In late January, Beatriz Abella, a 22-year-old SOU student, was both publicly commended by the Mayor of Juneau, Alaska, and formally cited by the Alaska State Legislature for her remarkable achievements as a vocalist, including her award-winning vocal performances at Carnegie Hall.
Abella came to SOU in 2008 to study nursing, but when she purchased her first large, shrink-wrapped bundle of anatomy-physiology and technical writing textbooks, she looked down at the seal, reading “once opened cannot be returned,” and realized that she needed to pursue her passion. Against the advice of friends and family, she began studying music and music business.
Since then, she has performed and competed at venues around the world. In April of 2011, she was the Grand Winner of the National Young Musicians Showcase Competition at Carnegie Hall. Less than eight months later, she returned to the prestigious venue to win first prize at the American Protégé’s International Music Talent Competition.
Abella urges others to follow their passions. She struggled through high school, always waiting impatiently for the end of her classes so that she could escape to choir practice. It wasn’t until she made the decision to pursue singing as a discipline that she really began to succeed.
“Ignore the voices around you and the voices in you when they tell you that you can’t do it. Don’t give up on your dreams, your passions. Never. You don’t want to say 20 years from now that you lived a safe life full of safe decisions, unless your dream is to live a safe life and make safe decisions.”
The mezzo-soprano attributes her success to dedication, hard work and persistence, community support, and the guidance that she has received from the SOU faculty and The Brava Opera Theatre and James M. Collier Young Artist Program, which she describes as being essential to her development as an artist.