Preda’s Prelude: The Rise of an Opera Aficionado

Can you sing in 21 different languages? This diva can.

Strolling by the lakeside with her friends, 14- year-old Irena Preda’s gift was actualized. The Slovenian native did not know the power she possessed until this very day when her friends looked upon her in awe of the voice that had not been heard by others. Her journey had just begun. After embracing her singing aptitude, she joined the Slovenian Mixed Youth Choir Veter, where her conductor soon noticed the talent that flowed through the soul of Irena and encouraged her to pursue a career as a soloist. She had found her calling.

Irena began vocal lessons in preparation for the next ballad of her journey– London. She desired to hone in on her freshly identified talent and found the school that offered everything she had craved as an artist. Though she was offered a positon in a post-graduate program at another premier institution in London, Irena took her talents to the Trinity College of Music. She coveted her undergraduate experience and knew she wanted to be surrounded by likeminded individuals which would help her flourish as an artist both mentally and vocally. She had “surrendered to the idea of being a musician.”

Living in the world of music where life can be “precarious at times,” Irena has managed to save her internal light by “refusing to see music as a competition.” With a focus on self-improvement and living a joyful life, Irena has set goals that not only benefit her artistic development but anyone she encounters through her voice. From preforming for the Queen of England to audiences all around the world, every performance is of equal importance to her simply because she views “music as the story of human experience,” where she is a mere vessel the story passes through.

After graduating from the Trinity College of Music, creating the Irena Preda School of Singing and touring across: The United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and the Middle East; as an “eternal student,” the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music became her new home. The devotion to refining her craft is evident. Already having sung in 21 different languages, she has and still plans to learn a song for every place she performs as a homage to the native land. Though singing and opera are a large portion of Irena’s life, she has vested interest in contemporary theatre as well, having co-created three contemporary theatre plays in the last five years. She is also a member of the USC Clover Club, USC World Wide Friends and Students Organize for Syria. In her free time, she enjoys Cuban Salsa Dancing and traveling.

Multifaceted, she is. With her appetite for continual learning, this is just the prelude to the woman, who is Irena Preda.

Author: Cydney Gillon, OIS Communications Editor, Master of Strategic Public Relations student, C’18

Photographer: Uroš Abram