Then again, the
Bergmark, 18, will spend her summer in
It's a program generally reserved for older college undergraduates and graduate students, but Bergmark is no amateur when it comes to classical music. She has been singing in church choir since she was young. When she began taking voice lessons in the eighth grade, her singing teacher suggested classical music.
Bergmark got her first taste of opera performance when she attended a high school summer program at a
"I really fell in love with it. ... It's that pure emotion," she said. "Not a lot of people get to do it. It's a tough game to play, but I love it so much that I'm willing to work for it and try my best."
Bergmark will attend the
"Classical music has a different aspect to it than anything else," she said. "And I know that, in a way, the art is dying, and I would really love to be part of the mission to keep it up."
Not only is the art rare, but it is unique for such a young student to pursue a career performing in operas. Generally, people decide to pursue an opera career as college students or older, said
"She is the first student I've ever had that actually knew at 18 that's what she wanted to study," Voss said, adding that other students have wanted to study voice. "She's the first kid I've ever had that said, 'Opera -- that's what I want to do.' "
It's not the only type of music that interests Bergmark. She is in her school's symphonic, jazz and pep bands, and she plays the clarinet, bass drums, piano and the ukulele, an instrument she picked up at summer camp.
She placed first in the state of the operatic division of the
"As a teacher, sometimes you get students that just work incredibly hard and are successful, and sometimes you get students who have a natural gift," Voss said. "Just once, maybe, do you have that rare student who is both, who has a natural God-given talent and works incredibly hard. And that's Maggie."
Although the road to an opera career will likely be a tough one, Bergmark has the support of her family and friends, she said, and she is committed to her passion.
"If you truly love it ... then you try your best and go out and follow your heart," Bergmark said, "because you'll never know if you don't try. But you at least have to try."
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