Irene Dalis

A beautiful mind is optimistic. Every morning I awake relaxed. I am conscious of eating a healthy diet, taking vitamins and omega-3s, and watching my weight. I stay mentally and physically active. My payback comes from helping young people.

I was a principal artist at New York's Metropolitan Opera for 20 years. I retired from performing and became a professor of music at San José University. In 1984 I founded Opera San José, a resident opera company that gives singers the opportunity to perform in many roles before exiting to a larger stage. They stay four years and leave with 16 leading roles that they can perform on 12-hours notice. When I see that breakthrough happen, I'm thrilled that they've found themselves.

Living this way, I can watch singers go from novices to performers. I can see the good in everyone.

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