Rebecca Pedersen: Mormon Singer
Rebecca Pedersen is an up-and-coming opera singer, having become the second-youngest person to win the Metropolitan Opera competition in March 2013 while a sophomore at Brigham Young University. She stood out amidst a pool of 1,800 contestants. The New York Times wrote that she was "a precociously polished 21-year-old soprano who sounded particularly alluring." The Associated Press also praised her "polished technique and potent sound." She entered the competition for the learning experience of competing and the opportunity to sing on the Met stage.
At the time, Pedersen had been singing for only three years. She sang in her Utah high school choir her senior year but couldn’t sing alto because she is deaf in one ear. Her teacher put her in the soprano section, where he voice was too powerful for blending in a choir. Her teacher encouraged her to take voice lessons. Later, her mother took her to an opera performance at BYU featuring Fredrika Von Stade; her first exposure to opera. It changed her life and she started taking voice lessons.
Pedersen received numerous offers from agents and opera companies but she turned them down to continue studying at BYU under the tutelage of Darrell Babidge and Jennifer Welch-Babidge. She is also mentored by world-renowned mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick, She has gone on to win the Licia-Albanese Puccini Vocal Competition in New York City, which included a cash prize and the opportunity to perform in the Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
As of 2015, Pedersen continues studying vocal performance at BYU and is a member of the Utah Opera Company. She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.