Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ROBERT SOLLER, former Schorr Prize judge, has died

The American Prize notes with sadness the passing of Robert Soller, former artistic director of the Croswell Opera House. It was Soller, together with The American Prize chief judge, David Katz, who served as the first adjudicator for the Friedrich Schorr Prize, the precursor to The American Prize in Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards.

The Friedrich Schorr Prize was the vehicle Katz created to select vocal soloists for productions of OPERA!Lenawee, the professional opera company he and Soller founded in 1990 to bring professional opera to the magnificently restored civil-war-era Croswell Opera House in Adrian, Michigan. OPERA!Lenawee was a unique collaboration between Lenawee County Michigan's two premiere performing arts organizations, the Croswell and the Adrian Symphony Orchestra, where Katz was music director.

Between 1990 and 1995, with Soller as stage director and Katz as conductor, the team produced La Boheme, Die Fledermaus, Carmen, La Traviata and Tosca, with gifted professional casts, selected from thoughout the country through the Schorr Prize contest, bringing live opera to the opera house (and to Lenawee County) for the very first time. Later, with Katz conducting and renowned English soprano Lorna Haywood as stage director, OPERA!Lenawee went on to produce Albert Herring, Madama Butterfly, Gianni Schicchi, I Pagliacci, and a semi-staged production of Cosi fan tutte, before a final La Boheme, (this this time directed by William Shomos), ten years later, bringing the company full circle.

To read Katz's remembrance of his friend and colleague, please follow this link to the Friedrich Schorr Prize blog.

No comments:

Post a Comment