Meet Emily Margevich, future opera star

Jessica Peterson
December 08, 2016

When she was two years old, Emily Margevich asked her mom if she could join a community theatre group's cast of "Oklahoma!" She was a little young to participate in that show, but it came naturally given her musical family-her mom operated a Hoopeston, Ill. dance and theatre school and her grandmother taught piano and voice lessons above the studio.  Margevich made her professional musical theatre debut in Chicago at the age of 8, and today she performs in operas at DePaul as a senior vocal opera performance major in the School of Music.  On Dec. 8-9, she will appear in Christmas at DePaul for the second year in a row.

"I remember going to see the Christmas at DePaul show with my mom my freshman year at DePaul, and we were blown away by the heartwarming performance," Margevich says.

Initially believing she would pursue musical theatre and Broadway right after high school rather than go straight to college, Margevich decided to attend DePaul after her mother convinced her to visit area colleges with strong classical vocal studies programs.

"After visiting DePaul, taking part in a sample lesson and meeting with the vocal coordinator, I knew that I owed it to my instrument to see my operatic potential through," Margevich says.

The same day of her visit-her first college visit-she insisted on buying a DePaul sweatshirt and sweat pants. "I just knew that I would become my best singer under the exceptional guidance of the outstanding faculty at DePaul," she says.

DePaul accepted Margevich into the School of Music for the 2013-14 academic year, and after attending Christmas at DePaul in 2013, she knew that she wanted to be a part of the production.

"I feel so honored to work with the great community chorus and our DePaul musicians to create such a fun, emotional concert," Margevich says. "I think the Christmas at DePaul show is the perfect end to a wonderful DePaul-filled year, and there is nothing like the energy and satisfaction of working with so many talented musicians on such beautiful music about remembrance, joy and thankfulness." 

Besides her studies, Margevich also works in the School of Music admissions office and as a receptionist in the School of Music. She also volunteers as an administrative assistant for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Central Region.

Her long-term goal is to be accepted into the Ryan Opera Center at the Chicago Lyric Opera. Until then, though, she is considering graduate school and has been auditioning for summer and young artists programs on the advice of her School of Music advisors. She also still has some performing to do before she graduates in the spring. After Christmas at DePaul, Margevich will perform the lead role of Lauretta in Giacomo Puccini's opera "Gianni Schicchi," in the DePaul Opera Theatre winter production, at the Lyric Opera Guild in February and at her senior recital in the spring.

"I will forever be grateful to the School of Music faculty for believing in my potential, teaching me so much about singing and musicianship and for bringing out my opera voice," Margevich says. "I still want to win a Tony Award someday, but my performing path has completely changed with my focus on opera. I know now that is where my voice should live." 

Read last month's Student Spotlight about Jose Torres, National Guard veteran and health education champion

Do you know a student who should be featured in an upcoming column? Nominate them for Student Spotlight here.