Greatra Mayana

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Juilliard Snapshot: Ara Guzelimian on Passion to Profession


The very first opera production I saw
when I was here was Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, and the cast included
Isabel Leonard, Paul Appleby, Erin Morley, and Brenda Rae, all of whom are in very thriving
careers, and that was the very first thing I saw soon after I arrived
here. A very few years later I saw Dialogues of the Carmelites at the
Metropolitan Opera with Isabel Leonard, Erin Morley, and Paul Appleby, and it
was pretty thrilling to watch that short arc that they all experienced in
crossing the street from Juilliard to the Metropolitan Opera and just be
celebrated young artists. And not long after — I didn’t see it — Brenda Rae
sang what I’m told was a really unforgettable Violetta in La Traviata
at Santa Fe Opera. So, again, those are among the most rewarding
things for me and for the faculty and for everyone here, is to see that arc, and that emergence. My very forlorn
joke sometimes with students as they’re nearing graduation is to say, “You realize
the next time I see you I’m going to have to buy a ticket?”

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