Although Regina Fierro has been singing in school and at church for as long as she can remember, it was only a few years ago, at the age of 12, that she fell in love with opera and classical music.
Fierro was drawn to the structure of operas and their arias, intrigued by how much attention was given to the placement of every note.
“I saw that the compositions as a whole were written with so much thought. Each note was purposefully placed into the song and contributed to the meaning of the whole piece,” she said.
The Fresh Meadows teen, a Loyola School junior, has since dedicated many hours to training and improving her voice and her understanding of opera. This past February, Fierro participated in the “High School Opera Singers Intensive” program at the Metropolitan Opera Guild studio at Lincoln Center.
The singer got involved with that program through a subscription to the Metropolitan Opera Guild. The guild offers many discussions, interviews and master classes, including the intensive program that Fierro auditioned to join. Over the course of its four days, Fierro learned about the college application process, vocal technique, acting, diction and how to begin her career in the field.
“I was just so impressed by how talented, insightful and humble the teachers and students I met were and how professional yet welcoming the environment was,” she said.
As part of the Intensive, Fierro toured the Metropolitan Opera House and meet Benjamin Bliss, who is currently in the Young Artists’ Program at the Met. Fierro said she instantly felt comfortable around Bliss and enjoyed the chance to talk to him for a half hour. The tour itself was one of her highlights of the program.
“It’s amazing how huge the whole house is when you go behind the stage,” she said. “Every set piece, prop and costume is made and stored on the premises and the singers prepare and practice on the many floors beneath the stage itself.”
While she learned plenty at the intensive, it was just part of Fierro’s continuous training, as she has been working for some time with Inessa Banayan to properly use her voice to the best of her abilities.
“Ms. Banayan was the first music teacher of mine who taught me the proper methods and technique needed to do so properly,” she said. “I am so grateful for how much she has affected my musical habits.”
Fierro is looking into colleges with strong vocal programs so she can keep improving.
Although she has not settled on a school yet, she said she was impressed by New York University. She hopes to have a complete classical training and perform in a range of genres going forward.
“Although I would love to have a career singing in a myriad of different styles, I believe that singing operatic roles requires the epitome of concentration, technique and effort and is a feat that I really want to accomplish in my lifetime,” she said.