata Singers. It’s a play by J.M. Synge, and Vaughan Williams set the play [to music]. I like to do that kind of acting.
And you’re doing a lot of directing.
I love directing. As a director, you visualize this world that you create, and then you get to actually see it. You’re bringing it into existence, which is very exciting. I won the Gideon Klein Fellowship at Northeastern on a topic which deals with the repression of artists during the Nazi era. So right now I’m directing a musical theater piece called “Frauen Stimmen” – which means women’s voices in German. It’s a cabaret based on the lives of several women that lived at Ravensbruck, the only all-women’s concentration camp in the system. There will be a performance at Northeastern on May 1, Holocaust Remembrance Day.
But you’re performing with Cantata Singers this weekend.
We’re doing two performances of the Bach B minor mass. I’m singing the second soprano solos in it. It’s in Latin, and most of the material was taken from other cantatas Bach had written. But he maneuvered it and transformed it so that it fit the text of the mass, and organized it so it has great variety. It’s one of my favorite pieces. It’s such joyous, heartbreaking, thrilling music, you can hardly sit still listening to it.
Cantata Singers perform at Jordan Hall in Boston on March 18 at 8 p.m. and March 20 at 3 p.m. For information, please call 617-868-5885 or visit www.cantatasingers.org.