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Remember when Paul Potts blew away the judges on Britain’s Got Talent? If you don’t you can find his audition on YouTube. If it’s any sign of how incredible his first audition was, the video has 150 million views and counting.

Potts steps nervously on the stage and just moments before was talking about having a confidence issue. But then he opens his mouth and jaws hit the floor. He sings an incredible Nessun Dorma and brings the judges and the audience to tears. He then went on to be the first winner of Britain’s Got talent and the newest opera star.

The crazy part is that when Potts auditioned he worked at Carphone Warehouse, but all it took was one audition and his career skyrocketed.

Now he’s had double platinum albums and topped the charts in 9 countries.

Unfortunately, not all opera singers get the attention they deserve. Some sink between the cracks like Potts or burn out their voices before they ever reach the top of the opera world.

Potts was once an unknown up-and-comer in opera, so we’ve put together a list of a few up-and-comers we think you should know about. These performers aren’t working at Carphone Warehouse and our list only names a few of them, but they have the talent to grow bigger than Paul Potts.

1. Kathryn Lewek

Lewek is a soprano who has earned a rock solid reputation singing as the Queen of the Night in Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

The role has taken Lewek around the world and to some of the largest and most respected opera houses in the world. All that travel has put her in front of the entire opera world, and she hasn’t disappointed.

Lewek is still performing as the Queen of the Night for now. But keep your eyes open for her to move away from the role in as her reputation grows. If you get the chance to see her do yourself a favor and see one of Opera’s brightest stars in the early stages of what will be a long and bright career.


3. Nadine Sierra

Sierra is another young soprano whose talent is turning heads.

She first received national attention when she was 15 years old and appeared on NPR’s young artists showcase, and then made her first debut with the San Francisco Opera in 2011. Since then she’s performed at Opéra National de Paris, the Met, and La Scalla.

There’s a reason Sierra was the youngest winner of Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Marilyn Horne Foundation vocal competitions. The San Francisco Chronicle said, “There was no way to listen to soprano Nadine Sierra…and feel anything but awe and delight―a combination of admiration for her current gifts and eager anticipation at what the future surely holds for her.”

If you get the chance to see Sierra perform, don’t miss it. If you do, you’ll regret it as you watch this star rise to the top of the opera world.


3. Isabel Leonard

Leonard is a mezzo-soprano who has performed with some of the best conductors and opera houses in the world. She also won a Grammy for her performance on Thomas Ades’ The Tempest.

Leonard has had a great career with the Metropolitan Opera and has performed around the world in other opera houses like the Paris Opera and the Vienna State Opera. Leonard’s career has centered around the Met so far, but don’t be surprised if you see her performing in major roles around the world soon.

The New York Times recently described one of Leonard’s performances as, “lustrous, full-bodied mezzo-soprano and her exquisite comic timing seized attention at every turn.”


4. Yelena Dyachek

This Ukranian-born singer is still breaking into the opera world, but she already has a promising reputation.

She won the 2015 Metropolitan National Council Auditions Western Region and has caught the attention of opera companies across the country. In the fall Dyacheck will join the Houston Grand Opera studio artists training program and will perform with the San Francisco Opera’s Merola Opera.

The New York Times said that Dyachek, “demonstrated impressive range, depth and power… before delivering an emotionally captivating Letter Scene” at her Met National Council performance.


5. Andrew Stenson

Stenson is another foreign born singer who came to America to blow away opera fans. Just like Dyachek, Stenson was also part of the Merola program.

Just how talented is Stenson? He saw his first opera in 2005 and is now a rising star. Some of Stenson’s career highlights include performing as Ferrando in the Met and Julliard production of Così Fan Tutte and the Lindemann Program’s The Enchanted Island and Pagliacci.

Keep your eyes open for this tenor to step on to some of the world’s greatest stages in the near future.


Who do you think is a rising star in the opera world? Comment below and let us know! The more attention these young singers get, the better off they’ll be!


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