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USU Music Alumnus Accepted into Program at the Metropolitan Opera

Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013

USU alum Mary-Jane Castleton Lee

USU Department of Music graduate Mary-Jane Castleton Lee has been accepted into the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Utah State University alumna Mary-Jane Castleton Lee has been accepted into the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

“I couldn’t dream of a better young artist program,” said Lee, who begins the program in September. “The Metropolitan Opera has some of the finest teachers and coaches in the country. I couldn’t imagine a better place to help me train and further my talent.”

Lee graduated from USU with her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance in 2008. After graduating, she applied for the master’s opera program at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Texas and was one of two sopranos accepted.

“I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to have so many performance opportunities in our small-scale opera program at USU,” said Lee. “I was able to perform four full opera roles, three recitals and countless outreach performances, all of which gave me experience that other students from bigger programs did not have.”

While at Utah State, Lee studied under Cindy Dewey, associate professor in the Department of Music. Dewey is the area director of the voice program in the Caine College of the Arts and trained both Lee and her older sister, Tamara Castleton Mumford, who participated in the Lindemann program in 2004.

“Mary-Jane has an amazing work ethic and a dedication to music as both a discipline and an art,” said Dewey. “She did whatever it took to bring her very best performance to each lesson, rehearsal and performance.”

Created in 1980, the Lindemann Young Artist Development program focuses on identifying and developing talented young artists in opera. Participants work with internationally recognized coaches and teachers, observe daily rehearsals and practice sessions as professional singers prepare for their roles and perform onstage in Metropolitan Opera productions.

“One of the most unique things about this program is that you don’t get to send an application, you are invited or recruited for an initial audition,” said Lee. “I was heard while working as an apprentice artist at the Santa Fe Opera and then invited for an audition with Brian Zeger, the executive director of the Lindemann program.”

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Contact: Denise Albiston, Production Services, Caine College of the Arts, 435-797-1500,

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