(Editor’s Note: The above clip is a view of top headlines from the morning of June 6, 2023.)

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University announced that opera program’s director Sarah Beckham-Turner, along with five WT graduate students, will perform and study in New York from June 19 to July 19.

According to officials, Beckham-Turner will helm Manhattan Opera Studio’s (MOS) production of “The Magic Flute,” while four WT graduates, along with one returning student, will make their New York City debut at MOS’s Summer Festival. The students, officials noted, will be among 23 other performers from around the world who auditioned and then were accepted into the program.

The students will perform at a concert at Carnegie Hall on July 5 and July 18 in the National Opera Center while the stage production of “Magic Flute” will take place on July 15 and 16 in the National Opera Center.

“This says that WT Opera is doing its part in preparing students for the real world, which is my whole goal,” said Beckham-Turner, an assistant professor of voice and opera in WT’s Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities.

Officials released the following WT students who will participate in the New York program:

  • Taylor Lindley, a graduate student in vocal performance;
  • Francesco DiLello, who earned a master’s in vocal performance;
  • R.J. Flud, who earned a bachelor’s in musical theatre;
  • Chloe Ridolfo, who earned a master’s in vocal performance; and
  • Zachary Todd, who earned a bachelor’s in musical theatre.

“This is a really exciting opportunity,” said Todd. “When I came to WT, I had no singing experience. To think that, a month after graduating, I’ll be working with opera professionals in Manhattan feels like I’ve found a cheat code or something.”

“Keith Chambers, who conducted our production and other recent operas for us and is MOS’s principal guest conductor, sent them a video of our ‘Magic Flute,’ and they loved it,” said Beckham-Turner. “I had heard Keith talk about this program, so I know that it brings in some top coaches, conductors and agents. This will offer our students many opportunities to make some valuable connections.”

MOS coordinator Nina Kakantousis expressed her appreciation for having Beckham-Turner join the team.

“Sarah brings with her a unique blend of passion, creativity and a commitment to excellence that we believe will be transformative for our young artists,” Kakantousis said. “Her track record of success in nurturing and guiding young voices to their full potential is truly inspiring. We look forward to sharing her extensive knowledge and profound dedication with the new generation of singers here.”

Officials detailed that MOS is the first intensive opera studio young artist program in New York as many of its alumni went on to perform on the world stage of prestigious opera houses.

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