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Exposition/Singers At Their Best: Sophia Capra, Winner of Southeast Missouri Symphony’s 2023 Aria Competition

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Sophia Capra and Ryan Townsend in the SEMO Production of "The Bat's Revenge"
Sophia Capra (left) and Ryan Townsend (right) in the SEMO Production of "The Bat's Revenge"

Sophia Capra, originally from St. Louis, is a vocal performance major at Southeast, studying with faculty member Dr. Christopher Goeke. She has sung numerous roles in Southeast’s opera productions and has served as a member of professional choirs since the age of twelve. She has also recently performed for a large audience in Greensboro, North Carolina, as a featured artist for the Sigma Alpha Iota National Convention.

Concerto and Aria soloists Clayton Bridgeman and Sophia Capra are the joint winners of Southeast Missouri Symphony’s 2023 Concerto and Aria Competition.

Clayton Bridgeman is originally from Cape Girardeau, Missouri; he attended high school at Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan, and this past summer he was a scholarship student at the Brevard Summer Orchestral Training Institute. He was the winner of the National Association of Young Artists’ Strings Competition at both the state and regional level, and will be competing in the national competition later this month. He is a Junior viola performance major at Southeast studying with faculty member Dr. Sophia Han.

The Southeast Missouri Symphony will present a concert featuring Johannes Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus, presenting the student winners of this year’s Concerto and Aria Competition: Clayton Bridgeman, violist, and Sophia Capra, soprano. Clayton will perform the first movement of Cecil Forsyth’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra; Sophia will sing an aria from Massenet’s opera, Manon.

The concert will open with the Concerto for Viola and Orchestra by the British composer, Cecil Forsyth.

Next on the program will be an aria from Massenet’s famous opera, Manon. The aria, entitled "Adieu, notre petite table" ("Goodbye, our little table") is sung by the heroine, Manon, as she is making up her mind to break up with her young suitor, des Grieux, for a wealthy nobleman. Full of heartfelt emotion and longing, this aria is a favorite showpiece for soprano singers.

On the second half of the concert, the orchestra will perform Johannes Brahms’ masterwork, his Symphony No. 1.

Mary Collier Mims returns to public radio on the heels of a 35-year teaching career in music. Her on-air debut was in 1979 on WTSU-FM, an NPR affiliate in Troy, AL. Mary taught at Troy State University for nine years and moved to Cape Girardeau with her husband Bruce and son George Aplin in 1989. She taught voice, music appreciation, aural skills, and music education courses at Southeast Missouri State University from 1989-1992 and 2011-2017. Her public school teaching years were spent in service to Cape Girardeau Public Schools and Nell Holcomb R-IV. Mary enjoys fishing, birding, and being a grandma to Jerry, Bree, and Violet.
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