Meet the Bettys: The Creative Genius

The Creative Genius: An artist at the top of her game

T first time Christine Flasch conducted Puccini’s La Bohème, she left the stage deflated. While Flasch – a soprano for 17 years, including eight seasons at the Metropolitan Opera in New York – had sung the opera many times, conducting it proved humbling. But rather than shelve her baton, Flasch doubled down.

“I went back to school in my 50s,” says Flasch, 68. “I was sitting there at UW-Milwaukee with graduate conducting students.”

A year later, Flasch returned to the podium, this time as a maestra with confidence. Over the next decade, she honed her ability, learning to use her singing skills – expressiveness and an acute sense of tempo and sparkle, for example – to her advantage. She helped build Aurora University’s Music by the Lake series. In 2015, she brought her experience home to Milwaukee, where she founded the Southwestern Suburban Symphony, a professional orchestra focused on offering smart, accessible programming outside the city.

As for that early lesson? It was part of the journey. “If I hadn’t fallen on my keister, I might not have ended up here. It taught me what I didn’t know, and that is crucial in music.”

The Betty Awards” appears in the November 2019 issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

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