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The American Prize in Conducting—Opera Division
The American Prize winner:
Maria Sensi Sellner, Hubbard Hall Opera Theater
|Maria Sensi Sellner|
Among judges' comments: "ideal clarity and sensitive pacing, wedding stage and pit comfortably together."
Brian DeMaris, Ithaca College Opera and Musical Theatre, Ithaca, NY
Currently Director of Opera and Musical Theatre at Ithaca College and Artist-Faculty at the Aspen Music Festival, DeMaris has also taught at Lawrence University, New England Conservatory School of Continuing Education, George Mason University's International Opera Alliance, and the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv. He has served on panels with Opera America and presented master classes with the New York State Music Teachers Association and New York School Music Association. His students have performed on Broadway, film and television, and at opera companies and festivals throughout the world.
Among judges' comments: "displays loads of energy and abundant wit. (Schicchi)"
Robert Butts, BONJ Opera, Madison, NJ
Among judges' comments: "Butts leads with authority, chucking cues over his shoulder with abandon as he somehow (and admirably) keeps things together."
Special Judges' Citation:
Stylistic Excellence in the Performance of Gilbert & Sullivan Operettas
Eric Peterson, Savoynet Performing Group, Buxton, England
Among judges' comments: "a true G&S guru, Peterson connects stage and orchestra so that the contribution of each is clearly discernible and the whole is delicious."
Honorable Mention: Qinqing Qian, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA
"thoughtful tempos and a clear stick… one looks forward to seeing more of her work."
The American Prize in Opera Performance, 2013
The American Prize winner:
Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theatre Alan E. Hicks, director—Univ. of Iowa Iowa City, IA
Production: Turn of the Screw
|Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theatre|
Among judges' comments: "The overall atmosphere of this dark and moody opera was wonderfully achieved. This was an outstanding, chilling production, musically rewarding from instrumentalists, singers, set and lighting designers."
University of South Dakota Opera Tracelyn Gesteland, director—Vermillion, SD
Production: Dido and Aeneas
|University of South Dakota Opera|
Among judges comments: "This was a wonderful production, extremely well played from the orchestra, and beautifully sung from all the cast members. The use of dancers, mirroring the movement of the singers/characters, and all the dancing in general, was quite effective..."
Undercroft Opera Mary E. Sederburg, director—Pittsburgh, PA
Among judges comments: "a thoroughly enjoyable production on many levels. All cast members seemed enthusiastic to be performing and totally committed to their characters and to the drama of this piece...Orchestral playing was musical and not overpowering."
Congratulations to all winners and runners-up.