Burbank native Julie Adams was awarded the top prize at Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert. Along with four other grand prize winners, she was chosen from more than 1500 initial applicants from throughout the United States and Canada.
The Grand Finals Concert on March 31 featured the top nine singers, all in their twenties. Each competitor sang two arias with the Met Opera Orchestra. Adams received huge applause from the packed house.
Adams “impressed me as the most mature of the winners with her elegant account of an aria from Debussy’s lyric cantata L’ Enfant Prodigue and an affecting performance of Mimi’s ‘Donde lieta uscì’ from Puccini’s La Bohème,” said Anthony Tommasini in the New York Times. “Her voice is rich, full and slightly earthy in an expressive way.”
“Winning this competition was absolutely surreal. I am so honored and humbled to have had the experience that I did,” commented Adams. “[It] gave me great exposure to people in the opera world. Many agents, managers and opera companies were in the audience that day, and just to be able to sing for them was a dream come true.”
Growing up in a musical family in Burbank, she always loved to sing, Adams recalled. She started taking voice lessons in second grade.
“I sang in my second grade talent show, and have been singing ever since,” she added. “I was lucky to have gone to schools that have wonderful music programs.”
“Burbank is very lucky to have such wonderful music programs in their schools,” Adams also said. “I was really able to develop as an artist through my experiences in choir at John Muir and BHS.”
Adams participated in show choir at Muir Middle School and Burbank High School through tenth grade. In eleventh grade, Adams transferred to L.A. County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) for their musical theater and opera program.
Adams performed in her first opera at LACHSA and graduated in 2006. She then studied vocal performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music for both undergraduate and graduate work. Adams graduated with her Masters of the Arts in vocal performance in May 2013.
The soprano has been studying with her teacher, Cesar Ulloa, for over six years. With his guidance, she chose four arias to prepare for the Met competition.
Adams credits regular daily practice for ensuring she was in peak form and comfortable with her performance selections.
“I am over the moon with excitement for my daughter,” commented Adams’ mother Lisa Adams. “As a mother, it is so rewarding to watch your child accomplish their dreams. I am beyond proud and thankful to all who have supported and brought her this far.”
Adams also recently won the 2014 Hennings-Fischer Competition held by the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra. She will perform with the orchestra at Forest Lawn’s Hall of Liberty in May 2015.
At the end of May, Adams heads to San Francisco to perform in the San Francisco Opera’s Merola program, from June to mid-August. She will sing the role of Blanche DuBois in Andre Previn’s A Streetcar Named Desire.