Nadine Sierra is a 34-year-old acclaimed Latina soprano that has performed in the world’s top opera houses. Fourteen years ago, she made HERStory when she became the youngest singer to win the Metropolitan Opera’s vocal competition.
The Florida native is considered a prodigy, and her love for opera began when she was 6 years old after seeing a VHS tape of “La Boheme.” Sierra of Puerto Rican, Italian and Portuguese roots found inspiration in her grandma, who dreamed of becoming an opera singer.
Nadine then joined the Palm Beach Opera at the age of 14 because she wanted to get learned about operas. She was in the Palm Beach Opera chorus all throughout her high school years. In an interview with New York Public Radion, she said “The first opera I was ever part of was Lucia. That was my first experience. I was blown away. I was like, “Ah, how is this humanly possible to sing like this and to continue on like this?” I almost felt like an audience member being onstage.”
“This is absolutely what I want to be a part of.” And there is no wonder that I fell in love with opera at 10-years-old.”
Although her grandma didn’t make it because her father, Sierra’s great-grandfather, “did not want her to have any kind of working job because she was a woman, and a woman’s job was to be a housewife, have children, and that was it,“ Nadine broke the generational chain.
In early 2022, Sierra played Lucia in the opera “Lucia di Lammermoor” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, alongside Mexican tenor Javier Camarena.
Sierra told Noticias Telemundo that there is something she thinks should change in the world of opera. “ I think people who love opera and want to stick to all of the traditional things about opera should try to be a little bit more open-minded. ... I mean talking like on the internet,” she says.
“If you keep influencing the young generation online with only negativity, how do you think that generation is even going to give opera a chance?” she asks. “It’s not progressive at all. It’s so stuck in the past. It almost makes me sick; I have to say.”