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Opera student to belt out in Austria





Eriana Holle has known she was meant for opera since her junior year of high school at Hays High School. Now finishing her junior year at Fort Hays State University, Holle is bound for Austria.

The month-long summer program in Salzburg will allow her to experience the Salzburg Music Festival, as well as focus on her technique.

"This is just something you don't think you can actually go to," Holle said. "I'm looking forward to being in another country and seeing people from all over the world come together and participate in this music festival."

In 2008, she performed the part of Belle in "Beauty and the Beast," and said she credits the role for giving her the desire to perform.

"It helped me get over stage fright," Holle said. "That's when I realized I really enjoyed being on stage. I felt more like myself when I was performing."

She began taking lessons and first had an interest in musical theater.

"I thought that's where my voice fit. But the more I sang opera, the more I realized my voice is geared toward it," Holle said. "I like the stories and the history behind opera."

On Monday, she will perform a variety of styles to raise funds to study abroad.

"Having a recital helped get the word out last year," Holle said.

She studied in South Dakota last summer.

"This is a great way to raise awareness about what we are doing."

She will be singing a mixture of art songs, musical theater pieces and songs in a variety of languages.

She hopes to hone her performance skills and focus on technique this summer.

"This is a once in a lifetime thing," Holle said, a former Chamber Singer at Hays High. "I'm really excited and think it will be a lot of fun."

The recital will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Palmer Hall. It is free to attend, but freewill donations will be accepted.