One of the most popular singers on Dallas-Fort Worth classical music and opera stages has announced she will soon be making a transition from music to medicine.
Soprano Ava Pine, who has distinguished herself in appearances with Fort Worth Opera, Texas Camerata, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and a wide range of companies and ensembles across America and Europe, wrote in a post on her professional Facebook page Monday that she has decided to change careers.
“After this season I will be returning to school, toward the eventual goal of becoming a nurse practitioner. I plan to specialize in psychiatric and mental health, fulfilling a long-held desire to be involved in the mental health field,” she said in the post.
Pine, a native Texan who now calls Fredericksburg home, said in the post that both her parents “make their living in the medical field,” calling them, “my inspiration.”
In the post, the singer, who is especially known and loved for her performances of early music and in operas of all eras, stressed her continuing love of music and all it has done for her.
To sing for people, to move people, and to hear from them about their experiences has brought me immeasurable joy.
Ava Pine, in a Facebook post
“It has been the greatest privilege of my life to make my living as a performer. To sing for people, to move people, and to hear from them about their experiences has brought me immeasurable joy,” she said in her post, adding that, “the performing life has afforded me a rich gamut of experiences.”
But Pine also noted that, “I have always known that eventually I want to do something else in my life — to nurture the side of me that thrills with science and study — and I have decided that now is the time to do it.”
Beyond her post, however, Pine prefers not to discuss her plans. She declined an interview request, saying that she would rather wait until spring, when she is scheduled to perform in a Fort Worth Opera Grand Opening Night Concert, to provide more details.
There was, however, some good news in the post for fans of Pine’s musical abilities.
“I do hope to continue to sing, just on a smaller scale and on smaller stages. I would love to sing choral music again! Singing will always be a part of my life, even if it’s no longer the way I make my living,” she said.
Pine went on to say that she will be performing in Fort Worth and in Dallas, Fredericksburg and Atlanta in the coming months.
Pine will be missed by music fans not only for her gorgeous voice, but also because of her versatility. Her skills were on display early in her career, in the early 2000s, in performances of Baroque repertoire with Texas Camerata. But Pine quickly expanded beyond that style of music.
“She started out in that early music world, but as her voice developed and she developed as an artist, she started to branch out into other periods and genres,” said Kristen Van Cleve, artistic director of Texas Camerata. “Her progression from performing recitals to larger and larger performance platforms has been fun to watch.”
After making an impression in early music recitals, Pine moved with ease into the world of opera performance. She delivered star turns in Fort Worth Opera productions that ranged from contemporary operas, like Lysistrata and Silent Night, to old favorites such as Donizetti’s The Daughter of the Regiment (2013). Star-Telegram critic Olin Chism said of the latter performance, “Her lovely voice moved easily through the part’s acrobatic passages as well as the more seductive lyric ones, and her sense of the stage made the most of the possibilities for comedy in the role.”
Pine has also performed major roles in productions of the Dallas Opera and other companies around the country.
In her new life in the medical profession, she will continue to do what she has always done — give joy, care, comfort, understanding and love to people who need it.
Fort Worth Opera General Director Darren K. Woods
Fort Worth Opera General Director Darren K. Woods is credited with “discovering” Pine when he first heard her sing in the choir practice room of Fort Worth Presbyterian Church.
“I will never forget that Sunday in 2001 when I first heard her sing and told her she should be an opera singer,” Woods said. “It has been my greatest joy to be her mentor and friend for 15 years. In her new life in the medical profession, she will continue to do what she has always done — give joy, care, comfort, understanding and love to people who need it. She is one of the most wonderful people I know.”
Van Cleve said she applauds Pine’s decision to change careers.
“I think it is wonderful when somebody knows themselves well enough to know what the next step needs to be in their lives,” she said. “I will miss hearing her beautiful voice as much. But I wish her the very, very best.”
Freelance writer Andrew Marton contributed to this report.