My name is Audrey Beyer, I’m 21, and have an absolute passion for music. It all started when I was 7 years old. My dad was flipping through TV channels and stopped on PBS. There were these men singing and I was hooked on their voices. My mom told me that was ‘opera’ and in that moment, I knew what I wanted to be. Ever since, opera has been my passion.
I come from a non-musical family. Mom dabbles on piano, but prefers her paintings. Dad would never think to play or listen to classical music. I have two older brothers, the eldest, Ryan, and in the middle, Zach. Zach is severely developmentally disabled. It was a huge effort for the family to look after him for 20 years. Growing up with him around has taught me to have lots of patience, and to be accepting of others no matter their abilities. He currently happily lives in a group home.
We didn’t have the opportunities to see concerts and performances like other families. But PBS showed me the world of music; so did a very dedicated music teacher. I started out my musical journey playing flute in the band of our little school. Which expanded to marching band, and eventually voice and piano lessons. I strived to become an opera singer.
I followed my dream and it lead me to Perpich Center for Arts Education. I took the tour and knew I had to audition for this school. I felt like I belonged there. Perpich opened up a whole world of music I hadn’t seen before. I experienced everything from African drumming to Middle Eastern strings, Classical European to funky experimental music; I became a versatile musician. I taught myself how to play harp, ocarina, and violin, among others. My voice flourished with a new instructor.
Through connections at the arts high school, I learned about the Minnesota Opera Summer Camp. I auditioned, and was ecstatic when I heard I got in! The camp consisted of working one on one with professional singers from Minnesota Opera; alongside 20 or so other students from across the nation. It taught me that opera takes hard work and dedication, but that couldn’t stop me from pursuing it.
After graduating from Perpich, I continued my musical journey at the University of Minnesota Duluth, majoring in music and minoring in theater. I currently study under a new voice instructor. In the Opera Studio at UMD, my favorite roles include a witch in Dido and Aeneas, and last spring, Marcellina in The Marriage of Figaro. During the school year, I sing masterworks with the Duluth Superior.
Symphony Orchestra Chorus. During recent summers, I have worked with Lyric Opera of the North. I was an Assistant Stage Manager for Rigoletto, and this summer, a chorus member in Don Giovanni. There’s plenty of music in the works and I’m thrilled to see where this path takes me! Here, I sing C’est l’extase from Debussy’s Ariette Oubliées.
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