Anush Avetisyan, a soprano who picked up first-place honors in the vocal portion of the 2012 Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition, returns to Davis on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Vanderhoef Studio Theatre.
Born in Armenia and educated in California — including undergraduate degrees in music education and opera performance at UCLA — she will be singing in a production of Verdi’s “Falstaff” by Opera Santa Barbara next year.
Her honors include first-place awards in the Palm Springs Opera Guild Vocal Competition, 2012; in the Mondavi Center Young Artists Competition (voice), 2012; and in the New Century Singers Vocal Competition, 2012.
Lara Downes, who organizes the Mondavi Center’s competition, said local audiences may recall hearing Avetisyan in the past. In addition to her appearance in the 2012 competition (when she was 21), “she also sang at the UC Davis Convocation and sang in my family concert at Mondavi last year,” Downes said.
“She is now a first-year student at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia. She is gifted with a beautiful voice, and she is one of the people who really has impressed me with her heart. She’s got a big heart and she’s looking at a musical career for all the right reasons.”
Downes added, “Her program, ‘Behind the Face,’ features a lot of songs by women and about women. She’s looking at it as a program for reaching out to young audiences, particularly young girls … messaging about empowerment and self-esteem.”
Tickets are $35 general, $17.50 for children and UC Davis students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or 530-754-2787.