Tuesday, April 29, 2014

ANNOUNCING: Chicago Oratorio Award winners, 2014

The American Prize is pleased to announce the WINNERS of the Chicago Oratorio Award, 2014.
Four $500 prizes, one each for soprano, mezzo-soprano (alto), tenor, baritone (bass), have been awarded as performance fees to soloists selected to appear under the baton of Maestro David Katz in concert with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra & Chorus, performing the solo portions of Beethoven's Choral Fantasy and the Quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 at St James Episcopal Cathedral, Chicago.

This additional opportunity, offered as part of 2014 The American Prize in Vocal Performance Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards national competition, is judged entirely independently from the rest of the contests.

Tickets for the performance may be purchased by clicking here.

The 2014 winners are:


Soprano Julianne Gearhart is quickly becoming known on both sides of the Atlantic for her remarkable theatrical presence as well as the crystalline quality of her singing. She started her career as a devoted singer of Strauss, singing Zerbinetta for numerous companies including The Grand Theatre de Geneve and the New Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, and Der Rosenkavalier’s Sophie for the Seattle Opera and in her German debut for Theater Lübeck.

Gearhart's relationship with Seattle has been close and longstanding. A graduate of their Young Artist Program, she made her mainstage debut in Seattle as Helen Niles in the premiere of the revised Mourning Becomes Electra. Other roles followed, including Woglinde and the Waldvogel in their Ring Cycle as well as a relationship with the Seattle Symphony, where she most recently sang Poulenc’s Gloria, and for whom she has also sung Bach's notoriously difficult Cantata #51, Jauchzett Gott in allen Landen.  She reprised the Bach for the White Mountain Bach Festival last season.

Gearhart made her Italian debut at the Teatro Lirico di Cagliari, Sardinia, as Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail. She also sang Blonde for the Vlaamse Opera’s 2010 production. She has  performed with the Edinburgh Festival, Opera North, Seattle Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Seattle Symphony, The Canadian Chamber Orchestra of New York, Port Angeles Symphony, Salem Philharmonic Orchestra, Palm Beach Symphony, the Alba Music Festival in Alba, Italy, Grieg Choral Festival in Bergen, Norway, Chamber Music Amarillo, New Israeli Opera, and the Grand Theatre Geneve. She made her Carnegie Hall debut singing under the baton of Maestro Rutter in Handel’s Messiah and Rutter’s Magnificat.
COURTNEY MILLER, mezzo-soprano
Mezzo-Soprano Courtney Miller is the 2013 winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs’ Young Artist Competition in Women’s Voice and and First Place winner of the American Prize in Art Song.  Ms. Miller returns to Virginia Opera as an Emerging Artist for the 2014-15 season singing Cousin Hebe in HMS Pinafore, Page in Salome, and Flora in La Traviata.  During Virginia Opera’s 2013-14 season, Ms. Miller sang Meg Page in Falstaff, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos while covering the Composer, and Mercédès in Carmen.  Recent highlights include Sister Helen in Dead Man Walking, the title role in L’enfant et les sortilèges, and Concepción in L’heure Espagnole.  Ms. Miller has worked with the Glimmerglass Festival, Chautauqua Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Ohio Light Opera, and Seagle Music Colony.  A Wisconsin native, Ms. Miller holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Boston Conservatory. www.courtneyallycemiller.com

DANIEL KAMALIC, lyric tenor
Lyric tenor Daniel Kamalić has been praised for the “exciting, tremendous force and burnished tonal quality” of his voice. He has performed regularly with Connecticut Lyric Opera and Opera Boston, as well as with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Juventas New Music Ensemble, and the International Rachmaninoff Festival. He was recently selected by Joan Dornemann and Paul Nadler of the Metropolitan Opera to receive a full scholarship to attend the prestigious International Vocal Arts Institute. In addition to the repertoire standards, he champions new and rarely performed works. Mr. Kamalić has created roles in operas by composers Eric Sawyer, Charles David Younger, Thomas Oboe Lee, and Sarah Meneely-Kyder.  The Croatian-American tenor has also reveled in the opportunity to explore and present the music of Croatia. He made his European debut in 2012 with Kvartet Veljak in Valun, Croatia and returns in 2014 to sing at the Rijeka Festival of Chamber Music in Rijeka, Croatia.

PETER LIGHTFOOT, dramatic baritone
Dramatic baritone Peter Lightfoot performed Falstaff in Verdi’s Falstaff in Cagli and Mercatello, Italy.  His performance of Marbuel at the Wexford Festival in The Devil and Kate is on DVD.   Lightfoot was Bass soloist in Mozart's Requiem with Sir John Rutter at Carnegie Hall. His operatic roles include Verdi's Macbeth; Tonio in Il Pagliacci; Scarpia in Tosca and Rigoletto in Verdi's Rigoletto.  His orchestral credits include the Stockholm Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Radio Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Dallas Symphony. Mr. Lightfoot was born in New York and holds degrees from the Juilliard School and Tufts University. He is winner of a National Opera Institute Grant, a Sullivan Foundation Grant and a Harp Grant.  He is associate professor of voice Michigan State University's College of Music. Lightfoot's "An American Tapestry" with pianist Dr. Deborah Moriarity, can now be heard on Blue Griffin Records.


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