The community mourns the passing of Donna Brunsma

  • L to R: Baritone Carlton Ford with Donna Brunsma (IAC/NMC 49, UNIV 50-51, 53).

  • Donna Brunsma (IAC/NMC 49, UNIV 50-51, 53) posing as an Interlochen concerto competition winner in 1953.

Interlochen Center for the Arts is saddened to share the news that longtime Italian diction coach Donna Brunsma has passed away at age 85.

Donna first came to Interlochen as a Camper in 1949 and frequently returned over the years as an accompanist and vocal coach. Donna studied at the Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, and The School of Sacred Music at the Union Theological Seminary in New York City before leaving the United States to continue her studies in France and Italy.

Donna joined the staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1978, and had been the vocal coach for the Opera Theatre of Lucca in Italy since 1997. She taught master classes with Luciano Pavarotti, Renata Scotto and Regine Crespin, among others. She was also a private vocal coach for opera luminaries including Renee Fleming, Salvatore Baccalni and Nicolai Ghiaurov.

A memorial service for Donna will be held on Monday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church in Traverse City, Michigan. John Bragle and the Interlochen Arts Academy Chamber Singers will perform at the service.