Emily Cline, a junior from Lyons with a double major in speech-language pathology and vocal performance, was recently accepted for the Johanna Meier Opera Theatre, a two-week workshop for opera students directed by American opera singer Johanna Meier.
"This is a very big honor for Emily," said Joseph Perniciaro, instructor of voice and opera. "Not only will this contribute to her growth as an opera performer, but it's also an exposure for our opera program."
The Johanna Meier Opera Theatre will be in its eighth season this summer. The workshop is sponsored by Black Hills State University's Black Hills Summer Institute of the Arts in Spearfish, SD, and features nationally and internationally renowned faculty.
"My voice teacher, Professor Perniciaro, had some posters advertising the workshop outside his office," said Cline. "While in high school, I participated in the Broadway at Bethel Theatre Camp in Newton. It was very intense being in the company of so many talented people. I wanted an experience like that again, except at the college level, so I decided to apply."
Cline submitted an audition CD containing three classical selections (two of the songs were in foreign languages and one in English), a $50 deposit and a headshot. One month later, Cline received the news that she had been accepted.
"I'm hoping that this experience will foster maturity and knowledge in my future performances," said Cline. "My goal for the institute is to work hard at becoming my character so I'm able to draw in the audience."
The program begins on June 12 and will culminate with a recital performance on Saturday, June 17, and a Grand Opera Festival on the following Saturday, June 24, during which the students will perform scenes and a complete act from various operas. These performances provide an experience for pre-professional opera students from all over the United States and serve as an enriching experience of live opera for audiences from the Black Hills area.
"I know a lot of people hear the word opera and completely tune it out," said Cline. "But it's just so amazing. There is so much emotion and passion in performing. I hope that someday I can move people's emotions and ways of thinking through performing opera."