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Caliendo returns to the halls of Bergendoff

August  20, 2012

For Rebecca Caliendo, being back on campus is strange and exciting, yet familiar at the same time. "Bergendoff has the same academic building smell but looks completely different from when I was a student," she said. Caliendo graduated from Augustana in 2005 and went on to complete her master's degree in vocal performance at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She'll join the voice faculty in the department of music this fall and winter.

Rebecca Caliendo '05

Caliendo is filling in for her former voice teacher, Dr. Sangeetha Rayapati, associate professor of music at Augustana, who is on maternity leave for the first half of the year. "It just worked out that I was available, and I'm really happy to be here - it's sort of a shock." Dr. Rayapati added, "Our mentoring relationship has remained close since Becca graduated."

Since her time at Augustana and Mizzou, Caliendo has had two apprentice contracts with the Sarasota Opera, as Bridget Booth in The Crucible and La Cugina in Madame Butterfly. Most recently she performed the role of Angelica in Sugar Creek Symphony and Song's performance of Suor Angelica and was a soloist with Viennese Symphony of Chicago and Light Opera Works.

When asked what advice she will give to her students, Caliendo said, "I look forward to letting the students know what [performing] is really like. The real world is different than academia. It's hard, but definitely rewarding."

She went on to say that the liberal arts approach to education at Augustana has prepared her most for her career, adding that she'll tell her students to "take as many languages as you can, and definitely a business class."

Caliendo's biggest piece of advice for voice students: "Listen to what your voice teachers have to tell you, regarding technique and practicing. It's all helpful."