Saturday, March 24, 2018

DEADLINE APPROACHING: Chicago Oratorio Award (Rossini "Stabat Mater")

Gioachino Rossini
CHICAGO ORATORIO AWARD: Rossini's STABAT MATER
Deadline Approaching: March 31, 2018
for Classical Vocalists:
The Chicago Oratorio Award

2018: FOUR $500 performance prizes: SOPRANO, ALTO (mezzo), TENOR, BARITONE (bass)

PERFORM as soloists in Rossini's STABAT MATER with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the baton of music director Maestro David Katz in May 2018.

Dress rehearsal: Tuesday, May 15, 2018 at 6:00 pm at St James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago
Performance: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at 7:30 pm, same location

Although the Chicago Oratorio Award is open to all qualified professional and college/university applicants for The American Prize nationwide, it is geared primarily to those who live within comfortable travel distance of Chicago and who can make their own housing arrangements.

Complete information and application forms on the website here: http://www.theamericanprize.org/vocalperf.html

Sunday, February 11, 2018

WINNERS: women in art song & oratorio, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song and oratorio), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, college/university, community and high school divisions. Congratulations!

In an exceptionally competitive field of applicants, there were ties for several runners-up this year and two citation recipients. We wish all these TAP laureates great success in their future musical endeavors.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2017-18, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Kristina Bachrach   La Grange IL
Kristina Bachrach
Soprano Kristina Bachrach is emerging as a young artist confident in an extensive range of styles. In recent seasons she debuted with the New York Choral Society at St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Cecilia Chorus at Carnegie Hall. A frequent and beloved guest artist with the Brooklyn Art Song Society, she has performed nearly twenty concerts with them in music ranging from Schubert to Berg.

In recent seasons, Ms. Bachrach has fulfilled many prestigious artist residencies, including the Marlboro Music Festival,  Yellow Barn, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Banff Center, and the Lake George Music Festival. She enjoys a long-standing relationship with SongFest at Colburn, and has recorded songs of John Harbison for their premiere recording.

Kristina has performed leading and supporting roles with Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Opera Naples, Lyric Opera of Virginia, Nashville Opera, and Thompson Street Opera Company. She is the winner of the Grand Prize from the inaugural Ziering Conlon Young Artist Competiton. https://www.kristinabachrach.com/


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Michelle Areyzaga   Rolling Meadows IL
Michelle Areyzaga
Soprano MICHELLE AREYZAGA has a particular love for the art song and chamber music repertoire.  Known for her expressive singing, she has given world premiers of songs by American composers such as Gwyneth Walker, Lita Grier, Lee Hoiby, William Ferris, Wayland Rogers and many others.  She has sung several seasons with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York Festival of Song, the Avalon Quartet, and The Chicago Ensemble.  She has been honored by the Julian Autrey Song Foundation and was named Chicago Artist of the Year by Pioneer Press.  She has appeared in leading roles with New York City Opera and Chicago Opera Theater, among others, and she has appeared with orchestras across the United States and abroad including Minnesota Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, the National Symphonies of Uruguay and Costa Rica, Colorado Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Philharmonia Orchestra of New York.  Please visit www.michelleareyzaga.com


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Stacey Mastrian   Seattle WA
Stacey Mastrian
Stacey Mastrian, a "sweet, shimmering soprano" (Washington Post) with “intensity, focus, and a warm, passionate sound” (New York Times), is a Fulbright Grantee and Richard F. Gold Career Grant recipient.  She has performed at the Konzerthaus (Berlin), Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Teatro La Fenice, and at Carnegie Hall with the Chamber Orchestra of New York as winner of The Respighi Prize.  She has sung countless recitals across AZ, CA, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MN, NC, NY, OH, OK, PA, SC, VA, VT, WA, Berlin, Latina, Montréal, Rome, and Venice, and has been heard on Georgian National Radio singing Shostakovich songs.  Ms. Mastrian has been a scholarship recipient to SongFest and the winner of competitions such as the International Traxel Society and Vocal Arts DC Discovery Series.  She specializes in 20th century Italian vocal music.  www.staceymastrian.com


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Thea Lobo   Medford MA
Thea Lobo
Hailed as "excellent", "impeccable", "limpidly beautiful", and "stunning", Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Thea Lobo has recently performed with Boston Symphony Orchestra, Guerilla Opera, EnsembleNewSRQ, Emmanuel Music, and Sunshine City Opera. Ms. Lobo has appeared under conductors Gunther Schuller, Joshua Rifkin, Helmut Rilling, and Andris Nelsons, and has been featured by the Carmel Bach Festival, Handel + Haydn Society, The Bermuda Festival, Boston Early Music Festival, and Europäisches Musikfest Stuttgart. Her dedication to new music, art song, and early music has seen her featured on True Concord's Grammy winning recording of Stephen Paulus's 'Prayers & Remembrances', invited to the Carmel Bach Festival as an Adams Fellow, a prizewinner at the Bach Vocal Competition for American Singers, a grant recipient of the Julian Autrey Song Foundation, a featured recitalist for the Boston Portuguese Festival, and performing as a soloist under the direction of composers Steve Reich, Christian Wolff, Louis Andriessen, and many others. www.TheaLobo.com


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Elisabeth Marshall   Portland ME
Elisabeth Marshall
Elisabeth Marshall was hailed by OPERA NEWS for her recording of James’ Kallembach’s Four Romantic Songs on Brooklyn Art Song Society’s 2015 album “New Voices”, and is a 2017 recipient of a Professional Fellowship to SongFest in Los Angeles, collaborating with Libby Larsen, among others. Solo engagements include Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and B minor Mass, Mozart’s Mass in C minor and Requiem, and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Choral Fantasia with ensembles such as the Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Portland and Bangor (ME) Symphony Orchestras, the Oregon Bach Festival, and Rochester Cathedral (England). Opera roles include Frasquita (Carmen), Queen of the Night (The Magic Flute), Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Elisetta  (Il matrimonio segreto), and Susanna (The Marriage of Figaro). Ensembles include the Lorelei Ensemble, Handel & Haydn Society, Wexford Festival Opera, London Philharmonia Chorus, Carmel Bach Festival, Festivalensemble Stuttgart, with conductors such as Helmuth Rilling, Masaaki Suzuki, and Leonard Slatkin.  www.elisabethmarshall.com


Finalist: Special Judges' Citation: "Excellence in American Contemporary Vocal Music"
Ann Moss   Richmond CA
Ann Moss
Soprano Ann Moss is an acclaimed recording artist and champion of contemporary vocal music whose voice has been singled out for “beautifully pure floated high notes” (Opera News), “powerful expression” and “luminous tone” (San Francisco Classical Voice). Her albums Love Life (Angels Share Records 2016) and Currents (ASR 2013), produced and recorded by multi-GRAMMY® award winner Leslie Ann Jones at Skywalker Sound, feature premiere recordings of works by composers including Jake Heggie, John Thow and Liam Wade. She can also be heard on PARMA, Naxos, Albany, Navona and Jaded Ibis Productions labels. As co-founder and Artistic Director of new-music repertory group CMASH, Moss has has been personally responsible for the creation of over ninety works for solo voice. A native of Boston, she has lectured on composition and interpretation of contemporary song at institutions including MIT, NYU/Tisch, Longy School of Music, UC Davis, UofH Morse School and San Francisco Conservatory. www.annmosssoprano.com


Special Judges' Citation: "Excellence in Scandinavian Art Song"
Anna Hersey  Minnetonka MN
Anna Hersey
Hailed by critics as a “force of nature,” soprano Anna Hersey is a noted expert on Scandinavian vocal literature and diction. Dr. Hersey was a Fulbright Scholar at the Kungliga Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, and conducted research at Det Kongelige Danske Musikkonservatorium, thanks to a post-doctoral fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation. She has presented her research on Scandinavian song at the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the University of Copenhagen Center for Internationalisation and Parallel Language Use, the International Congress of Voice Teachers, and the Yale Conference on Baltic and Scandinavian Studies. Dr. Hersey’s articles have been published in the Journal of Singing, VOICEPrints, and The Opera Journal. Carnegie Hall. Her first book, Scandinavian Art Song: A Guide to Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish Diction and Repertoire was released by Rowman & Littlefield in September 2016. She is the newly-appointed Assistant Professor of Voice at The University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh.


The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Lauren Elizabeth Walker   Bloomington IN
Lauren Elizabeth Walker
Lauren Walker is a mezzo-soprano from Bloomington, IN. She holds a BM in vocal performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (2011) and an MM in vocal performance from Ball State University (2014). Lauren has been a finalist in numerous regional and national vocal competitions, including NATSAA, the Orpheus Vocal Competition, and the NY Lyric Opera Competition. She has been a featured soloist with the IUJSoM University Singers, the Bloomington Bach Cantata Project, the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, and the Marion Philharmonic orchestras. Her prominent opera theater roles include Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Carmen in the Bizet/Brook La Tragédie de Carmen, and Charlotte in Massenet’s Werther. Lauren is currently pursuing her Doctor of Arts degree in vocal performance with a graduate assistantship at Ball State University under Dr. Mei Zhong. She also serves as adjunct voice faculty at Taylor University in Upland, IN.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Sarah Cooper   Lincoln MA
Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper, soprano, recently earned her master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College. From Lincoln, Massachusetts, Sarah completed her bachelor's degree in French at Princeton University, where she began her vocal studies with Rochelle Ellis and soloed with the Princeton University Glee Club. Now a student of Sharon Sweet, [Professor Sweet did not participate in the ranking or evaluation of this contestant.—DK], Sarah was a first-place winner in the 2016 Coeur d'Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition and the 2016 Westminster Choir College Voice Awards Competition. In January 2017, she performed her first mainstage role as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Westminster CoOPERAtive program. Sarah also received the 2017 Colleen and Edward Carducci Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Columbia, South Carolina. This summer, she will perform the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen with the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance Program in New York City.


2nd Place (there was a tie):  
Hailey McAvoy   Natick MA
Hailey McAvoy
Mezzo Soprano Hailey McAvoy is currently a senior at the Eastman School of Music, where she is pursuing a double major in vocal performance and musical arts. At Eastman, Hailey has performed on both the opera and concert stage, singing the roles of Zosha (Out of Darkenss, Heggie), Mrs. Soames (Our Town), The Abbess (Suor Angelica), Mother Superior (Mese Mariano), and The 6th Spirit (Cendrillon). In addition to opera, Hailey has appeared as a soloist in Haydn's Theresienmesse, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Berio's O King, Danyew’s Alcott Songs, and several premieres in collaboration with Eastman’s composition department. As a young recitalist, Hailey particularly loves German and American art song, and is working to champion the music of little-known American composer Hub Miller, whose songs she is studying extensively at Eastman. Outside of singing, Hailey loves philosophy, poetry, and nature walks. 


3rd Place (there was a tie): 
Clare Demer   Tucson AZ
Clare Demer
Italian-American Soprano Clare Demer is completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Arizona, where she has performed L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and Second Lady in the Magic Flute. She has received training from the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was a fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival Art of Song program. Among her awards are two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Arizona, 1st prize in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition, and 1st  prize in the Mari Nixon International Voice competition. She has twice won 2nd place in The American Prize Art Song Competition at the College/University level. This summer she will compete as a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.


3rd Place (there was a tie):  
Rachel Eve Holmes   Athens GA
Rachel Eve Holmes
Rachel Eve Holmes is a young soprano, recently described as, "expressive and subtle, with a stunning instrument." Rachel Eve has performed with Opera Lancaster, The Kenwood Symphony Orchestra, Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Opera Fort Collins, Capitol City Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera Theatre, Intermezzo Festival, Opera for the Young, La Musica Lirica, Loveland Opera Theatre, Fort Collins Symphony, Fresco Opera Theatre, Four Seasons Theatre, Children’s Theater of Madison, The Ralph Opera Center, The University of Georgia Symphony, and The New England Conservatory Opera Studio.

Holmes is the winner of the 2017 Ruth Kern Concerto Competition, the 2016 American Fine Arts Festival Romantic Music International Competition, the 2016 University of Georgia Concerto Competition, the 2016 Atlanta Music Clubs Competition, the 2015 American Protégé International Vocal Competition, the 2015 Roschel Vocal Competition, 2015 Schubert Club Competition, the 2014 Kenwood Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, the 2012 WPR Neale-Silva Young Artists Competition, the 2011 Carnegie Hall Weill Hall Young Musicians Concert Competition, and the 2009-2012 Schuyler Grant for Career Bridges, NYC. 



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(community division)

The American Prize winner:
Deborah M. Connelly   Stratford CT
Deborah M. Connelly
A native of Stratford, Connecticut, Deborah Michele has pursued her passion for classical singing for 12 years.  In 2011, she won the American Fine Arts Festival’s Golden Voices competition in the adult, classical category.   Since then, she has sung numerous comedic roles with Trouper’s Light Opera including Giselle in The Red Mill, Celia in Iolanthe, Mrs. Partlet in The Sorcerer, and Daphne in Thespis.   Over the summer she played Ida in Taconic Opera’s production of Die Fledermaus, and singer #2 and chorus woman #2/3 in the world premiere opera In Bocca al Lupo also with Taconic Opera.  In addition, she made her dramatic acting debut as Madame de Volanges in a staged reading of Les Liaisons Dangereuses.   Most recently she was a soloist in a Christmas benefit for Calvary St. George Episcopal church in Bridgeport, CT.  She is humbled and gratified to be a winner of The American Prize competition.
 

2nd Place:
Samantha Isabell Gay   Oak Park IL
Samantha Isabell Gay
Ms. Gay has been an active musician for nineteen years. She began with ‘by ear’ piano at age 7; she studied formally with beloved teacher Virginia K. Folgers between 2001 and 2012. Ms. Gay joined the St. Edmund School children's choir in 1999, singing and playing liturgical bells until 2004. In 2006, she began more focused chamber choir studies at Trinity High School, earning two solos and a spot with the school's 6-girl ensemble, 'Le Ragazze'. Ms. Gay then attended Brown University, where she made the University Choir and sang as an alto until graduation. At Brown, she also studied with choral director Louis Frederick Jodry V, earning two aria features in her senior year. Ms. Gay has studied with Christine Steyer since 2013, and she has returned to St. Edmund’s as a volunteer Cantor. Professionally, Ms. Gay works as an immigration paralegal, and will attend graduate school this fall.


3rd Place:
Shana Evans Bassett   Atlanta GA
Shana Evans Bassett
Atlanta-based Mezzo Soprano Shana Evans Bassett has recently made a return to vocal performance after several years away from music.  A member and featured soloist with the noted women's a capella group Noteworthy at the University of Georgia from 1997-1999, she spent several years working in education and raising a family before returning to her vocal studies in 2016.  Ms. Bassett is a student of the well-known voice instructor Sharon Forrester-Stephenson and is a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus.  Additionally, she is a section leader and featured soloist at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Atlanta and a Staff Cantor at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church.  Ms. Bassett continues to pursue professional and volunteer opportunities as a vocalist in opera and on the concert stage, and is excited to see where her budding career in music will lead. 



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in art song & oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Amalia Crevani   Milford NJ
Amalia Crevani
Amalia studies voice at the Juilliard Pre-College Program with Lorraine Nubar. This year Amalia was the 1st Place Winner for New York Lyric Opera Theatre National Vocal Competition (performance Broadway Symphony Space) and received the Paper Mill Playhouse nomination for “Outstanding Performance as an Actress in a Leading Role” for 9 to 5: The Musical (Judy Bernly). Earlier, she won 3rd place winner at the Schmidt Vocal Competition and 1st place in the International Great Composer Competition for Rossini.  Last year Amalia placed 1st in the 2016 Rondo Vanguard Competition (Performance Carnegie Hall) and was a Merit Winner for Young Arts. At 15, Amalia won 1st place for the Hal Leonard National Vocal Competition (Music Theatre) and received the “Paper Mill Playhouse Outstanding Performance as an Actress in a Leading Role” (Anything Goes- Reno Sweeney- Honorable Mention). Amalia has performed with the Hunterdon Symphony, in local operas and community theatre, and as a National Anthem singer. Her training has included many summer vocal programs the most recent being the Academie Internationale d’Ete de Nice, France, where she studied with Lorraine Nubar and Dalton Baldwin.  Amalia also studies piano, composition, acting, and dance.


2nd Place:
Mary Elizabeth Adler   Bellevue WA
Mary Elizabeth Adler
Mary Elizabeth Adler, soprano, is a junior in high school in Bellevue, Washington.  She has been studying classical voice under Nancy Zylstra for over six years.  She has won numerous awards in classical vocal competitions locally, at the state level, and nationally including: The Schmidt Competition, Hal Leonard, The Performing Arts Festival of the Eastside, and Musicfest Northwest. In 2016, she won the "Special Career Encouragement Citation" from The American Prize. She sings in St. James Cathedral Young Women's Choir also serving as a Cantor as well as the Seattle Opera's STUDIO Program.  She is a cellist, performing in her high school's top orchestra.  She is the Captain of her Varsity Badminton Team, and President of the Biology Club.  She recently won 1st Place in the Central Sound Regional Science and Engineering Fair (Animal and Plants category) with her research in, "Investigating the Relationship Between Local Bird Syrinx Structure and Their Phylogenetic Status Using Cladogram Analysis."  She will be taking her project to compete at the State Competition.


3rd Place
Alexandra Taylor   Naples FL
Alexandra Taylor
Alexandra Taylor, soprano, is from Naples, Florida. She has taken voice lessons since she was fifteen and has won numerous local and national competitions.  Alexandra has performed with Opera Naples since she was twelve years old and has sung in the chorus in the following productions: Carmen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Boheme, Pirates of Penzance, Il Pagliacci, Rudigore, Patience, Tosca, HMS Pinafore, The Magic Flute, and Turandot. She has also performed as a soloist in many of the Opera Naples concerts. She won First Place in the 2016 Tampa Bay NATS competition in the classical high school division. She was a Naples Music Club scholarship competition winner in 2015 and 2016, a first place winner in the Calusa Musicale Clara Blood Award Auditions in 2016, and was also a scholarship recipient of the Ruth DeMaster Scholarship through the Fort Myers Mastersingers. Alexandra was the first place winner in the American Prize Competition in the 2016 High School Opera/Operetta division. She earned an Encouragement Award in the 2017 Schmidt Competition and was a semifinalist in the 2017 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition. She is also a member of the National Honor Society and her high school’s Key Club and Drama Club. She has passed the pre-screening rounds of numerous prestigious conservatories.  She was invited to audition at The Juilliard School, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes School of Music.  

*** 
Congratulations!

WINNERS: men in art song & oratorio, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, college/university and high school divisions. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2016, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Justin John Moniz   Tallahassee FL
Justin John Moniz
Winner of the 2015 American Prize in Voice – Chicago Musical Theatre Award, Justin John Moniz’s “superb high tenor” (South Florida Classical Review) and “commanding stage presence” (TalkinBroadway.com) has been thrilling audiences in opera houses, theaters and concert halls across the nation, among them Opera Grand Rapids, Utah Festival Opera & Musical Theatre, Sarasota Opera, Florida Grand Opera, the Opera Company of Middlebury, Opera New Jersey, DreamCatcher Theatre/Adrienne Arsht Center, Orchestra Miami, Gulfshore Opera, Palm Beach Dramaworks, the Orchestra of Northern New York, and Chicago Symphony Center. His unique style and versatility have afforded him an active career in opera, concert and musical theatre, having sung over 50 roles to date. Most recently, Mr. Moniz’s star turn as Prince Karl Franz in The Student Prince with Opera Grand Rapids received high praise and great acclaim, the press hailing his performance as “simply outstanding…glorious” (Encore Michigan). His performance also earned him the prestigious BroadwayWorld Award for Best Actor in a Musical. For more information: www.justinjohnmoniz.com
 

2nd PLACE:
Andrew Chukwuka Egbuchiem   Brooklyn NY
Andrew Chukwuka Egbuchiem
Andrew Egbuchiem made his debut as a Countertenor soloist in the performance of G.F. Handel’s Judas Maccabeus in Nigeria in 1999. He studied at the Department of Music, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education between 2001 and 2004. He was an artist in residence for the Singers of United Land Project an International residency program – SINGERS OF UNITED LANDS he was involved in between December 2013 and June 2014 touring through the east half of the united states, Kenya, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland and Latvia. He performed with the Schola Cantorum in Hudson for their 2015/2016 choral season singing performing as an Alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah and a modern composition. He sang the role Sorceress in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas in the Summer Vocal Arts Program at the Brooklyn Music School in August 2016. He was a Finalist at the Oratorio category of the Lyra International Vocal Competition in New York in 2016. In January 2017, he sang some roles from Opera scenes by Handel, Mozart and Offenbach in the Brooklyn Music School’s Winter Program Scherzo. He would be involved in the summer production of Gluck’s Echo et Narcisse.


3rd PLACE:
Vahagn Hovents   Glendale CA
Vahagn Hovents
Vahagn Hovents - bass, received international recognition as a performer of Sacred Music, displayed his talent in various cities of Russia, USA, Canada, Austria, Germany, Italy, Monaco, France, Poland, Iran, Syria. Mr.Hovents received top honors as First Prize winner of American Protege International Concerto Competition with a performance at Carnegie Hall, and Second Place from New York Oratorio Society Solo Competition in Carnegie Hall. Having a vast oratorial repertoire, the singer participated in internationally prominent festivals and his recitals were presented at the most prominent concert halls and cathedrals in the world. V.H. was a featured soloist of The Camerata of Los Angeles, ASMS ( Armenian Sacred Music Singers) and world-renowned  'Oshagan' - sacred music ensemble (Marseille, France),  presently soloist of The New Hope Singers of Los Angeles, Elite Chorus & Orchestra,  has performed as a bass soloist in monumental sacred works by Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Handel, Beethoven, Verdi , Dvorak, Schubert, Gounod; under conductors Ogan D'Narc, Loris Tjeknavorian, Cliff Yang, Vincent Metzelfelt, Johanna Medawar-Nacheff, Thomas Sekaian, Gamma Skupinsky, Grigor Arakelyan, Tigran Hekekyan, Harutyun Topikyan, Robert Mlkeyan.
 



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in art song and oratorio), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
David John Davani   Sea Cliff NY
David John Davani
Baritone, David John Davani, performances include those with Stony Brook Opera, Art Song Preservation Society of NY "Spring into Song" Series at the National Opera Center, solo appearances with the Stony Brook University Orchestra, as well as recitals at the Staller Center. In December 2016, he performed in the world premier of celebrated composer Jonathan Dawe's new opera, "Nero and the Fall of Lehman Brothers" at the Italian Academy in NYC. In 2017 he performed with pianist, Joseph Holt in Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s Festival of French Music, where he also soloed in the Duruflé Requiem. David has also appeared in master classes with tenors George Shirley and Frank Lopardo, baritone William Stone, as well as Mikael Eliasen and Mark Markham. In 2017, he was invited as a Colburn Fellow to attend SongFest in Los Angeles. David is a National YoungArts award winner in voice and clarinet. Visit www.davidjohndavani.com.
 

2nd PLACE:
James Ley   Elkton MD
James Ley
Tenor James Ley, originally from Maryland, studied voice at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, with Dr. Carolyn Hart. While at Wheaton, James was involved in several opera productions. His most recent roles include a staged production of Britten’s Canticle II: Abraham and Isaac and Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte. James also enjoyed participating as the tenor soloist in Wheaton’s production of Handel’s Messiah. During his sophomore year, James performed as Uriel in Haydn’s The Creation, under the baton of John Nelson. James looks forward to graduate studies in the fall of 2017.


3rd PLACE:
Ben M. Reisinger   Rochester NY
Ben M. Reisinger
Ben Reisinger, baritone, is honored to be selected as a Finalist for the prestigious American Prize Award in Vocal Performance in the Art Song/Oratorio and Opera/Operetta division, 2016-2017. Ben has recently been selected for the Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance Young Artists Program for the summer of 2017.  He is a finalist in the Classical Singer Competition to be held in Chicago this May.  He has performed ‘Faure Requiem’ in Poland with the Philharmonic of Rzeszow.  He is a frequent soloist at the Rochester Lyric Opera.  Ben is in his 4th year at Nazareth College majoring in Vocal Performance.  He has been awarded 1st place for 3 years, Classical Vocal Competition in the NATS student auditions held at the Eastman School of Music, Nazareth and Hofstra. Ben was selected as one of the vocalists to tour with Josh Groban & Orchestra this past October & July, as well as one of the Northeast Vocal Finalists for the Michael Feinstein ‘Great American Songbook’ Competition in NYC.


*** 
Congratulations!

WINNERS: women in opera, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners & runners-up of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, college/university and high school divisions. Congratulations!

In an exceptionally qualified field of applicants, there were ties for several runners-up slots this year, and an unprecedented tie for first place (The American Prize winner) in the college/university division. We wish all these TAP laureates great success in their future musical endeavors.

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2017-18, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Meredith Mecum   Bronx NY  
Meredith Mecum
Meredith Mecum, praised for her “soaring soprano”, has been awarded a Grant from the Solti Foundation, Second Place in the Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music, and an Encouragement Award from the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition. At the Merola Opera Program in the summer of 2015, Ms. Mecum performed in the Schwabacher Summer Concert and Merola Grand Finale, singing excerpts from Susannah (Susannah), Die Walküre (Brünnhilde) and The Queen of Spades (Lisa). Other performances include Una Coèfora and cover of Clitennestra (Cassandra) with Teatro Grattacielo, Clara Schumann (Clara) with Cutting Edge Concerts, Donna Anna (Don Giovanni) with The Banff Centre Opera, Berta (Il Barbiere di Siviglia) with Opera New Jersey, Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus) with Prelude to Performance, and Rose Segal in John Musto's Later the Same Eveningat Manhattan School of Music. Ms. Mecum is a graduate of Penn State University and Manhattan School of Music.  More information is available at www.meredithmecum.com.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Chelsea Basler   Waltham MA
Chelsea Basler
Grammy Award-nominated soprano Chelsea Basler continues to make her mark in an extensive array of operatic roles due to her unique combination of vocal appeal and artistry.  Praised for her "luminous voice" with its "easy soaring range", she has also been noted for her "wonderful acting" and ultimately deemed "simply superb".  Ms. Basler enjoys a particularly strong relationship with Boston Lyric Opera, which she initially joined as an Emerging Artist during the 2013–2014 season.  In the autumn of 2017, Ms. Basler will rejoin Boston Lyric Opera in their collaborative project with Music Theatre Group to present the world premiere of Mark Campbell and Julian Grant's new opera The Nefarious, Immoral but Highly Profitable Enterprise of Mr. Burke & Mr. Hare, in which she will create the role of Margery Campbell. She will also be making her Nashville Opera debut as the title role in Susannah. www.chelseabasler.com


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Maggie Finnegan   Winchester MA
Maggie Finnegan
Hailed by Opera News for her 'strong voice and noteworthy acting prowess,' Maggie Finnegan is a versatile soprano, singing repertoire spanning from medieval to contemporary. She was awarded the S&R Foundation's Washington Prize and last June made her Kennedy Center debut as First and Audience Prize winner at the Washington International Competition for Voice. She has premiered operas with The American Chamber Opera Company,Vital Opera, the Center for Contemporary Opera and the Juventas New Music Ensemble. Solo performances this season include debuts with Boston Lyric Opera's Signature Series, City Choir of Washington, The New Dominion Chorale, The Avanti Orchestra and the PyeongChang Winter Music Festival in South Korea. She has performed with Paper Mill Playhouse, The Metropolitan Opera Guild School Programs Tour and The Metropolitan Opera Chorus. She splits her time between New York City and Boston, where she shares a home with her partner and her three step-kids. www.maggiefinnegansoprano.com.


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
Christine Lyons   Baltimore MD
Christine Lyons
Praised as “especially moving” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and as a “sparkling soprano” by the Broad Street Review, Christine Lyons enthralls audiences with her fearless presence and creative approach. Most recently, she was the featured artist on WWFM Classical as a part of their “Celebrating Our Musical Future” live radio program. Upcoming performances include several company debuts as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos with Berkshire Opera Festival and Micaëla in Opera Ithaca’s production of Carmen. Highlights of previous seasons include Manon in Massenet’s Manon at the Liederkranz Foundation and at Carnegie Hall, Konstanze in Mozart’s Die Entführung at Symphony Space and at the historic Modell Lyric Opera House, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte with the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Pamina in Die Zauberflöte at Sant’Anna dei Lombardi in Naples, Italy, Antonia in Offenbach’s Les Racontes d’Hoffmann with the Amalfi Coast Music Festival and Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro at Lincoln Center. Orchestral and concert engagements include Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 under the baton of Marin Alsop, Frasquita in Carmen alongside Denyce Graves and performances with Lyric Fest alongside distinguished pianist Laura Ward. Appearing extensively in music theater, Ms. Lyons performed in a national tour of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and has portrayed Sheila in A Chorus Line, Alice’s Daughter in Big River, GiGi in Miss Saigon, and Anne in A Little Night Music with companies including Portland Center Stage, Pittsburgh Music Theater, Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Theater of the Stars and Goodspeed Opera House.


3rd PLACE (there was a tie):
Susan Wheeler   Burke VA
Susan Wheeler
American Soprano Susan Wheeler is a dynamic operatic and concert performer, and a trained Equity actress. Her fiery vocalism and dramatic intensity have drawn comparisons with singers of the golden Bel Canto era. Susan made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2007 (Mozart Requiem, Dvořák Te Deum). In 2015 and 2014 Susan toured Italy and Sicily as Mimi, Violetta and the Countess in concerts with former Metropolitan Opera artists, with the Mediterranean Opera Festival. In concert, she has performed with the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (Cunegonde, Maria); Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Papagena); and Piedmont Symphony Orchestra (Cunegonde). Ms. Wheeler’s opera performances include Olympia, Antonia, and Giulietta (Augusta Opera); Norina (Opera Vivente); Valencienne (Maryland Lyric); and Gretel (Des Moines Metro Opera).  Ms. Wheeler’s chamber group, Third Millennium Ensemble, has been featured on National Public Radio, the Library of Congress, The Kennedy Center, and prestigious art galleries along the East coast, in contemporary American works.



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner 
(there was an unprecedented tie for first place):
Sarah Cooper  Lincoln MA
Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper, soprano, recently earned her master’s degree in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at Westminster Choir College. From Lincoln, Massachusetts, Sarah completed her bachelor's degree in French at Princeton University, where she began her vocal studies with Rochelle Ellis and soloed with the Princeton University Glee Club. Now a student of Sharon Sweet [Professor Sweet did not participate in the ranking or evaluation of this contestant.—DK], Sarah was a first-place winner in the 2016 Coeur d'Alene Symphony Young Artists Competition and the 2016 Westminster Choir College Voice Awards Competition.  In January 2017, Sarah performed her first mainstage role as Violetta in Verdi’s La Traviata with the Westminster CoOPERAtive program. Sarah also received the 2017 Colleen and Edward Carducci Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Columbia, South Carolina. This summer, she will perform the role of Micaëla in Bizet’s Carmen with the Martina Arroyo Prelude to Performance Program in New York City.


The American Prize winner 
(there was an unprecedented tie for first place):
Kellie Motter   Bloomington IN
Kellie Motter
A native of Atlanta, GA., soprano Kellie Motter is a graduate student Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, where she studies with Carol Vaness. With IU Opera Theatre, Kellie has performed the roles of Marie (La fille du régiment), Despina (Così fan tutte), and Morgana (Alcina). Other opera credits include the roles of Galatea (Acis & Galatea), La Fée (Cendrillon) and Pamina (Die Zauberflöte). In 2016, Kellie was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. She joined Central City Opera as a Studio Artist for their 2017 season, covering Frasquita in Carmen. As a concert soloist, she has been featured in Carissimi’s Jepthe, Handel’s Messiah, Steve Reich’s Tehillim, the requiems of Brahms and Fauré, and in numerous works by J. S. Bach. Recently, Kellie was named a 2017 Georgia District Winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Previous mentors include Delores Ziegler and Elizabeth Colson.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Clare Demer   Tucson AZ

Clare Demer
Italian-American Soprano Clare Demer is completing her undergraduate degree at The University of Arizona, where she has performed L’Enfant in Ravel’s L’Enfant et les sortileges, Monica in Menotti’s The Medium, and Second Lady in the Magic Flute. She has received training from the International Vocal Arts Institute in Montreal, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and was a fellow at the Toronto Summer Music Festival Art of Song program. Among her awards are two Encouragement Awards from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in Arizona, 1st prize in both the undergraduate and graduate divisions of the Amelia Rieman Opera Competition, and 1st  prize in the Mari Nixon International Voice competition. She has twice won 2nd place in The American Prize Art Song Competition at the College/University level. This summer she will compete as a finalist in the James Toland Vocal Arts Competition.


2nd PLACE (there was a tie):
Kali Hardwick   Nevada City CA
Kali Hardwick
Kali Hardwick, soprano, is from California and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Vocal Arts at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studies with Elizabeth Ritchie and Ingrid Surgenor. Her operatic roles include Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Marenka in Smetena’s The Bartered Bride, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan tutte, L'Ensoleillad in Massenet’s Chérubin, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. She has performed with Long Beach Opera (where she sang in the US premier of Philip Glass's The Perfect American), Bob Cole Conservatory Opera, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Oberlin in Italy, and Fullerton College Opera. Outside of opera, Kali has been featured as the soprano soloist for Mozart's Mass in C Minor and Mendelssohn's Elijah with the Bob Cole Conservatory Orchestra, as well as Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass and Mozart's Coronation Mass with the Los Cancioneros Master Chorale. She has won a number of awards, including scholarships from the California Women's Chorus, The New Century Singers, the Fine Arts Affiliates, The Nevada Union Choir Boosters, and numerous other organizations. Kali holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance from CSU Long Beach (2017), where she was honored as the Outstanding Graduate of the College of the Arts last May.

 
3rd PLACE:
Theodora Ivanova Nestorova   Acton MA
Theodora Ivanova Nestorova
Hailing from Bulgaria and born in Britain, soprano Theodora Ivanova Nestorova is in her third year of Voice Performance at Oberlin Conservatory of Music studying with Lorraine Manz. Miss Nestorova has performed Oberto in Handel’s Alcina (Oberlin Opera Theater) and Amore in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea (Oberlin in Italy). She has participated in Emmanuel Music’s Bach Institute, and was a soloist in Handel’s Messiah Sing-Along (Credo Music) and Haydn’s The Creation (Oberlin Mozart Players). Miss Nestorova attended summer programs such as Classical Singing & New York in June, Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera Institute, Boston University Tanglewood Institute Young Artists, and Interlochen High School Vocal Artist. A recipient of the Conservatory Dean’s Talent Award, upcoming engagements include Diane in Bernier’s Diane et Endimion (Oberlin Baroque Ensemble), a tour to New York City with Oberlin Sinfonietta at the Bang on a Can 30th Anniversary Concert, and The CoOPERAtive Young Artists Program.



FINALISTS HONORABLE MENTION:
Lauren Frey   Croton on Hudson NY 
Lauren Frey
In 2016, Lauren was a finalist with The American Prize Competition and was a semi-finalist with the Annapolis Voice Competition.  In 2015, she was a semi-finalist with Brava! Opera Theater James M. Collier Vocal Competition.  Lauren won the prestigious Career Bridges Grant, received 2nd Place with The American Prize Competition, and placed 3rd in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions in 2014.  She received Honorable Mention with the Philadelphia Orchestra's Albert M. Greenfield Competition in 2013.  In 2012, Lauren won the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions. Recently Lauren debuted the role of Konstanze (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with St. Petersburg Opera (cover matinee performance).  This year, Lauren also made her New York City Opera company debut in Florencia en el Amazonas and Aleko/Pagliaci.  Other role credits include Contessa (Le Nozze di Figaro), Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni), Musetta (La Bohème), Micaela (Carmen), the title role in Alcina, Die Erste Dame (Die Zauberflöte), Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), and Coaxer (The Threepenny Opera). http://www.LaurenKFrey.com



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(high school division)

The American Prize winner:
Sarah Aaldering   Los Gatos CA
Sarah Aaldering
Sarah Aaldering is an 18 year old Senior at Los Gatos High School in Northern California. Sarah began voice lessons in 2010. Singing has always been her passion and joy! Last year she won 2nd place in the NATS Nationals Competition in Classical Voice, 1st place in VOCE (MTAC) State Competition, 1st place in William Schmidt Vocal Competition, and was a Semi-finalist in the Classical Singer Competition. This year Sarah won 1st in Lower College NATS and placed 2nd overall in both the upper and lower college divisions. Sarah has participated in The Oberlin Vocal Academy for High School Students, San Francisco Conservatory’s Lamplighter’s Gilbert & Sullivan Scenes, and The Brevard Music Center Voice Program. She has won The Dorothy Barnhouse Award, The Heritage Music Festival Maestro Award, and The Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarship Award. She has been offered scholarships to BYU’s summer program, The Utah Lyric Opera Program, and many undergraduate university programs. In Fall of 2017, Sarah began her first year at Oberlin Conservatory where she studies Vocal Performance with Daune Mahy. Sarah will be performing in La Rondine in Italy this summer, in the Oberlin in Italy Program. She is honored to have this wonderful opportunity!


2nd PLACE:
Caroline Wolfe   Dallastown PA
Caroline Wolfe
Caroline Wolfe has attended Interlochen Arts Camp (2014) and Boston University Tanglewood Institute (2015) and has sang in masterclasses with Terry Flatt, David Sabella, Paul Groves, and Nathan Gunn.  She enjoys sharing her music with her community, and she is a soloist at several local churches.  She has had the honor to sing at Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's post-election party and Mike Pence's political rally in York, Pennsylvania.  She has appeared as a soloist and concerto competition winner twice with the Dallastown Area High School String Ensemble and once with the Dallastown Area High School Orchestra.  She won first place at Allegheny Mountain Chapter and Eastern Region NATS in Upper High School Classical Women (2016) and was a semifinalist at the Classical Singer Competition (2016).


3rd PLACE:
Elisabeta Racolta   Cambridge MA
Elisabeta Racolta
Born in Boston, MA, Mezzo Elisabeta Racolta performs with the local theaters and music venues, and travels with concerts internationally. Elisabeta is a winner of multiple international voice competitions. An avid recitalist, Lisa sung with the Concert Festival international concert tours in Portugal, France and Russia, and most recently as a guest artist in Lincoln Center.  She was a First place winner of the Rising Stars 2017 European competition in Latvia.  In 2017, she also was a recipient of a merit scholarship from the FAVA William Lewis Mozart Academy, appearing as Dritte Dame & Dritter Knabe in Die Zauberflote (Magic Flute) in Salzburg, Austria. In the New England Conservatory 2016 Summer Opera Program she appeared in the concert versions of ‘Carmen’, ‘L’Egisto’ and  ‘West Side Story’.  She performed in Carnegie Hall five times winning early acclaim at International Music, Vocal and Concerto competitions in 2014-2016.



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Congratulations!

WINNERS: men in opera, 2017-18

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipient of The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in opera and operetta), 2017-18—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award, in professional, and college/university divisions. Congratulations!

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog. Please use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2017-18, based on submitted recordings.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(professional division)

The American Prize winner:
Ryan Francis Burns   Vernon CT
Ryan Francis Burns
Baritone, Ryan F. Burns, performs extensively with opera companies and orchestras in the Northeast. Ryan was a 2016 national finalist in the American Prize competition in the performing arts (Art Song Division) and toured with the Jessica Lang Dance company in their staged production of The Wanderer (Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin). Most recently, Ryan sang the role of “Il Conte” in Le nozze di Figaro with UCONN Opera Theater and performed as part of the Ukrainian Institute of America’s MATI Series in New York City.

Ryan has performed with the former Opera Boston, Salt Marsh Opera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of Connecticut, Opera Providence, Hartford Opera Theater, Greater Worcester Opera, and Opera del West. Ryan graduated with a doctorate of musical arts in vocal performance from the University Connecticut in May 2017. Ryan received his MMus in vocal performance in 2012 from the University of Connecticut and a BA in criminal justice from Saint Anselm College in 2007. He is a student of soprano, Dr. Constance Rock.
www.ryanfburns.com
  

2nd PLACE:
Scott J. Brunscheen   Chicago IL
Scott J. Brunscheen
During the 2016-17 Season, Scott J. Brunscheen was seen in productions of Haydn's L’isola disabitata with Haymarket Opera, Purcell's The Fairy Queen with Chicago Opera Theater and Long Beach Opera, the world premiere of Stewart Copeland's The Invention of Morel at Chicago Opera Theater, and Mozart's Die Zauberflote with Madison Opera. Previous operatic engagements include Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmélites at the Caramoor Bel Canto Festival, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw with Chicago Fringe Opera, Donizetti's La Fille du Regiment, Puccini’s Tosca, and Heggie's Dead Man Walking (Madison Opera); Glass’ The Fall of the House of Usher, Mose in Egitto, Giasone, and Die Zauberflote (Chicago Opera Theater); Chin’s Alice in Wonderland and Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd (Opera Theater of St. Louis); Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Dean Burry's The Brothers Grimm (Lyric Opera of Chicago Lyric Unlimited); Britten's The Rape of Lucretia (Chicago Fringe Opera) and Mozart's Don Giovanni with Opera New Jersey. www.scottjbrunscheen.com
 


3rd PLACE & JUDGES' CITATION "Excellence in the music of Benjamin Britten"
Kyle van Schoonhoven   Chicago IL
Kyle van Schoonhoven
Tenor Kyle van Schoonhoven is currently a first year Adler at the San Francisco Opera.   He will make his debut on the San Francisco Opera stage this coming fall as Young Servant in Strauss’ Elektra,  and will cover other leading roles, including Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Aegisth in Elektra, Froh in Das Rheingold, and Siegmund in Die Walküre. Mr.  Van Schoonhoven was recently awarded the Nicolai Gedda Memorial Award, from the prestigious George London Foundation, and was a finalist in the 2016 Jensen Foundation Vocal Competition. In March 2017, he will be a semifinalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council semifinal auditions in NYC. In addition to participating in numerous young artist programs, van Schoonhoven holds a Masters of Music from Westminster Choir College as well as a Bachelors of Music from Fredonia School of Music. www.kylevs.com



The American Prize in Vocal Performance (men in opera and operetta), 2017-18
The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award
(college/university division)

The American Prize winner:
Ben M. Reisinger   Rochester NY
Ben M. Reisinger
Ben Reisinger, baritone, is honored to be selected as a Finalist for the prestigious American Prize Award in Vocal Performance in the Art Song/Oratorio and Opera/Operetta division, 2016-2017. Ben has recently been selected for the Martina Arroyo Foundation Prelude to Performance Young Artists Program for the summer of 2017.  He is a finalist in the Classical Singer Competition to be held in Chicago this May.  He has performed ‘Faure Requiem’ in Poland with the Philharmonic of Rzeszow. He is a frequent soloist at the Rochester Lyric Opera.  Ben is in his 4th year at Nazareth College majoring in Vocal Performance.  He has been awarded 1st place for 3 years, Classical Vocal Competition in the NATS student auditions held at the Eastman School of Music, Nazareth and Hofstra. Ben was selected as one of the vocalists to tour with Josh Groban & Orchestra this past October & July, as well as one of the Northeast Vocal Finalists for the Michael Feinstein ‘Great American Songbook’ Competition in NYC.


2nd PLACE:
Jake Hemminger   Greensboro NC



Jake Hemminger
Jake Hemminger is pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In 2016, he made his international debut as the tenor soloist for Schubert’s Mass in G and Mozart’s Missa Brevis in F during the MidAmerica Productions Choral Series in Florence, Italy. Jake’s favorite roles performed include Anthony in Sweeney Todd, Henrik in A Little Night Music, Fracasso in Mozart’s La finta semplice, and Count Danilo in The Merry Widow. He has also been seen in scenes from L’elisir d’amore, Falstaff, and The Tender Land. Jake graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Technology with Honors in Voice. Visit JakeHemmingerMusic.com to learn more!
 
 

3rd PLACE:
David John Davani   Sea Cliff NY
David John Davani
Baritone, David John Davani, performances include those with Stony Brook Opera, Art Song Preservation Society of NY "Spring into Song" Series at the National Opera Center, solo appearances with the Stony Brook University Orchestra, as well as recitals at the Staller Center. In December 2016, he performed in the world premier of celebrated composer Jonathan Dawe's new opera, "Nero and the Fall of Lehman Brothers" at the Italian Academy in NYC. In 2017 he performed with pianist, Joseph Holt in Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota’s Festival of French Music, where he also soloed in the Duruflé Requiem. David has also appeared in master classes with tenors George Shirley and Frank Lopardo, baritone William Stone, as well as Mikael Eliasen and Mark Markham. In 2017, he was invited as a Colburn Fellow to attend SongFest in Los Angeles. David is a National YoungArts award winner in voice and clarinet. Visit www.davidjohndavani.com.
  

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Congratulations!