For one University of Kentucky (UK) alumni, distance was no object when pursuing his dreams of becoming an opera singer.
Francisco Bedoy, a 24-year-old UK graduate, grew up in Ayutla, Jalisco, Mexico, where he developed a strong interest in vocal performance from an early age. “I’ve always loved singing,” Bedoy said. “It’s a way for me to share my thoughts and feelings without any sort of barrier holding me back.”
After attending the University of Guadalajara for one year, Bedoy began looking abroad for opportunities to improve his talent.
After looking into several schools throughout the country, Bedoy decided to enroll at UK and become a part of the opera program. “UK’s opera program is one of the best in the country and I had heard a lot about the many important singers that have come from UK,” Bedoy said.
Having never left his country before and little proficiency in English, coming to UK was a daunting decision for Bedoy. “To leave home, university and work, to travel to live in a place you only visited for three days, it was an incredible challenge,” Bedoy said.
However, Bedoy began seeing immediate success after he auditioned for the 2008 Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition, where he won the Outstanding Transfer Student Award and received full tuition to UK.
After his first few classes, Bedoy was immediately struck by the caliber of instruction he was receiving as well as the level of commitment that the faculty was giving him. “My artistry is so different now than compared to three years ago and the faculty definitely played a key role in developing my talent and abilities,” Bedoy said.
The faculty’s intense dedication to Bedoy’s success encouraged him to try new things and dive right into the opera community. “Francisco has been a wonderful addition to our music community,” Everett McCorvey, Director of UK Opera Theatre, said. “He can hear while still getting comfortable with the language and he just dove right in and immersed himself into all the musical activities here at UK.
Though there were certain challenges to learning music in another language and in a new country, Bedoy says his experiences made the leap worthwhile. “To be able to receive one-on-one instruction from the professional voice teachers here was absolutely amazing,” Bedoy said. “My professors here were more than understanding of my situation and worked with me every step of the way.”
Now that he’s graduated from UK, Bedoy plans to pursue a Master’s degree program at the University of Michigan, but will miss the supportive foundation of faculty and friends that he’s built here. “During my time at UK, I really started to see the results of all my hard work over the years,” Bedoy said. “I don’t think I could have gotten those results anywhere else. My teachers gave me so much time and effort and they showed a dedication to the students that I don’t think any other place could do.”