CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University Opera is heading to the Big Apple.
Sarah Beckham-Turner The director of WTAMU Opera will helm Manhattan Opera Studio’s production of “The Magic Flute,” and four recent graduates and one returning student will make their New York City debuts as part of MOS’s Summer Festival.
The intensive runs from June 19 to July 19.
According to WTAMU, Beckham-Turner was hired on the strength of her WT production of “The Magic Flute” in 2022.
Beckham-Turner is an Amarillo native and soprano and has earned praise from the New York Times, Opera News, Wall Street Journal, and The Observer for her performances, according to WT. Recently, Beckham-Turner sang in the world premiere of “Letters That You Will Not Get” with the American Opera Projects in New York City and as Hänsel in Amarillo Opera’s production of “Hänsel und Gretel.”
The five WT students are among 23 young performers from around the world who auditioned for and were accepted into the program.
While in New York, the students also will sing arias in a July 5 concert at Carnegie Hall and in a July 18 concert at the National Opera Center.
Students participating in the MOS’s Summer Festival include Taylor Lindley, a graduate student in vocal performance from Pampa; and May 2023 graduates Francesco DiLello from Highland Mills, New York, who earned a master’s in vocal performance; R.J. Flud from Midland, who earned a bachelor’s in musical theatre; Chloe Ridolfo from Los Angeles, who earned a master’s in vocal performance; and Zachary Todd from Flower Mound, who earned a bachelor’s in musical theatre.
MOS coordinator Nina Kakantousis said the organization feels privileged to have Beckham-Turner join the team.
According to the university, MOS is the first intensive opera studio young artist program in New York City and includes a faculty of some of the most renowned opera professionals in the country with many alumni transitioning to professional careers.
WTAMU said a portion of funding to pay for the student’s studies was provided by the Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities and its School of Music and Department of Art, Theatre, and Dance.