Webster’s Dictionary defines a contralto as the following:

1 a: a singing voice having a range between tenor and mezzo-soprano b: a person having this voice2: the part sung by a contralto

Vocal Range:

The lowest female voice being able to audibly and beautifully and comfortably sing roughly between F3 (F below middle C and possibly lower) and E5 (E above middle C and possibly higher).

Classical and operatic contraltos are singers who have regularly performed unamplified classical or operatic music in concert halls and/or opera houses. This is a list of the most famous of all historic and contemporary contraltos:

  • Kathleen Ferrier
  • Marion Anderson
  • Ewa Podles
  • Marie-Nicole Lemieux
  • Olga Borodina
  • Dolora Zajick

Some examples of pop/crossover contraltos are:

  • Diana Krall
  • Bonnie Raitt
  • Sarah Vaughn


How did you get started in music?

My mother informs me that I took kindly to her guitar (pictured on right) when I was about 4 years old and used to strum (not with any chords, mind you) and sing Peter Paul & Mary’s version of “Lemon Tree.”

I have been one of the fortunate ones – to have this wonderful gift of song bestowed upon me. I grew up in the Levittown suburbs of Central Islip on Long Island, NY and was treated to required music classes beginning in 3rd grade with theGrover Flutophone, a white plastic instrument with a purple mouthpiece, resembling a clarinet. In order to get into band or choir, you had to pass this class which showed you had the ability to learn music.


Do you have any hobbies or interests?

Lisa: Of course! I love classic cars with big fins! Every year my husband and I make the circuit of local classic car shows in the Twin Cities area. Some of my favorite models include the classic 1959 convertible Cadillac, 1961 Chrysler 300G, 1958 Buick Limited Riviera, just to name a few. One day I will have a garage big enough to hold one!

Handblown glass art is also one of my passions. Dale Chihuly being one of my favorite glass artists. During the summer months we make sure to take in the local art shows and see what’s new and exciting in the art world.

In December 2022 I opened a new Etsy shop, “Art Cards by Lisa” featuring some of my photography and artwork in the form of fine art cards for purchase.

Please visit!  https://etsy.com/shop/artcardsbylisa


Who exactly is The Rose Ensemble? You mention them a lot!

Lisa: The Rose Ensemble was a daring and inventive vocal ensemble captivating audiences with virtuosic performances of ancient music and evoking a rich tapestry of language, culture, legends and history.

Founded in 1996 by Artistic Director and Founder, Jordan Sramek , The Rose Ensemble was an internationally recognized group of musicians that had reinvented early vocal music in the modern concert hall, building a diverse and enthusiastic audience.

NOTE: The Rose Ensemble closed operations in 2022.  I wish Jordan well in his next adventure!