Classically trained soprano Audra McDonald was the most celebrated new singer/actress on Broadway in the 1990s. She was raised in Fresno, California, and graduated from the Juilliard School of Music with a Bachelor's degree in music in 1993. Even before her graduation, she had begun to work professionally in the musical theater, taking a role in the national tour of the musical The Secret Garden in 1992. Fresh out of school, she was cast in a Broadway revival of the musical Carousel (March 24, 1994). She appeared on the cast album and won a 1994 Tony Award for her performance. Two years later, she took home a second Tony for her portrayal of singing student Maria Callas in the play Master Class (November 5, 1995). She then joined the cast of the new musical Ragtime in its premiere production in Toronto. After making her feature film debut in Seven Servants in 1996, she returned to Ragtime when it opened on Broadway on January 18, 1998, winning her third Tony in five years. She was featured on both the initial studio cast album of the show and on the original Broadway cast album.