UTEP Alum Wins Mexico’s ‘La Academia’ Talent Contest

Alexis Montoya, a vocal performance major who graduated with his bachelor’s from UTEP in December 2011, has been named the winner of “La Academia,” a televised singing talent show presented by TV Azteca in Mexico.

Montoya’s award includes a recording contract and 1 million pesos.

While at UTEP, Montoya was an active member of the music department’s chorale and opera workshop, also known as Opera UTEP. He performed several times alongside professional opera singers in El Paso Opera productions including Madama Butterfly.

“His true love was and is contemporary singing styles,” said Elisa Wilson, D.M.A., associate professor of voice and music theater. “He studied voice with me and often brought in his guitar so we could coach his original songs and other pop rep, in addition to arias and classical art songs.” Wilson recalled that as part of El Paso Opera’s contemporary production The Desert Song, Montoya showcased his versatility when his contemporary ensemble performed Mexican popular songs pre-show, and then Montoya joining the cast for the operetta.

Montoya beat out 25 other contestants in order to win this year’s “La Academia,” which was in its 10th season. Votes via text and phone helped determine his success throughout the competition, which began Aug. 26. The finale was held in Chiapas on Dec. 16.

After winning, Montoya posted on his Twitter page (in Spanish) “We won … my friends, I am the happiest man in the world right now … many thanks to everyone, truly …”

“I am delighted to see his success,” Wilson said. “He is living his dream!”

More information about “La Academia” can be found on the official show page, http://www.azteca.com/homes/laacademia10.