Meet Angel Blue '05
Before she wowed audiences across the world with her impressive voice, opera singer Angel Blue ’05 was a music student at the University of Redlands.
“The U of R really provided me with some great tools to take with me on these journeys,” she said. “I had a very supportive group of people around me, and not just in the music department. The faculty was wonderful.”
Growing up in Apple Valley, California, Blue, whose father was an opera singer, knew she wanted to become a classically trained artist.
“Music has always been a part of my life,” she said. “I can’t recall a time when I didn’t know I wanted to sing.”
And sing she has. Since graduating from Redlands, Blue has performed on some of the biggest stages in North America, Europe, and Asia, tackling roles in "La Boheme," "Don Giovanni," "La Traviata," and "Porgy and Bess." Her remarkable accomplishments were recently recognized by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, who honored her with a scroll during the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors meeting on Jan. 21, 2014.
“I feel really blessed to be working,” she said. “Even just in 2009, 2010, I didn’t think I would be doing anything like this.”
In 2008, Blue received a Masters of Music in Opera Performance from the University of California, Los Angeles. While at UCLA, she auditioned and was accepted into the Los Angeles Opera’s young artist program.
“It was a totally new program, and it was a privilege to sing for it,” Blue said.
Through the Los Angeles Opera, Blue was able to meet and work with general director and famed tenor Placido Domingo, who continues to be a part of her life. Her first three jobs after graduating from the program in 2009 “came from the Los Angeles Opera telling other companies about me,” she said.
As a freelance singer, Blue is able to audition and perform in productions across the globe, and has spent several months at a time starring in operas in Austria, Germany, Scotland, and England. By surrounding herself with other talented singers, Blue has grown as a vocalist.
“When you are younger, you don’t work as hard and just get by on talent,” she said. “I was kind of like that. I’ve learned now with traveling and being in so many places, everyone is talented, and it makes more sense to really try to hone your talent.”
As Blue heads towards her future in opera, she doesn’t forget her past. She has many memories of her time at Redlands, including living in Bekins Hall, studying Hebrew with Dr. Bill Huntley and speech with Prof. Ben Dillow, singing with the Redlands Symphony Orchestra, and the connection she made through music with former President James Appleton. Blue and other students and faculty members would come to his office for impromptu performances at lunch, but what really stands out is the acknowledgment she received on stage.
“Dr. Appleton came to my debut at the Redlands Symphony, and that night I received a standing ovation,” she said. “My mom said, ‘You know the president of your school started that.’ That felt wonderful.”
Posted: Feb. 11, 2014
Written by: Catherine Garcia