Singing for joy

Nadine Sierra singing at the Grand Finals Concert of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on February 22. Marty Sohl, Metropolitan Opera (handout, S-S / February 24, 2009)

Fort Lauderdale soprano Nadine Sierra has sung her way to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

The 20-year-old veteran of the Palm Beach Opera's Young Artist Program has won the Metropolitan's National Council Audition, a highly prestigious honor that has launched the careers of such stars as Deborah Voigt, Samuel Ramey and Renee Fleming.

A student at New York's Mannes College of Music, Sierra was the youngest of four winners selected from nearly 1,800 singers from around the United States and Canada. Winners receive a chance to perform with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra before an audience that includes leading music executives, managers and critics.

In a review of her 2007 recital in New York, The New York Times praised her for "a formidable technique" and "commanding stage presence." Her Youtube performance of Puccini's O mio babbino caro has received 30,477 hits.