‘From Here to There’: Reston’s Elizabeth Bishop Shares Her Musical Journey With Hometown Audience

A perfect fit for a convivial concert on a winter’s night is coming to the acoustically rich Reston CenterStage. It is a cozy evening of personally selected music and song with critically acclaimed opera mezzo-soprano and Reston resident Elizabeth Bishop.

Elizabeth Bishop. Photo courtesy of Reston CenterStage.
Elizabeth Bishop. Photo credit Madeleine Gray Divatography.

Bishop’s performance is entitled “From Here to There.” In an interview, Bishop said the CenterStage evening will be about “a journey; a personal journey that is emotional, spiritual and physical.”

The concert will include a very personal selection of songs. Bishop describes some songs as being about “Covered Wagon Women.” The evening will illustrate stories of women who traveled to the American West during the Gold Rush days–women who, in Bishop’s words, “moved from all they knew; women who had courage and grit to pick up and just go for a new life.” Other songs will have a similar theme about women on journeys of discovery.

Bishop considers herself “a lucky person; someone who can also sing.” Asked about how she became a singer, Bishop shared that, “others seemed to know I could sing in grade school. Music was valued, being musical was appreciated.” Growing up, Bishop not only sang in her church choir, but in her school and played the violin. Later she trained at Furman University and then Juilliard.

Bishop has lived in Reston for some years. She founded the Potomac Vocal Institute in her Reston home. The Potomac Vocal Institute, now located in Washington, DC, is sought out by singers. The Institute specializes in personalized education for graduate level and pre-professional classical singers. Bishop is Executive Director.

For career success in the world of opera, Bishop indicated one “must have a willingness to work.” Throughout her life, Bishop discovered that finding her own musical path was key.  “Who I am as a person, music unlocked. Music opened locks that might have stayed closed.”

“Music can open doors so words can go inside us,” Bishop said, and make a positive difference in our lives. Even during difficult times, “Music can help keep us going. Music should not divide us.”

Inviting guests to “From Here to There,” Paul Douglas Michnewicz, Reston Community Center’s arts and events director, noted that Bishop regularly receives glowing reviews whenever and wherever she performs. “I have been a fan of Elizabeth Bishop for years and have enjoyed hearing about her performances at the Metropolitan Opera, The Washington National Opera, and Chicago Lyric Opera.”

From Here to There – An evening with Opera Diva Elizabeth Bishop plays December 16, 2018, at Reston Community Center, CenterStage, Hunters Woods – 2310 Colts Neck Road, Reston, VA 20191. For tickets, call 703-476-4500 or go online.