Pedro Barerra is a tenor from Barranquilla, Colombia. Pedro came to the United States in 2017 thanks to a full-ride scholarship offered by the Lamont School of Music. Pedro lives in New York City where he continues his studies with Michael Paul.
Share with us a unique experience for you in the opera world. How did it inspire you and what did you learn from it?
There are so many! Some of my favorite ones were to personally meet some of the best singers in my country from an early age, as well as some of the top international opera singers that visited Colombia. I got to sing for some of them, and I got to learn from them not only useful information for my craft, but I also got a hint of their core values and work ethic. I was lucky enough to meet most of them in the early stages of my career, when I was in the first years of undergrad, so that’s the early inspiration I’ve been carrying with me since then, and that contributes to my motivation.
Do you think opera should be accessible to everyone? How do you think this could be done?
We live in important times where the entire population that has access to the internet, has access to a wide variety of opera recordings online. However, the real magic happens live. We need more funding for small projects like @theoperanextdoor who will literally bring live opera outdoors to the neighborhood. I had the opportunity to participate in an outreach last summer for an upscale private school here in NYC, and it was amazing how some of the kids didn’t really know what opera was, or simply were not interested in it, but completely changed their minds about it after our performance.By championing smaller opera companies and introducing opera as an educational aspect for younger generations, we can make live opera more accessible to a wider audience.
Do you feel that your work as an opera singer helps you to use your creativity to serve your community? What do you enjoy the most about it?
Absolutely. As opera singers, we process and display our emotions on stage so that the audience can connect with those emotions themselves, and further identify with the many facets of the human experience. In times like these, with so much technology and digital absorption, it is essential and indeed a service to any community to provide artforms like opera. Overall, serving the community doing what you love is a truly enjoyable experience.