NewsPositively Hampton Roads


A look inside Netflix's 'Voices of Fire,' shining a light on local singers' journey to the global stage

Posted at 11:10 PM, Nov 30, 2020

NORFOLK, Va. - The vision started right inside the church walls of Faith World Ministries.

Bishop Ezekiel Williams had a dream to build "the world’s most inspirational choir," made up of local talent from Hampton Roads.

“Each singer will have just one shot,” says Bishop Williams.

A shot to be a part of a gospel choir.

Elana-Rose Lapetina is one of the youngest members who auditioned to be a part of the "Voices of Fire."

“My voice was shaking; my hands were shaking, and the adrenaline was pumping as well,” says the 17-year-old.

Lapetina didn’t let her nerves or her struggles get in the way of a dream.

The teen only has 50% of her hearing. She’s had five reconstructive surgeries.

“I almost have very little to none hearing on this side. I was not born with the internal and external ear,” Lapetina tells News 3.

Keeping up with the other members of the choir was a challenge.

“Being in the industry where you have to learn music and memorize lines and dialogue and singing - it’s just been very hard for me,” she adds.

The challenge didn’t stop her. She was encouraged by other members with whom she shared the stage, like Danlie Cuenca.

Danlie was given the opportunity to audition in front of recording artist and Virginia Beach native Pharrell Williams, one of the executive producers of the Netflix show.

“It was incredible,” says Cuenca.

She says being a part of such a diverse choir with some of the best singers from the area, like Keith Ball, was inspiring.

“Keith is seasoned. He has so much wisdom,” adds Cuenca.

She has some wisdom of her own she wants to share with the community in these times.

“It will be okay. Even if it’s not right now, it will be okay eventually,” she adds.

Lapetina hopes her testimony will also inspire others.

“I’m not perfect, but I’ve learned to embrace my beauty and insecurities,” she adds.

The choir isn't the last you'll see of her.

“I will be performing as Disney’s 'Moana' and Moana Jr. at the Sandler Theatre [Center].”

An opportunity her voice will conquer with fire behind her.