Jason Berger had no clue that by the end of his last day as a barista, he’d be an online star.
It was just a regular shift at the Starbucks in Wilmington, Delaware. Jason took orders and handed customers their coffee, as per usual. But then, one man walked in and made a special request: could Jason sing for him?
Gianluca Spinola and his wife, Kaylan Wetzel had ordered from Jason before. The men bonded over their connection to Italy, Gianluca’s home country.
“Jason [had previously] noticed my husband’s accent and mentioned that he studied opera in Italy (he’s conversant in Italian). My husband was shocked at how good his Italian is and he loves opera, so he asked him to sing! We were blown away at his talent,” Kaylan told Today.
As such, the couple couldn’t resist asking him to belt it out again the next time they came in. But this time, Kaylan recorded the 28-year-old’s incredible voice — and shared it with the world. Her video went viral, and thousands couldn’t get enough of the singing barista! It was a dream come true for Jason, a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. He’s spent years training his voice and hoping for his big break.
“My dream is to be a soloist at major opera houses across the globe, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York City, and as musical theater is a passion of mine as well, I would love to be in a Broadway show,” Jason said.
In the meantime, he’s been supporting himself by working for Starbucks and Grotto Pizza, where he’s known to showcase his talent as well. But the overwhelmingly positive response has lifted the operatic tenor’s hopes. Not only is Jason thrilled to be heard by so many, but that more people are being exposed to the genre he adores.
“I hope the joy that people get from watching my video is a reminder that the arts are a necessity, not a luxury. The arts are what make us human, they heal people and they bridge divides and they bring light into a world that is so often filled with divisiveness and hate,” he said.
While Jason’s impromptu Starbucks performances have come to an end, you can hear him in OperaDelaware’s Spring Festival! He will spend two months training in the company’s young artists program. After that, we’re sure it won’t be long until he stuns on stages around the world.
Listen to Jason’s viral performance in the video below, and share his beautiful voice!
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