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Max Mara Gives Award to Young Opera Singer

Emily Damasco is like most 17-year-old girls from her Philadelphia suburb. She loves makeup, listens to her older sister’s playlist and checks her mailbox for college acceptance letters. But the operatic performer also owns a mezzo-soprano voice that just won the third annual Max Mara Young Visionary Award through the brand’s partnership with the National YoungArts Foundation. Coupled with $10,000 she already received from the Miami-based nonprofit, the highest amount it bestows to young artists who compete in multiple genres at its National YoungArts Week in January, Max Mara’s $10,000 “bonus” prize means she’ll matriculate with fewer headaches than most freshmen.
“I went to YoungArts Week just to learn and have fun with no thoughts of winning. It feels like summer camp,” said Damasco, who selected a mournful aria, “Se il ciel mi divide” from Niccolò Piccinni’s “Alessandro nelle Indie,” for the finalist competition. “It’s heavy and dark with difficult breath. It shows what I can do.”
Growing up in a musical family, she inherited her gift from her maternal grandmother, a Pittsburgh restaurateur who didn’t have the luxury to pursue a stage career. Damasco’s mother made sure not to repeat the misfortune upon hearing her then kindergartener belt out Britney Spears’

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