Bass-baritone Edward Zambara '50, '52 M.M. (1926–2007) learned his vocal craft at NEC and then spent much of his last 20 years passing on his art to NEC students. Zambara studied at NEC during a golden era when his teachers included William L. Whitney and Boris Goldovsky and his fellow students included John Moriarty '52, '92 hon. D.M. In the late 1980s, Zambara returned to NEC as one of the key voice faculty feeding strong singers into a revitalized opera studies program led by fellow prodigal son Moriarty. A new era of NEC strength in opera includes Zambara student Delores Ziegler on the current voice faculty. Many of Zambara's former students are found on the professional opera stage today. Zambara received NEC's Outstanding Alumni Award in 1990.
Before joining the NEC faculty in 1987, Edward Zambara taught at the Curtis Institute, The Juilliard School, and chaired the voice departments at the University of Tennessee and St. Louis Conservatory of Music, where he occupied an endowed chair. While at University of Tennessee, Zambara also headed the Knoxville Opera for five years, and in 1980 received the Tennessee Governor's Award in the Arts.
Zambara was artist-in-residence, vocal coach, and board member at the Franz Schubert Institute in Baden-bei-Wien, Austria. He judged district and regional Metropolitan Opera Auditions and taught in the Met’s Young Artists program as well as at the Music Academy of the West, Chicago Lyric Opera Center for Young Artists, and Canadian Opera Center (Toronto).
Zambara's own studies included voice with Elma Igelman, William L. Whitney, Frederic Jagel, and Marie Sundelius; opera with Boris Goldovsky, Sarah Caldwell; lieder with Felix Wolfes, Frederic Popper, and in Vienna, Austria, with Jörg Demus, Eric Werba.