The Cardinal Times

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Sophomore wins international singing contest

Issa Okamoto has won multiple singing competitions as only a sophomore, and has plans for her future in music.

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Opera is often looked at as an antiquated art form. The mind quickly wanders to legendary composers like Bach and Mozart, but within Lincoln we have a rising Opera savant that is receiving high praise and success at the budding age of sixteen.

Issa Okamoto was raised in a musical family, and has been singing with her two older sisters since “before [she] could walk.” She took music classes alongside her siblings and they even had their own home musicals, such as Mulan, High School Musical, and Hairspray.

She has won two different international singing competitions in the last year: The International American Protege Romantic Music Competition and the Overall Musical Talent Competition for 15-18 year olds globally. They are the only competitions she has ever entered. Through her winnings in these competitions she has been given the opportunity to perform on Easter Sunday in Carnegie Hall, a few blocks away from where she was born in New York City.

In her performance she will be performing Dolente Immagine di fille Mia by legendary Italian composer Vincenzo Bellini, and a jazz piece titled Autumn Leaves sung by Eva Cassidy.

Continuing into the future after her performance Issa is hoping to record her first original album this spring, as well as continuing classic training with her teacher, Hannah Penn.

Additionally Okamoto wants to attend Bel Canto Conservatory in Italy or Interlochen this summer for pre-professional training.

“I would like to be the first Asian American Principal Metropolitan Opera Singer. An opera singer’s voice does not fully truly mature until her 40’s, so it might be interesting to be a popstar in my 20’s first!” Said Okamoto.

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