Thursday, December 29, 2011

Singers Q&A: MEZZOS REJOICE! (and other good news)

Here are some answers to a few questions we have received from classical vocalists about The American Prize in Vocal Performance, which has a postmark deadline of Monday, January 23, 2012.

1. Are mezzo-sopranos prohibited from applying for the Chicago Opera Award?

Of course not! All voice types and fachs are welcome to apply. We have clarified the requirements on the application form and on the website. (If you already downloaded the older application, don't worry—you can still use it!)

The CHICAGO OPERA AWARD is a special opportunity in 2012.

In addition to the national competitions of The American Prize listed on the website in opera/operetta and in art song, three $500 prizes will be awarded as performance fees to opera soloists selected to appear under Maestro David Katz's baton in concert with the Chicago Bar Association Symphony Orchestra & Chorus in May 2012. The Chicago Opera Award is geared primarily to those who live within comfortable travel distance of Chicago and can make their own housing arrangements.

The selection process for the Chicago Opera Award is separate from The American Prize judging. Winning one competition does not preclude the possibility of winning the other. Maestro Katz expects to select the winners of the Chicago Opera Award by March 1, 2012.

For more information about this opportunity, please follow this LINK to reach the application form and the specific webpage, which includes additional important information about the Chicago Opera Award.

2. The American Prize competition honors the memory of Friedrich Schorr, who was a great Wagner singer. I don't sing Wagner. Isn't that really what you are looking for? 

Absolutely not. Schorr was a great Wagnerian, yes, but he sang Mozart and Beethoven, and was a brilliant lieder and oratorio singer. (In fact, he credited his success and longevity in Bayreuth and at the MET to the fact that he said he sang Wagner like it was Mozart!)

The American Prize seeks to recognize and reward the finest vocalists in America at professional, college/university and amateur levels through the evaluation of your recorded performances. Wagner singers have no special advantage nor disadvantage: we seek excellence in any repertoire and at all levels of endeavor.

3. I don't live in the US and my recordings were made elsewhere. May I still apply?

Yes. The competitions of The American Prize are open to all U.S. citizens, whether living in this country or abroad, and to others currently living, working and/or studying in the United States of America, its protectorates and territories. You need not prepare a special tape for The American Prize. A previous recording, whether of a performance made in front of an audience or one created in a recording session without an audience, is perfectly acceptable. Neither the location nor the repertoire of any qualified individual limits eligibility, provided the general guidelines have been met. Excellence within categories is the primary criteria for the selection of finalists and winners. 

4. Who gets to be selected for The American Prize Winning Links?

The American Prize Winning Links is our new blog devoted to links of winners, runners-up, finalists and semi-finalists for The American Prize. Use the site to see some of the many different ways contestants have shared their success in the competitions, or to learn more about The American Prize laureates. We will update the site regularly, and will include 2012 laureates, when selected.

To submit a link or if you have additional questions, simply email

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