Alumni Profile – Alexandra Dietrich ’03

Alumni Profile

Alexandra_Dietrich '03Alexandra Dietrich ’03
Salem, MA
Voice Professor at the Osher School of Music at the University of Southern Maine and a freelance Opera and Theatre Stage Director and Opera Singer

Alexandra is a Puerto Rican American originally from Freeport, Maine. She is a mezzo-soprano widely praised for singing with “passion and understanding.” She performs worldwide and was nominated for a 2021 GRAMMY Award in the category Best Opera Recording for her work on “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.”

Where did you go to college and what did you study? 

I attended the University of Southern Maine for musical theatre and music education. I was trained by the Met Opera Guild Urban Voices as a music teaching artist and attended the Longy School of Music for Opera Performance. She is currently working on another master’s degree at Harvard University with a focus on Dramatic Arts.

What was your favorite academic class at NYA?  

That’s a tough one! I adored my English and Latin classes with the Markonishes, as well as Great Issues with Bill Hallett – it was a course that really asked us all to begin critically thinking about the world through history and through debate and discussion of moral issues.

What extracurricular activities did you participate in at NYA? Did you continue any after graduating? 

I was in every possible chorus and musical offered by Nora Krainis, as well as both Steel Drum band and Jazz Band with Ian Ramsey. I went to school for Musical Theatre at USM, and then studied opera in Graduate School. As a professional, singing has taken me around the world. As a producer, my work in the music industry has taken me to the GRAMMYS. As a director, I’ve been able to work side by side with renowned composers like Tom Cipullo and Tobias Picker. None of this would have been possible without 8 a.m. chorus and band – the seeds took root at NYA and are still growing.

What makes NYA different from other schools? 

The faculty – when I was at NYA, you were a “lifer” if you attended 6th grade through your senior year. Every year, I had teachers who knew me on a personal level, who encouraged me academically and as a person to grow. These connections didn’t end after graduation. The teachers at NYA truly dedicate themselves to holistically inspiring and working alongside each and every student which builds a tight knit, compassionate community.

Any advice to today’s NYA students?

Be in the moment for the rituals you have at your time at NYA. Thank your advisor for each and every time you show up unannounced for a chat at their door and they are there with a smile to be there for you. (Thank you, Chris Mazzurco!) Enjoy each bagel at snack – years later, you’ll dream of them. Oh yeah, and join chorus or band – I’m biased, but some of my best memories at NYA were being with my friends and creating something together as a community.

Alumni are invited and encouraged to share their stories and updates with the Academy by reaching out to