Nemback finds her calling in opera

After finding her passion for Opera singing during her freshman year at University of La Verne, Brianna Nemback is now a Senior, majoring in Music. Nemback is preparing for her senior project, a solo opera concert that will be performed in Italian, English and German on April 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Morgan Auditorium.
After finding her passion for opera singing during her freshman year at the University of La Verne, Brianna Nemback is now a senior majoring in music. She is preparing for her senior recital, a solo opera concert performed in Italian, English and German at 7:30 p.m. April 16 at Morgan Auditorium. / photo by Nadira Fatah

Joshua Bay
Staff Writer

Her angelic voice painted a ray of sunshine all over the faces of her masterclass audience, as she sang an upbeat rendition of Mozart’s “Laudamus Te.”

Captivating in every way, her effortless stage presence and soprano vocal range is just another performance for senior music major Brianna Nemback.

Nemback initially came to the University of La Verne as a psychology major, but decided to pursue an opera career after she went to the Galapagos Islands with the Honors program.

“The trip made me realize that I wanted to follow my passion and that I shouldn’t pick a job just for security,” Nemback said. “My music teachers encouraged me, supported my voice, and made me feel like I could do something with it.”

Voice Instructor Carol Stephenson described Nem­back as one of the most self-motivated students she has ever had.

“She expects more of herself than I do,” Stephenson said. “There are a lot of possibilities for her because she is always eager to learn and grow.”

Nemback said she loves to sing opera, especially Giacomo Puccini’s Un Bel Di, because it gives her a platform to communicate with people on an emotional level.

“I’m never truer to myself than when I’m on stage because I get to play different characters and put a little of myself into every single one,” she said. “You have to have empathy to understand opera and that’s why I love it.”

Nemback has been a member of the University Chamber Singers and Chorale since her freshman year because it gives her more opportunities to feed her passion for music.

Freshman choir singer and anthropology major Lorali Mossaver-Rahmani admires Nemback for her confidence and effective leadership ability.

“I look up to her because she has a great vibrato and her voice is so pure,” Mossaver-Rahmani said. “I recently watched her perform Cinderella in an opera at Mt. SAC and it was the best experience because she slayed.”

Although opera is her preferred career path, Nemback will be satisfied with any job involving music.

“I’ve actually had an interest in conducting lately,” she said. “But no matter what lies ahead of me, my life will always include music in some way, shape or form.”

Nemback credited Stephenson in particular for giving her confidence and fostering her love for music.

“Everything I’ve learned, I’ve learned from her,” Nemback said.

With only a semester left on her plate, Nemback hopes to pursue a graduate degree in opera.

“I recently got accepted into the Fullerton School of Music,” Nemback said. “But my top choice would definitely be the Manhattan School of Music, which I just auditioned for.”

It is Nemback’s dream to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House.

Stephenson believes that Nemback not only has the skills to pursue a successful career in opera, but can definitely see her fulfilling her dream.

“Brianna is a diva, but not in the derogatory sense,” Stephenson said. “She knows that she has a gift, but is not at all exclusionary or snobby about it. Not only is she a beautiful person with a beautiful voice, but she is kind.”

Nemback encourages La Verne students interested in pursuing an opera career to learn how to sight read, learn the International Phonetic Alphabet and make connections with their teachers.

“Have fun with what you’re doing, but understand you have to do a lot of hard work,” Nemback said. “Be open to taking any sort of job in music.”

Nemback will perform her senior recital at 7:30 p.m. April 16 in Morgan Auditorium.

Joshua Bay can be reached at

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