German language class. Voice lessons. Rehearsal after rehearsal. Angela Lamar’s daily schedule was nearly dawn to dusk, but the rigorous agenda was worth it for the rare opportunity to perform in Germany for the summer. Alongside approximately 20 other American students, Lamar participated in a study abroad program in Freiberg, Germany focused on exposing students to the world of opera in Europe.
Lamar is a third year music student pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance. While initially enrolled in the music therapy undergraduate program at CSU, Lamar fell in love with opera after being exposed to the discipline in the music department.
“As I became exposed to the opera world, I fell in love. I quickly realized that that is where my passion lies,” said Lamar.
The education abroad program Lamar participated in required students to perform in at least two opera productions: one that was entirely student-run and another through a local theater in Freiberg. These two performances showed students the process of putting on a production in the professional world and gave them a chance to practice what they learned hands-on. In addition to these required performances, Lamar and the other participants had opportunities to put on small, intimate concerts outside of Freiberg.
Prior to studying abroad, Lamar felt that her education at CSU equipped her for the experience with the right skills to succeed.
“I have also found that the way in which CSU has prepared me the most is with teaching professionalism and etiquette in a professional rehearsal setting.”
All voice performance students are also required to take a German language course as part of the curriculum – a skill that is not only practical while performing classic pieces, but also when navigating a foreign country. One of Lamar’s fondest memories of her summer was experiencing the German culture first-hand at a local festival called the Bergstadtfest.
“[Bergstadtgest] went on for five days, and took up the entire city. There were street vendors, carnival rides, live music, and lots of beer,” recounted Lamar. “At the end, there was a fantastic fireworks display. The experience was incredible, and I felt like I truly belonged there.”
Following graduation in 2019, Lamar hopes to return to Germany to pursue a graduate degree in vocal pedagogy – and continue to perform of course!