Emeline Rose, an emerging young soprano from Whitehouse, raises her voice dramatically and emotionally as she sings an Italian aria about a girl pleading with her father to let her marry a boy.
"Father, have mercy, have pity," Miss Rose begs musically in Italian.
Miss Rose, who sings opera in four languages - Italian, French, German and English, said she's drawn to opera for its beauty and unique storytelling opportunities.
"It's unlike any other. You sing beautiful music and tell a story at the same time which I love doing. For me, opera is very compelling art," Miss Rose said.
Her growing interest in opera led her to search for summer music programs for young artists and winning scholarships to elite programs in North Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and Washington, D.C.
Miss Rose, 17, decided to attend the Washington National Opera Summer Institute offered through a partnership of American University and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She will perform in both places.
The institute's extra generous scholarship was a factor in Miss Rose's decision about where to go.
"I also knew at the Kennedy Center, I was going to get very individualized attention with them bringing in different guest artists," she said. "I knew it was going to be a good balance of classwork, writing a research paper and being able to sing at the Kennedy Center."
The institute consists of classes in Italian diction, acting, stage movement, resume workshops, vocal coaching, vocal lessons and performance opportunities in opera scenes and solo art songs.
The three-week program runs from Monday through July 9.
"The program is set up so students experience what it really feels like to be an intense music student (and) what it would be like to have a career (in opera)," Miss Rose said, adding she is hoping the program helps her determine if she will pursue opera in college and beyond.
"If for some reason opera doesn't pan out, I'm also interested in political science, law and other things," Miss Rose said.
She grew up in a home with a classical music atmosphere because her father, Dr. Cameron Rose, is director of choral activities at The University of Texas at Tyler.
"She's always enjoyed singing from when she was a very young little girl. She sang at home, she sang at school, she sang at church sometimes," Rose said. "She was just always producing music around the house. It was something that she did more and more of and when she became a good age to begin to take lessons, we thought we might try that and see how it progressed."
Miss Rose said as her voice began to develop, and she took lessons, she was able to go from simple songs to singing in a foreign language and make all kinds of octave jumps.
In middle school, Miss Rose started taking general music voice development lessons with a couple of different coaches. In 10th grade, she began studying with Dr. Sooah Park, opera director at UT Tyler.
In her first lesson with Dr. Park, Miss Rose said, she was doing a voice exercise when she realized she had a good voice for opera and other genres.
"Then I was hooked," she said.
Miss Rose takes an hour lesson once a week from Dr. Park and practices multiple times throughout the week.
She attends Whitehouse High School, where she is involved in the theater program, one-act play competitions and advanced placement honors courses.