Lara Bolton is a dynamic and multi-faceted keyboardist, vocal coach, conductor, arranger, and recording artist.
Ms. Bolton is passionate about fostering deep artistic connection and exploration through the lens of vocal music. Her work focuses on and implements knowledge from traditional classical singing practices and repertoire, modern aesthetics and creation, and a devoted belief in the importance of fostering the concept of wholeness and health in order to serve the artistry.
Ms. Bolton enjoys numerous and varied collaborations that serve a wide array of people. She is the Artistic Director for the Opera Reading Project, a Twin Cities-based role learning company, and is the Interim Professor of Collaborative Piano and Coaching at the University of Minnesota. In addition to conducting several productions and leading special events for Opera Reading Project each season, Ms. Bolton maintains a schedule of engagements at various opera houses in the United States. Recent pianistic collaborations of note include a concert performance of Jorge Sosa's monodrama, Generación Perdida with mezzo-soprano Victoria Vargas, a concert with two-time Grammy Winner Brittany Renee, and chamber music recitals for the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra and Ladyslipper Ensemble. She is an official pianist for the Metropolitan Opera Laffont Competition, and a vocal coach for Minnesota Opera. Other operatic affiliations include San Francisco Opera, Washington National Opera, San Diego Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington Concert Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Opera Santa Barbara, Mill City Summer Opera, Opera Colorado, West Bay Opera, Fresno Opera and Amarillo Opera. She has led musical preparation for projects at the Guthrie and Jungle Theaters, and Theater Latté Da. She maintains a private studio of vocal coaching and collaborative piano clients who work in local, national, and international sectors.
In addition to performing traditional classical styles, she is also a rock keyboardist. She enjoys working both in bands and collaborating on fusion projects that combine popular and classical vocal styles. In 2022, she and longtime collaborator Andy Wilkowske started a cover band called Vintage Starfruit. In 2018, she created an arrangement project that has been featured in New York, Minneapolis, and Milwaukee entitled Voxspex, that uses traditional operatic melodies and singing technique with newly-composed rock/soul accompaniment. She is a regular collaborator on the fusion project Guns N' Rosenkavalier, also with Andy Wilkowske, featuring arrangements written by John Glover and Kelly Rourke. In August of 2023, she music directed the new rock opera, Macbeth and the Weïrd Sisters, an adaptation of Verdi's Macbeth by Mr. Wilkowske set to a libretto by Ms. Rourke. Ms. Bolton and fellow keyboardist and singer-songwriter Jim O'Neill collaborated on a Great American Songbook project that featured them both as solo keyboardists, vocalists, and duo partners. She was also the keyboardist for John David and the Jerks for their most recent vinyl release party at the legendary 7th St. Entry in Minneapolis.
"Alexa Hill's vocals are
like futuristic sounds"