Rebecca Oliverio, Trumpet
Acting Assistant Principal
Hometown: Beltsville, Maryland
Joined Lyric Orchestra in 2020
Education: BM from Boston University, 2017; MM from Northwestern University, 2019
Rebecca Oliverio returns to Chicago after having spent a season with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach. Her summer engagements have included the Tanglewood Music Festival, Music Academy of the West and the National Repertory Orchestra. While at Northwestern Ms. Oliverio played with the NU Symphony Orchestra on their tour to Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong as principal of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. During her undergraduate degree she studied at the Royal College of Music, London with Mark Calder and on natural trumpet with Paul Sharp. Her other teachers include David Bilger, Terry Everson, Channing Philbrick, Thomas Rolfs, Michael Sachs, Thomas Siders and Robert Sullivan.
What was your first experience with opera?
My first real encounter with opera music was in high school. The conductor in my youth orchestra helped put together a performance of Madama Butterfly and Miss Saigon where there was a continuous storyline, but the songs from both works alternated. I had never played opera in an ensemble up to that point, but the whole process and production had a great impact on me. I found true enjoyment in studying and performing opera.
How did you choose your instrument?
I grew up in a very musical family and my parents had each of us choose an instrument to play in the band once we entered the fourth grade. I always loved the sound of the trumpet, especially on John Williams film recordings with Tim Morrison and Maurice Murphy. When it came time for me to pick an instrument, my mom gave me a choice between trumpet and trombone. One of my older brothers, who also played trumpet at the time, encouraged me to choose the same instrument and I did!
Outside of the pit:
I am an avid painter and love doing paintings as a reminder of the places I have traveled. I recently started portrait painting in oils and really enjoy learning to use different mediums. I also took several classes on war history during my undergraduate years and like reading historical fiction and nonfiction.
One of my favorite quotes:
I worked with Michael Tilson Thomas at the New World Symphony for a short time before joining the Lyric Orchestra. In the silence before one of our rehearsals began, he said “It’s only one breath away.” He meant that we only have to breathe and then we take the audience on an emotional journey through the music.