Shooka Afshar, Soprano, City of Boston Certified Artist, and a Harvard Music Award Winner
born in Tehran, Iran, finished her undergraduate studies in classical vocal performance at Longy School of Music of Bard College in 2012. She received her Master’s Degree in Music in classical vocal performance and her Teaching Artist certificate on May 2014 from Longy. Shooka is a Boston based active recitalist in operatic, classical and Iranian repertoire. She has appeared in Opera scenes such as “Donna Elvira” in Don Giovanni and “Electra” in Idomeneo with the coaching of Daniel Wyneken and Janice Giampa at New England Conservatory. In addition, she has appeared as “The First Lady” in The Magic Flute, “Mrs. Mc. Lean” in Susannah and “Edith” in Pirates of Penzance under the coaching of Vanessa Schukis at Longy School of Music.
She made her operatic debut as the “Princess”; from Dvorak’s opera The Cunning Peasant in it’s US premier on Feb 2014 produced by the Calliope Ensemble at the First Unitarian Church of Boston.
Shooka has always appreciated the relation between music and visual arts, especially animation, knowing that she has always had a great animation-like imagination since childhood. From 2016 she started a new music entrepreneurship journey into the Performance Art starting with her own composition/improvisation at the MMAC Theater, Lincoln Center, NY. Since then Shooka has been an active composer in addition to her on going singing career. She premiered her first album “Childhood” at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in March 2017, and her second album “Nowrooz Stayed Untouched” at the MFA in March 2019. “Nowrooz Stayed Untouched” is a mix media performance, where music is followed by a narrative animation and modern dance, as what always Shooka has intended to do; engaging different senses of the audience at her performances. Her recent mixed media composition is an opera on women’s rights, inspired by her life story of how she became a classical singe; Women /Immigration / Fight or Flight.
Some of her recent appearances/original compositions include The Coded Birth at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Boston, Turn Me Into A Mannequin at the NYU, Nowrooz Stayed Untouched, and her opera on women’s rights; Women / Immigration / Fight or Flight at Museum of Fine Arts Boston (Online due to the pandemic).
She has on going Mixed Media – Sound Drama Project, called The Manipulation Project. She lead a team of 8 artists at an Artist in Residency near Milan, Italy, July 1st – 25th 2022. In that heavenly experience in the foot of the Alpine, they were able to bring Shooka’s imagination and creativity into life. They performed the piece in a few venues in Italy. Shooka is working on this composition. As she says “This piece is evolving through time”. And in her opinion, it is needs more manipulation to reach completion! Ha!
Shooka is currently planning nationwide and international tours for her mixed media opera.
Shooka has been a student of Mary McKlimeck, and follows Mary’s techniques in her singing style (Estill Voice Trainings). She has also been trained under the vocal pedagogy and voice therapies of Hadas Golan at the Boston Medical Center for the last 7 years, and she follows the Buteyko breathing Techniques.