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“Native Songbird” Profile in 360 West Magazine

The globe-trotting Ava Pine — who, believe us, brings this same vivaciousness to the opera stage — is photographed on a visit to her hometown of Fredericksburg.

Singer Ava Pine has had some memorable firsts: Her first paying gig was the National Anthem at Willie Nelson’s annual Fourth of July picnic in Luckenbach, and for her first appearance on the Bass Hall stage she wore a bikini, high heels and a trashy blond wig.

Few would have thought that this native Texan would end up as a headliner on opera stages from Fort Worth to Florence. Fortunately Ava, angelic-voiced star of last spring’s Fort Worth Opera Festival and soloist this month with the Fort Worth Symphony, is a nice Protestant girl.  If she hadn’t impressed opera director Darren Woods with her singing in the First Presbyterian Church choir, she’d probably still be toiling in a cubicle somewhere.

Instead, the 33-year-old TCU grad, with only about five years’ opera experience (she never thought about an opera career until she was well into her 20s), has performed leading roles in London and New Jersey this year, in addition to Fort Worth.  Music critics are gushing about the beauty of her voice (“ravishing” is a favorite adjective), and although she’s an admitted late bloomer — “I’ve had a lot of people tell me it was too late,” she says — she’s now considered a rising star in her field.

It’s been an unusual path to success, and Fort Worth and Texas have been big parts of it.  Ava now lives in New York City — at least, she says, “that’s where my clothes live” — but it was her dad’s passion for music back in Fredericksburg that really got her started.  He’s a country-style singer-songwriter (an emergency-room physician by day) who frequently coaxed his young daughter to sing onstage with his band.  She liked country just fine, “but it never really felt like home to me, musically. Opera and classical music is what I love. Especially the Baroque.” She just didn’t know that until it was almost too late. www real vegas online casino

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