University of Arkansas – Fort Smith student Kody Goad of Fort Smith was 21 years old when discovered he had a voice for singing.

Shortly after, he began honing his talents while dreaming of performing in an opera, and he set his sights high. He wanted to perform in the most prestigious opera house in the world – the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Goad had the opportunity to see firsthand what it would take to achieve his dream when Metropolitan Opera performers held a vocal workshop on campus for him and four other students: Harmony Chapin of Mena, Michaela Cooper of Van Buren, Jordan Duff of Alma and Kalyn Tounzen of Fort Smith.

"It’s always nice to get feedback and tips from some of the greatest opera singers working today," Goad said. "I’m very fortunate to have been a part of this workshop and learn from such talented singers."

The workshop gave students the opportunity to be coached and taught by young professional singers who performed in the "Rising Stars of the Metropolitan Opera" concert as part of the university’s Season at The Blue Lion.

Cooper said the workshop provided her guidance on singing more effectively.

"Singing for stars of the Metropolitan Opera was nerve-wracking to say the least," Cooper said. "But [opera star] Lori Guilbeau was an amazing coach and gave me some wonderful tips on how to get a fuller, lighter sound."

Rager Moore, director of choral activities, said the workshop helped UAFS voice students see what it would take to be successful.

"A workshop of this caliber helps us show our voice students that they are not alone in the struggle for perfection in the Art of Singing," Moore said. "These young professionals bring all of their experience to the forefront while helping the students gain knowledge of their craft."

For Goad, the thought of making it to the Metropolitan Opera gives him an extraordinary feeling.

"I still get chills just imagining myself singing at the Met," Goad said. "It’s going to be a long and difficult road, but I have the dream and I won’t stop trying to get there."