Dorrie Hankins, 18, is learning how to sing all the high and low notes in life. The high school junior has studied with Opera Carolina Academy since attending its summer camp two years ago. The program prepares students of all ages for careers in opera. Hankins, who currently attends Northwest School of the Arts, works hard to perfect her vocal range and style, with her dream of being center stage as her motivation.
The voice: Hankins is a mezzo-soprano, meaning she is strong in lower and higher vocal ranges. For opera students in her position, she may take a couple of years before she perfects her vocal niche. “I’m learning as I go,” she said.
Singular attention: “In a chorus, you don’t necessarily get all the singular attention you need to sing healthy,” Hankins said. “Having the opportunity to have a voice teacher makes all the difference in the world.” She hopes aspiring opera students will audition for the Opera Carolina summer workshop so they can get their foot in the door.
Encore: When she’s having a great performance, Hankins feels one with the music. “If I can make somebody feel something through song, then I’ve done what that music was intended for.”