WT Student Opera Goes To The Big Apple This Summer

Student singers in the West Texas A&M University Opera program will perform in New York City over the summer, supported by the university’s commitment to fostering artistic excellence.

Our esteemed program director, Sarah Becham-Turner, has been chosen to lead the Manhattan Opera Studio’s production of Hansel und Gretel, a testament to her exceptional talent and dedication.

The intensive runs from June 20th to July 19th. The WT students are among young performers from around the world who auditioned for and were accepted into the program.

In New York, the students will be honored to perform Arias in a July 13th concert at the prestigious Carnegie Hall and in a July 6th and 7th concert staging of “The Magic Flute” at the renowned National Opera Center. “Hansel,” a 19th-century opera by Engelbert Humperdink, will be staged on July 18th and 19th and will also be performed at the esteemed National Opera Center.

WT is proud to announce the participation of our talented students. Erin Hinds, a senior music major from Amarillo; Abigail Hite, a senior music major from Nashville; and Brooklynn King, a senior music major from Pearland, will showcase their skills. Also participating is R.J. Flud, a 2023 graduate from Midland who will begin pursuing his master’s in music at WT in the fall, marking a significant milestone in his musical journey.

Beckham-Turner and five students participated in last year’s intensive. 

MOS is the first intensive opera studio young artist program in New York City. Led by Music Director Benoit Renard, MOS includes a faculty of some of the most renowned opera professionals in the nation. Many MOS alums have transitioned to professional careers, performing on the stages of the world’s most prestigious opera houses.

Bechham-Turner, an Amarillo native and natural soprano, has earned distinction from the New York Times, Opera News, Wall Street Journal, and The Observer for her performances. Recently, she sang in the world premiere of “Letters That You Will Not Get” with the American Opera Projects in New York City and as Hansel in Amarillo Opera’s production of “Hansel und Gretel.” She also tours with the Opera Cowgirls.

As a seasoned opera director in her own right, she has directed and produced productions of such works as “The Magic Flute,” “Postcard from Morocco,” and Our Town.”

Fostering an appreciation of the arts and preparing students to value hard work are critical components of the university’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


Story by Nathan McCollum

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