Soprano, Samantha Nahra, is really the classic when one door closes a window will open story. Before she got into singing, Samantha, known to her friends as Sam, was training for the olympics in competitive swimming. When she finally reached qualifying times in the 50 freestyle, 50 backstroke and the 100 backstroke her back unfortunately, fortunately, could not keep up. From there due to a choral director who saw her vocal potential in show choir, which she only joined because she liked to dance, she started taking vocal lessons where she was introduced into the world of opera. Sam was drawn to opera because of it’s parallels with that of the sports world; both worlds hold a unique physical passion for perfection which can only be obtained through dedication and determination of a single goal to be the best athlete or artist you can be.
Since then Sam has received degrees in voice at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the University of South Carolina and Mannes, The New School of Music; including being involved in many summer programs such as, Oberlin in Italy, CoOPERAtive, Operaworks, Sherrill Milnes VOICE Studio, Le Chiavi di Bel Canto, IVAI, UVAA and NYDV. During her time at these schools and programs she has sung in many recitals and scene concerts. She has sang the roles of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, Laetitia in The Old Maid and the Thief, Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica and Bianca in La Rondine. Fall of 2018, she covered the role of Arinyae in Theodore Christman's new opera premiere, A Metamorphosis in NYC. The last two summers she has been a Principal Artist for UVAA's Dramatic Voices. She has gotten to perform in Salt Lake City's Assembly Hall in Temple Square and was also a finalist in their Debbie Voigt Death by Aria Competition in 2018. In 2019, she was Miceala in their production of La tragedies de Carmen.
She is also a founding member of Columbia Operatic Laboratory. A small opera troupe in Columbia, SC bringing opera down a notch with their original show Four Singers Walk into a Bar.
Sam has been a soloist in Kim Arnesen’s Magnificat with the One Voice Chorus of Charlotte. A LGBTQ choir which works to increase understanding and acceptance to overcome misperceptions in the Charlotte, NC area. This is a cause she is very passionate about having many LGBTQ friends.
She recently received an honorable mention in NJS International Vocal Competition, and she was a finalist in Elaine Malbin and Mario Lanza Voice Competition.
Some fun facts about Sam outside of the classical opera world is that she is a retired children’s entrainer. She was the fairy Tib for the Des Moines Renaissance Faire, Nebraska Faire, Amana Colonies Renaissance, Door County Renaissance, and a couple others if you feel like googling. She is married to Philip Zion who has filmed many of her recitals, edited all her YouTube videos, and is responsible for her headshots. Together they live in Brooklyn with their adorable cats; Knucklehead, affectionately known as Knuckles and Toku.