The True Blue spirit has taken a leap from Statesboro to the glamorous world of opera after a recent graduate captured top honors at a national singing competition held in Houston, Tx. Mark Diamond (’10) won first place among 700 other singers at the Houston Grand Opera’s Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers, catapulting his career to the next level.
Not bad for a 23-year-old baritone who originally aspired to become a chorus teacher for students in grades K-12, and didn’t even begin formal voice lessons until he arrived at Georgia Southern.
As an undergraduate, Diamond won performance slots in such prestigious summer programs as the Aspen Music Festival and Glimmerglass Opera, which gave him the opportunity to work with renowned singers and voice coaches from the Juilliard School and the Metropolitan Opera. Along the way, he has astonished audiences and received rave reviews from The New York Times and Opera News for his performances across the United States.
Realizing his true calling, the Augusta, Ga., native is currently studying to earn a master of music in vocal performance at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, touted as one of the top opera programs in the country. He also accepted a coveted invitation to sing with the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera Program this summer to perform a lead role in “The Barber of Seville.”
Allen Henderson, one of Diamond’s former professors, believes that we can expect even greater accomplishments from this gifted young artist in the years to come. “When I talk to those who hear Mark in auditions, they are quite impressed with his command of voice, his stage presence, and his interpretation of the arias he performs. The world will be hearing from Mark for a long time.”