Aug 28, 2013 11:12 PM by Erin Steuber
The music director at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Lafayette is leaving after almost six years on the job. Anyone who has attended their mass on Sunday knows his voice, and talent. And our Erin Steuber caught up with him as he prepares for his farewell performance.
For the last ten years he has been chasing his dream of becoming a professional opera singer. And for the past three months he has kept his dream alive performing with one of the largest opera companies in the country. Now he's back in Acadiana to say farewell, before he goes on to live his dream. Meet Acadiana's own Andre' Courville of Henderson.
"The first time I heard an operatic voice it moved me so much the first idea I had was, 'I want to make people feel that way. I want to move people with my voice. I want to be able to do that,'" said Courville. "I think that's the beautiful thing about singing; You can touch someone without actually touching them. You can move someone with just your voice. Your voice goes right into their body, into their ears and a part of you becomes a part of them."
"People come into mass and they just hear this very large, lush voice," said Parish Administrator Stephanie Supple. "They don't know where it's coming from because he's playing the organ. To see someone who has as much talent, as he has vocally and as an organist, is such a rarity."
"It's been a wonderful experience to be able to serve them as a minister of music. But I'm ready to just focus on opera now, and I think that's what my true calling is," said Courville. "In March I auditioned for The Academy of Vocal Arts, which is in Philadelphia. I was accepted as a resident artist there and that's where I'm going."
"He'll be missed and hopefully he's going to stay in touch and we know what happens with him," said Supple. "Someday we'll see him when he's performing as a professional."
"It will be really difficult leaving this great support system here," said Courville. "I feel very comfortable here and in a way I'm leaving my home. But I know if things don't work out, I know I'll have a place to come back to. It's a real treasure to be able to do what you love as your career. That's what's special about opera to me."
Andre' will be leaving for Philadelphia Friday for the Academy of Vocal Arts. The pre-professional program will prepare him to perform professionally on international stages as an opera singer.