Heidi Grant Murphy had always loved singing in school and church choirs, but when she tried out for the Metropolitan Opera, the Dallas native, then 22, didn't think she had a chance. "I had no idea what I was getting into, and I didn't expect to win," she recalls with a laugh. "So it was sort of easy. It has been harder ever since." Still, somehow Murphy makes it all look easy. Now 34, the soprano has performed with the world's finest opera companies and symphony orchestras, including the Vienna Philharmonic, the Frankfurt Opera, and the Chicago Symphony. "I've also sung with the Houston Symphony and the Dallas Symphony quite a few times, so I feel like I've come full circle." In fact, she has just finished recording her third CD of selections by Gustav Mahler with Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, which will be released next year. And though Murphy will be traveling the globe for the next few months to places like Munich's Bayerische Staatsoper, her home state is never far from her thoughts. "Andrew [Litton] and I are always talking about doing this and that," she says, "so I'm sure I'll be back in Texas sometime soon."