Presented by opera legend Marilyn Horne, honor supports future training and professional development.
Oberlin Conservatory soprano Alexandra Prat ’20 has been named the Marilyn Horne Rubin Scholar for 2020, an honor extended after Prat’s participation in the opera legend's annual master class at Oberlin in December 2019.
Horne’s most recent visit to campus marked Prat’s third attempt to earn a performance opportunity. This time, she broke through.
“My experience with Ms. Horne was really a dream come true,” says Prat, originally from San Diego. “I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to share my voice with her and receive feedback. I appreciate Ms. Horne’s honest and straightforward approach to teaching; though we only had a short amount of time together, she offered thoughtful insight on the music to be reflected upon long after the master class was over.
“Not only was it valuable to work with her, but watching her work with other students gave me a lot to think about as well. Her master classes are lighthearted, fun, and productive. I think any developing singer, no matter the age or experience, can gain a lot from hearing her teach.”
Prat was awarded $5,000, which supports further voice studies and other professional development opportunities. After consulting with Horne and her Oberlin mentor, Kendra Colton, Prat intends to use her scholarship to participate in the Institute of Young Dramatic Voices in the summer of 2021.
Prat graduates from Oberlin this month with a degree in vocal performance. She appeared as Madame de Croissey in Oberlin Opera Theater’s 2019 production of Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites. That role followed appearances in Oberlin productions of Handel’s Alcina and Massenet’s Cendrillon. She worked with composer Jake Heggie at SongFest in Los Angeles and collaborated with librettist Gene Scheer and conductor Joseph Mechavich ’92 in the 2016 Winter Term project Words into Song, which took place at Oberlin.
She is currently studying the roles of Liu from Turandot, Antonia from Les Contes D’Hoffmann, and Elettra from Idomeneo. This coming fall, she will begin studies with Karen Holvik at New England Conservatory.
“My biggest passion is portraying challenging roles in opera,” she says, “and I hope to find new and exciting opportunities through NEC and the surrounding musical community.”
The Rubin Scholarship is made possible by philanthropist Stephen Rubin, a longtime friend of Horne’s. Oberlin has welcomed Horne to campus annually for the past 15 years. This is the seventh year Rubin Scholarships have been awarded to top performers.
Past winners of the Marilyn Horne Rubin Scholarship include the following:
2019: Whitney Campbell ’19 and Shawn Roth ’20
2018: Nicholas Music ’18 and Elise Thora Volkmann ’18
2017: Amber Monroe ’17 and Jessica Mashburn ’18
2016: Juliana Zara ’16 and Siena Miller ’16
2015: Emily Hopkins ’15 and Joshua Blue ’16
2014: Meryl Dominguez ’14
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