Archive for Thursday, May 24, 2007

Opera dream comes true

LHS grad to sing at festival in Rome

May 24, 2007

A Lansing High School graduate pursuing a degree in vocal performance at St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Ind., is preparing for a trip to the epicenter of the opera world Italy.

Crystal Buck, LHS Class of 2004, will play a lead role in the comic opera "The Marriage of Figaro" as Barbarina, the gardener's daughter, who attracts the attention of the notorious womanizer Count Almaviva in the production.

The five scheduled performances are part of the Operafestival di Roma, a nonprofit educational foundation that offers opportunities to musicians from all nations to study and perform opera in Italy. It is one of several different open internships offered through St. Mary's.

Usually the program is strictly reserved for graduate students and members of professional opera schools in Italy, Buck said Tuesday.

"It's a big honor," she said. "I'm very excited about it."

Buck, a soprano, started taking private lessons in high school with local voice instructor Terri Harris and sang in a couple of operas while in college.

"(Crystal) is very dedicated and very talented," Harris said. "This is obviously a great opportunity for her. : She'll be getting great experience working with professionals in the field.

"We're all keeping our fingers crossed and hoping this works out for the best for her."

To help fund the trip, Buck will be performing two recitals: at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 9, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, June 10, at Basehor Baptist Church. For both recitals, admission is free, with donations accepted.

Buck also plans on soliciting local businesspeople and said she hopes to raise $5,500 in addition to a $1,000 grant from St. Mary's to subsidize travel and program costs.

Along with her grandparents, who will accompany her on the month-long trip, Buck will depart June 20 and will be boarded in a hotel in the heart of Rome.

She said she was most excited to practice the Italian that she learned in two semesters of Italian language and to travel as much as possible.

"Part of what this program is, it's not just about performing and opera," Buck said. "It's about getting into Rome and immersing yourself in the culture."

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