Soprano Audrey Luna Makes History At New York's Metropolitan Opera

Nov 10, 2017
Originally published on November 10, 2017 10:55 am
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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Next, we're going to head to the opera house. There's a new show at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. It's "The Exterminating Angel" by Thomas Ades. And not long after the show starts, you hear this.

(SOUNDBITE OF OPERA "THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL")

AUDREY LUNA: (Singing).

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And what you heard there for just a split second is an A note above high C.

GREENE: Yeah, picture a piano. It's a key that is way to the right, near the end of a keyboard.

MARTIN: And the Met says, as far as it can tell, this high A - and we're going to hear it again here - is the highest note ever sung on its stage.

(SOUNDBITE OF OPERA, "THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL")

LUNA: (Singing).

It's just an offstage laughter is what it is. But it's notated and so the notes do have to be correctly sung.

GREENE: She makes it sound so easy. That's Audrey Luna, the voice behind that incredibly high note. We reached her on Skype. Now, she is known for hitting stratospheric notes, but she had never gone that high on stage.

LUNA: When I am singing that high, it is the sensation that I feel all through my body. I mean, I've gone skydiving before. I think this is a better rush. This is kind of gross, but I even hear the wax crackling in my ears sometimes. There's a lot going on.

MARTIN: Oh, that's awesome. Luna says these high notes have become almost natural for her. But it took a lot of practice starting when she was in high school.

LUNA: I was goofing off with the Queen of the Night aria.

(SOUNDBITE OF OPERA, "THE MAGIC FLUTE")

LUNA: (Singing).

I just - I loved the puzzle and putting the puzzle together. And then, what can I add to that cadenza?

GREENE: And Luna says she has gone even higher in practice - as high as a C above high C or the very last key on a keyboard.

LUNA: Do I want to keep reaching up there? I don't know, if someone writes it.

(SOUNDBITE OF OPERA, "THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL")

LUNA: (Singing).

MARTIN: That's Audrey Luna performing in "The Exterminating Angel" and nailing those high notes at New York's Metropolitan Opera.

(SOUNDBITE OF OPERA, "THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL")

LUNA: (Singing). Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.