High notes, high hopes

You could say Calera resident Cordelia Anderson marches to a different drum, but it&8217;s actually another type of music altogether that moves her. Names like Giacomo Puccini and Franz Schubert perk her ears.

&8220;Most of the people that are my age in my culture are more into rap, R&B, hip hop,&8221; Anderson said. Thanks to a professor at Alabama State University where she&8217;s been studying vocal performance, the 22-year-old also claims a love for opera. &8220;When I saw that I was pretty good at it, I started to enjoy it more.&8221;

She not only values it as music, but also for what it allows a performer to give the audience. Before taking up the classic art, most of Anderson&8217;s singing revolved around church performances, which elicit more spirit-based reactions. With opera, she said, &8220;I like the feelings that my listeners [experience] and the expressions on my listeners faces once I open my mouth and a note comes out.&8221;

The college senior sings in four different languages&8212;English, German, French and Italian&8212;and seems to have even conquered fear of the spotlight.

&8220;I have to remember that I am not who I am once I hit that stage,&8221; Anderson said. &8220;Once I come to the realization that I am somebody else, the nervousness goes away.&8221;

Anderson, who graduates from Alabama State July 28, starts training this fall for her master&8217;s in opera theater at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. During an

audition, the school offered the soprano a graduate assistantship on the spot.

Following school, Anderson hopes to spend a few years auditioning for opera roles before getting a doctorate and teaching the next generation&8217;s rising stars.

Anderson said she wants to share what Professor Pamela Burns gave her. &8220;If not for her, I never would have known this gift is inside of me.&8221;