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Hi. I am currently an undergraduate student who is considering pursuing a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance. I have been studying classical voice for the past year and am looking at my different options as far as schools go. My main question is: Do you need to go to one of the big-name universities or conservatories in order to have a successful career in opera? I am talking about the top schools like Eastman, MSM, Rice, NEC, Michigan, Curtis, ect. who are well-known for their Music programs. Would a graduate from a lesser-known university not stand a chance against someone who attended one of the 'better' schools/conservatories? The main reason I am asking this is because of the money issue... the public or local schools would cost alot less, I would receive alot more financial aid/grants, while also giving me a good, solid musical education and perhaps more individualized attention and more performance opportunities.
So, what are your opinions? Have you ever heard of successful singers who have come from lesser-known schools? Is your success determined by where you studied, or more by natural talent and determination? I was recently looking over the list of Met National Council winners from previous years and saw that a few of them graduated from smaller universities... like southeastern louisiana u, ohio, morehouse, arizona state, ect. So maybe there is hope afterall? I would greatly appreciate your opinions. :)