Upshaw has been named the Charles Franklin Kellogg and Grace E. Ramsey Professor of the Arts and Humanities at Bard. She will design the course of study for the conservatory's vocal and vocal-dramatic program, which is scheduled to enroll its first students in fall 2006, a year after the conservatory opens.
The faculty already boasts such musicians as pianists Richard Goode and Peter Serkin, violinists Ani Kavafian and Arnold Steinhardt, composer Joan Tower, and the Colorado String Quartet.
In a statement, Upshaw said that she saw the new conservatory as an opportunity to include contemporary music, one of her own specialties, in the training of young singers.
"My first experiences with new music were as an undergraduate student, and I think it is vitally important that singers and performers have the chance to create works together," she said. "I look forward to working with my colleagues on a program that will serve the whole singer, and I am intrigued to discover how bringing such resources together will serve as a training ground for all of the vocal and dramatic arts."
One of the leading singers of Mozart's operatic roles, Upshaw also sings frequently in recital and with orchestras. She has appeared in the world premieres of John Harbison's The Great Gatsby, Kaija Saariaho's L'Amour de loin, and John Adams' El Niê±o, among other works.