Following an active career in opera and concert, Joan Caplan has become a highly respected voice teacher in New York City. She has served on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music since 1993. Prior to that she was appointed to professorships at the Boston and Oberlin Conservatories. Miss Caplan was Artist in Residence at the State University of New York at Fredonia and at Pennsylvania State University. Summer program affiliates have been the Israel Vocal Arts Institute and Centro Studi Italiani. She also participates in a summer vocal studies program with students from Korea.

She has published several articles, including one for the Tulsa Opera Playbill explaining to a general audience the joys and perils of the bel canto singer, which was called “From the Other Side of the Curtain.” Another article, published by Classical Singer Magazine, was called “The Art in Yourself.” She has given and participated in lectures for the Metropolitan Opera Guild Education Department, and teaches a course on the history of vocal recordings from 1905-1975. For 10 years Miss Caplan served on the board of the Amadeus Foundation.

Performances included: American premiers of Hans Werner Henze’s “Die Bassarids” (Santa Fe Opera) and Johann Hasse’s “L’Olimpiade” (Clarion Concerts), as well as appearances with Chatauqua Opera, Dallas Opera, Lake George Opera, NBC Opera, New York City Opera, Miami Opera, Kansas City Opera, Santa Fe Opera and the Washington Opera Society. The Mezzo Soprano’s other performances included appearances at Tanglewood, and with Bach Festivals at Carnegie Hall, Lindsborg Kansas, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. She also appeared at the Caramoor Festival, Mostly Mozart and a Stravinsky celebration in Saratoga. She has sung under the baton of composers Igor Stravinsky, Hans Werner Henze and Aaron Copland.

Symphony performances included: Baltimore Symphony; Chicago Symphony; Dallas and Washington National Symphonies. Recitals at Alice Tully Hall, Town Hall, Metropolitan Museum in New York; The Isabelle Stuart Gardner Museum, Boston; The Detroit Institute of Art; National Museum and Phillips Gallery in D.C.

Of interest to Cantorial Singers
While attending Boston University I was engaged as the mezzo-soprano soloist in the choir of Congregation Mishkan Tefila. Upon graduation I moved to New York City where I joined the ensemble of the Stephen Wise Free Synagogue and performed as cantorial soloist throughout my ten-year tenure. While there I was honored that A.W.Binder dedicated several compositions to me, including a moving setting of the 23rd Psalm and a traditional Hashkivenu. Subsequently I was recruited by Rabbi Judah Cahn to join the Metropolitan Synagogue choir and served there as mezzo-soprano soloist over the next ten years.

I have established a reputation as a teacher of cantors. Among my students are three local cantors—all graduates of HUC: Debra Stein, of The Jewish Center of the Hamptons in East Hampton, NY; Audrey Halpern, of Temple Beth David in Commack, NY; and Melissa Adleman, of Temple B’nai B’rith in Kingston, PA. In addition, two of my cantorial students from the Israel Vocal Arts Institute—Isaac Sheffer who was appointed Chief Cantor of Berlin in 2001, and his wife Mimi Sheffer, also a cantor there—continued to study with me when they moved to New York and, following their move to Berlin, check in with me whenever they come to the States.

joan's reviews
“The Powerful presence of Joan Caplan”
—John Ardoin for The Opera News
Dido and Aeneas Purcell


“Excellent...one of the best singing actresses”
The San Francisco Chronicle
Die Bassarides Henze
“Plangent mezzo soprano traced Jeremia’s lamentation expressively”
The New York Times
Lamentations of Jeremia Bernstein
“The Caplan voice moves easily between the poles of lyricism and dramatic expression, but it is her personal involvement with what she sings which makes the greatest impact”
The Washington Evening Star
Recital
“An artist of extraordinary, perhaps even phenomenal gifts”
—Detroit News
Recital
“Beauty of voice and a fine sense of personal drama”
—Boston Christian Science Monitor
Aida
“Joan Caplan...bowled me over...She took the stage to be her sole province...The audience loved her”
—Saranac Daily Enterprise
Threepenny Opera
“The abundantly talented Joan Caplan...brings the house down”
—Lake George Kite
Threepenny Opera
“Controlled dramatic power and warm lyricism. She has a fine sense of phrasing”
—Richmond Times Dispatch
Recital
“Miss Caplan gave a consistently fine performance. The lyrical quality of her voice, combined with its capacity for great dramatic expression, is particularly suited to this work”
—Springfield Daily News
Verdi Requiem