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Front Page » December 24, 2002 » Lifestyle » from Ferron to Salzburg
Published 5,177 days ago

from Ferron to Salzburg

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Staff Writer

Shalise Fox, of Ferron, is studying opera in Austria.

Shalise Fox, former Ferron resident is studying vocal performance at the Universitat Mozarteum (The University of Mozart) in Salzburg, Austria. Through a series of chance meetings and introductions, she is seeing her lifelong dream of becoming a professional singer come true. Fox lived in Ferron until the eighth grade when her family moved to Logan for a time, then on to Farmington, N.M. She graduated from Piedra Vista High School in 2001. Fox is the daughter of Randy and Kay Fox who returned in June to live in Ferron. She applied to and was accepted at both Boston Conservatory in Boston, Mass. and Westminister Choir College in New Jersey.

While the tuition at both schools was very expensive, she decided to work and save until she could get enough money to go to one of the schools. She took a position as a nanny in the Raleigh-Durham area of North Carolina to get started on her savings and decide which of the two schools she wanted to attend. After she settled into her position in North Carolina, Fox began to take private singing lessons from Lizbeth Britten-Carter. Britten-Carter, who taught at Meredith Women's College near Raleigh, told Fox about the Opernwerkstatt Opera in Lofer, Austria. Britten-Carter encouraged Fox to audition, arranged an audition and helped her with the audition tapes. Fox was accepted and awarded a scholarship to help pay her expenses for the run of the operas. She was on her way to Austria in June of 2002.

The Opernwerkstatt Opera performed two operas in which Fox was involved. She had to do all of the studying and know completely, her roles before she went to Austria. She was the youngest of nine people accepted to perform. The others were ages 19-33 and were from Iceland, Israel, Germany, Korea, Switzerland and California. Fox played the roles of Gretel in Humperdink's "Hansel and Gretel" and Frasquite from Bizet's "Carmen."

On her first Sunday in Austria for these operas, Fox was invited to go to church with Martha Sharp, her instructor from the opera company. Fox said "It was like a dream sitting in church, singing with famous opera stars Grace Bumby, Martha Sharp, Kathryn Goldner and Adrianne Kristen."

The Universitat Mozarteum, or the University of Mozart, Salzburg, Austria.

At the end of the operas runs, which was about a month, Sharp asked Fox to stay and audition for the Universitat Mozarteum. Some of the requirements for entrance into the University were to speak German and know German music theory. Because the opera company had supplied accommodations for her, Sharp helped Fox find living accommodations with some friends. Elsa and Edgar Spraiter, who lived in Salzburg, a 45 minute train ride from Lofer, offered Fox the upstairs of their home for her to live as a house guest.

Fox proceeded to delve into the study of the German language and music theory. When the memorial came for the Sept. 11 tragedy, she was asked to sing, and was extremely nervous to sing before opera stars the caliber of Grace Bumby but all went well. She continued to study and on Sept. 25, auditions were held. About 120 people auditioned and only seven were accepted. Fox was one of those seven. Adrianne Kristen and her husband Johannes Manov, professional singers, offered Fox a job as au pair for their children. Now Fox had some income to help with expenses for her studies. In her spare time, Fox had been working with some missionaries teaching a woman named Linda. Linda told her that she needed a roommate and would Fox be interested in sharing an apartment in the middle of Salzburg, five minutes from the University. Fox now had accommodations very near to the school. When Fox left the United States on her short adventure, she did not foresee an extended stay and she wasn't prepared for winter and needed a coat. Two sister missionaries came up with an extra coat for her so she could continue to save on expenses. The money she saved by not having to buy a coat paid her tuition, 13 Euros.

Fox has met and become friends with some very influential people and some very caring and loving people like the Kelly and Marlene Gallacher, who are from California but now living in Salzburg, who have treated her like family and watched out for and helped her.

When she is not studying, singing or being an au pair, Fox helps the missionaries. They sing in the streets, give discussions, and go on splits. Fox also belongs to and attends Womens International Network organizing benefit concerts to raise funds for an orphanage in Africa. In her efforts to do any job that needs to be done for the benefits, Fox has the privilege to work with Grace Bumby, Kathryn Goldner and Johannes Manov. For this small town girl who was only trying to raise money to go to college, this turn of events has transformed Fox into a world traveler and a newcomer in the field of opera.

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