Watch This 13-Year-Old Slay at Singing Opera on America's Got Talent

Yes, I know using the words “slay” and “opera” in the same headline might sound far-fetched to some, but damn, this is like what would happen if Maria Callas and Tarja Turunen had some sort of hybrid reincarnation, and came back to live as this girl. (Also: yes, I like opera.)


On Tuesday’s season 11 premiere of America’s Got Talent, 13-year-old singer Laura Bretan made super-curmudgeon Simon Cowell actually say some nice things after bringing the crowd to its knees with her rendition of the popular aria “Nessun dorma.”

Bretan’s performance scored the teenager a golden buzzer—the first of the season—accompanied by some accolades.

“That just happened,” said Cowell, because indeed, it just had. “I have never heard anything like that in all the years I’ve been doing this show.”

“Seriously,” said he added. “It was unbelievable.”

Former Spice Girl Mel B (who is probably the chillest one of the group, I’m guessing) also expressed her amazement at Bretan’s pipes.

“I think this that this show is going to completely change your life, and I’m going to change your life, right now,” said Mel, née Scary Spice, before sending Bretan onto the next round.

Bretan’s breathless reaction? “This has been a dream come true,” she said in disbelief.


I’m crying. Are you crying? Yes. We’re all crying.

If “Nessun dorma” sounds familiar, it’s probably because it should sound familiar. Penned by composer Giacomo Puccini, the aria has been sung by (arguably) mainstream crossover stars like Luciano Pavarotti, and has appeared in classic films like The Man Has Two Faces and The Killing Fields.


What makes Bretan’s performance even more impressive is that “Nessun dorma” is a tenor aria—meaning that not only did she pull a standing ovation with a song popularized by Pavorotti, but she killed it with an aria that has been typically sung by men.

But seriously—it’s possible that Bretan has out-Pavorottied Pavorotti, and I am so, so down with it.


Contact the author at

Image via YouTube.

Contributor, Jezebel


The Noble Renard

Very very impressive for her age! With some serious vocal coaching I think she could go pretty far, since she’s clearly got a ton of raw talent that’ll provide a fantastic base for turning it into something magnificent.

I just wish she didn’t have to sing Nessun Dorma, which I think has been sung on that show like a dozen times before, since it’s a) very well known, b) relatively short, so great for those shows, and c) ends with a high C which is begging for applause. But there’s so much more that would highlight her voice better!

/sincerely, an obnoxious complainer about the diminished presence and role of opera in modern society.