Soprano Elena Villalón, 22, a 2019 Grand Finals winner of the esteemed Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, has spent the past year making a name for herself as one of the youngest members ever of Houston Grand Opera’s artist development program HGO Studio. In January, the ingenue dazzled in the role of Inès in La favorite, which saw her gracing the stage opposite opera star Jamie Barton. “The cast was really great,” says Villalón of the experience. “Everyone was incredible at their jobs.”
While her on-stage experience will look and feel a little different in the fall — HGO recently announced it is canceling productions through April 2021 due to Covid-19 precautions — she remains optimistic for the future. “It is my hope that the Houston community has a renewed longing for live performance, that audiences will be more present and open, and not take for granted access to the world class art that Houston has to offer.”
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Villalón wears a Badgley Mischka dress from Tootsies.