When Juliette Valle was just 14 years old, she attended Florida Grand Opera’s Young Artist Learning Academy, a summer program for youth interested in opera. For three intensive weeks, she and other young artists studied topics like diction, music appreciation, acting, costuming and stage design under a roster of industry professionals. “I knew from then on that I wanted to be a part of FGO for life,” Valle says.
Eight years later, Valle holds the title of Miss Florida, and in January will travel to Orlando to compete for the Miss America crown. It’s a dream come true, and part of that dream is the aspiring operatic soprano’s return to Florida Grand Opera for more training — very special, customized training designed to help her ace the talent portion of the famous pageant. “I am in utter disbelief that I am able to train with FGO again, eight years later, under such extraordinary circumstances,” Valle says. She will perform “Sempre libera” from La traviata, which recently closed at FGO.
When FGO General Director Maria Todaro learned of Valle’s talent and interest in a professional opera career, she immediately reached out to her team to offer special training. “We are so thrilled to work with this talented young artist again as she prepares for the Miss America competition,” says Todaro. “Juliette Valle is representing Florida on the national stage, and FGO not only has close to a century-long history of representing grand opera in Florida, but is internationally recognized for its work with young artists through the Studio Artist Program. Juliette a lovely young woman inside and out, and she is also hard-working, genuine, and appreciative. We are so happy to be able to support her in this way and will be cheering her all the way to the crown!”
Valle is studying voice with Samuel M. Townsend Studio Artist Manager and renowned bass-baritone Neil Nelson, and acting with Todaro (a well-known stage director) and Director of Artistic Administration and critically acclaimed stage director Matt Cooksey. She will also receive marketing and publicity advice tailored to the opera industry, and other opportunities such as informal chat sessions with the Florida Grand Opera Studio Artists, the chance to observe the behind-the-scenes workings of a professional company, and introductions to board members, donors, and audience members. FGO will also host a private dress rehearsal for her talent performance, giving Valle the opportunity to sing her aria in front of a crowd of industry insiders and supporters before she does so on national television in the high-stakes Miss America Competition.
A graduate of the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s degree in political science and minors in broadcast journalism, musical theater and classical vocal performance, Valle’s academic excellence landed her on the Dean’s List, the Provost Honor Roll, and the exclusive Senior Spotlight honors list. While in school, she worked as a reporter for UMTV. She hosts a YouTube show, “The Silver Lining,” where she interviews
prominent figures in the Miss America Organization and transplant recipients or donors, and also serves as a national ambassador for Donate Life America and the National Kidney Foundation, actively advocating for chronic kidney disease prevention and awareness. In 2021, the Miami Herald recognized Valle as d as one of fourteen Hispanic Women of Distinction, and she is the youngest-ever recipient of the “Up & Comer Latina Award.”
After the Miss America pageant in January 2024, Valle intends to audition for graduate schools, pursuing a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance with the goal of singing opera fulltime.
“We wish Juliette every success and hope that she will follow in the footsteps of great artists like soprano Elizabeth Caballero who worked in our box office, became a Studio Artist, and went on to an international career, or baritone Troy Cook, a former Studio Artist who is singing Germont in our current production of La traviata,” says Todaro. “FGO is proud to support young, hard-working artists like Juliette and we would love to see her return to our stage one day.”
Fans can follow Valle’s FGO journey at @floridagrandopera on Facebook or @fgopera on Instagram. They can follow Valle on Facebook at juliette.valle.9 and on Instagram at @officialjuliettevalle.