10-year-old Maryland native lands coveted role at Metropolitan Opera House

The bright lights, the big stage - and an even bigger smile.

Meet Gabby Tennor.

At just 10 years old, Gabby scored a role at the Metropolitan Opera in New York - playing Jesus in a production called El Niño.

She calls Maryland home but she and her mom, Barbara, are making the five-hour drive to New York City twice a week during the show's month-long run. 

Photo via NY Metropolitan Opera

Thousands and thousands of people filled the seats on opening night, but Gabby said she didn't get nervous.

Mom, on the other hand, shed some tears.

"You look around you, and you have a vision of how your life is going to be somehow, and we never thought opera. "We are not actors, we are not actresses. We don't have that background, and to get to that level, I looked around and said ‘Wow, God is really good,’" Barbara said. 

The family is originally from Ghana.

The opera tells the story of the nativity, the birth of Christ.

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And for this family - it is a true testament to their faith.

"I am so glad I can do something that is based on my faith because I'm Christian," Gabby said. "Let God take you wherever you want to be. It's not just about yourself, let others help."

But one message they want to share is that, even at just 10 years old, there have already been a lot of rejections.

"And I've had Gabby cry even through her auditions because you have to memorize lines, 5 pages within 24 hours, but the determination is there. Wherever you want to be, you can be.," Barbara said. "But believe that you have to work hard for it because life never comes easy. It's never simple."

Though she is a rising star on the stage, Gabby said she actually wants to be a pediatrician when she grows up. The fourth-grade straight-A student also plays piano, drums, and soccer.

And if you happen to be heading to New York, the El Niño opera runs through May 17.