Sandra Marante is a graduate student at Roosevelt University.
Last fall, she collapsed during a rehearsal. Doctors found a tangled mass of blood vessels in her brain that caused her to have a seizure.
Marante was told without surgery she might die, but doctors warned the operation could cost her the ability to memorize lyrics or even sing.
During Friday night's graduate recital, Marante demonstrated that the surgery was a success.
"There have been a lot of hurdles," she said. "I guess I am really stubborn person. Nothing gets in my way. I will find a way to get through it."
Marante began singing opera in 2006 while recovering from burns suffered in an accident.