Emily Treigle Sheets learns the family craft at Rice

Emily Treigle Sheets came to Rice’s Shepherd School of Music to follow in her family’s footsteps. However, her family did not attend Rice University.  

She came to Rice to learn the family craft — opera.  

“My grandfather, Norman Treigle, was an opera singer,” she said. “My mother was also an opera singer. And as I grew up, my mom was singing in my living room when I’m trying to watch television.”

The opera path was not one Treigle Sheets wanted to explore at first.  

“In the beginning, I was definitely like, oh, this is the family thing. I hate opera. I hate classical music. I will never do this,” she said. “So I went towards Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus. I wanted to be a pop star and I wanted to write all my own songs.”

But as the saying goes, mother knows best. 

“My mom is a smart lady,” she said. “She convinced me the best thing for my pop career would be to start studying classical music because it really developed your voice. And I just absolutely adored it.”

After going to an arts high school in her hometown of New Orleans, Treigle Sheets looked forward to furthering her education at Rice. 

La Clemenza di Tito

Emily Treigle Sheets (far right) performs in “La Clemenza di Tito”

“I came to Rice in September of my junior year (of high school) and I took a tour of the campus and I took a couple sample voice lessons with the voice faculty,” she said. “I remember talking to my mom during that trip saying, ‘I just adore it. It feels like home and it feels like somewhere that I could really see myself for four years.’ ”

Four years have not been enough for Treigle Sheets. After graduation she is returning to get her master’s degree in vocal performance, and she looks forward to singing in Rice’s new Brockman Hall for Opera.

“I think that it’s going to be really, really inspiring,” she said. “Especially for young singers, singers in the master’s program or even the undergraduate program to be able to really feel what it is like to stand on one of these great stages.”

About Brandon Martin

Greetings, I am a video producer at Rice University in the Office of Public Affairs. I became a Rice Owl in June 2011. Before that, I was at KPRC-TV in Houston as a special projects photojournalist for seven years, where I covered everything from hurricanes to sports. Southeast Texas has been my home my entire life. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife and two of the cutest girls I have ever seen. Go Owls!