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William Cotten

Voice Faculty

William Cotten earned a B.M. in instrumental and vocal music education from Mississippi State University and a M.M. in vocal performance from the New England Conservatory (NEC). Cotten also was a member of the Opera Theater of the Boston and New England Conservatories. His studied voice with Susan Clickner, Mark Pearson and Lucy Phillips, and he coached with Angela Vanstory Ward, John Moriarty, Margo Garrett, Terry Decima and Dennis Helmrich. He sang in master classes with Phyllis Curtin, Gérard Souzay and William Warfield, and his directors have included Peter Sellars, Andrei Serban, John Moriarty, Linda Brovsky and Leon Major.

Cotten performed with the Boston Opera Theater company in The Marriage of Figaro, which was filmed in Vienna and aired on PBS's Great Performances. He also performed in Paris and Barcelona (Gran Teatro del Liceu), and in the American Repertory Theater’s world premiere of Robert Moran and Phillip Glass's The Juniper Tree. Cotten’s opera credits include work with the Wolf Trap Opera, the June Opera Festival of New Jersey, the Augusta Opera, the PepsiCo Summerfare and the Boston Music Theatre Project. He performed as a soloist with Chorus Pro Musica, Banchetto Musicale, Emmanuel Music, the New Hampshire Symphony, the Nashua Symphony Choral Society, Monadnock Music, the Indian Hill Orchestra, the Dartmouth Handel Society, the Greater Merrimack Valley Chorale, the Hampshire Choral Society and Swanhurst Chorale. He was a resident soloist with the Breckenridge Music Institute of Colorado (1990). Cotten placed third in the Metropolitan Opera New England Regional Auditions (1986) and was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center (1986).

Cotten’s students have sung throughout the U.S. and Europe in opera, concert and music theater on Broadway and in numerous national tours. He is currently on the faculty of NEC (1999–present) and served as the director of the Voice Division at the University of Massachusetts (Boston, 1990–2000). He was the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Massachusetts District Governor (2002–2006) and was on the NATS Boston Chapter Board of Directors (1998–2004).

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