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Rouses Point native turns to North Country for help making lifelong dream come true

DENVER - For as long as he can remember, Rouses Point native and Northeastern Clinton Central School graduate Scott Merchant has wanted to sing. Now, at age 29, that dream is becoming a reality.

Attributing his musical influence to his grandmother who taught him to sing with a piano at a very young age, Merchant has grown to become an opera singer performing across the world.

"I was always a singer," said Merchant. "All of my friends knew it. Everybody knew. I was always singing."

After watching a performance by Luciano Pavarotti on PBS at the age of 14, Merchant wanted to emulate Pavarotti and the way he sang. Now, he believes he has reached that point.

After singing in a performance of "The Magic Flute" at the Tuscia Opera Festival in Italy, Merchant came across a newspaper with his picture on the front page.

"I'm from the North Country. I'm from Rouses Point. I don't think we even have a [traffic] light," exclaimed Merchant. "I was so amazed that I had gotten to that place where I was like, 'I was just reviewed in a major newspaper from Rome. And favorably.' They called me 'youthful and very interesting.'"

Merchant has been attending the University of Denver, where he has received a degree in education, which has allowed him to teach voice to 10 students.

"I'm really happy doing that," said Merchant.

He has also been chosen to sing the lead role in the school's annual performance for the last four years.

He is now preparing to graduate with a second degree in performance in May, where he will immediately begin an audition tour throughout the United States, Italy, Germany and Austria. The audition tour will also include a chance for Merchant to audition for Placido Domingo, another world-famous opera singer.

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