Monday, July 8, 2013

Announcing VOCAL WINNERS, runners-up: men in opera and art song, 2013

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Voice—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award: Opera and Art Song Divisions (men), 2013. 

Complete listings of finalists and semi-finalists in The American Prize competitions may be found elsewhere on this blog.  

Please make us aware of any misprints:

The American Prize in Voice—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award: Opera Division (men), 2013

The American Prize winner:
Christian Ketter    (Chicago, IL)
Christian Ketter

Tenor Christian Ketter is returning in summer 2013 to Music By The Lake for a staged gala concert as Prince Karl Franz in Sigmund Romberg’s The Student Prince. A recent tenor soloist in the Bruckner Te Deum with the Chicago Bar Symphony Orchestra & Chorus as winner of The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award, Christian's performances this past year also included tenor soloist in both DuBois’ Les sept paroles du Christ and Saint-Saëns’ Oratorio de Noël, and Willy Loman in Rizzer’s operatic adaptation of Death of a Salesman, this last at the Chicago Cultural Center. Mr. Ketter was privileged in the past year to be musically coached and staged by American composer Carlisle Floyd in a concert celebrating his operatic works.

Christian Ketter was an International Finalist in the Kurt Weill Foundation’s Lotte Lenya Competition, 2nd National Winner in both the HalLeonard Art Song and Musical Theatre Competitions, and was a 2012 winner of The American Prize Friedrich Schorr Memorial Award. He is the recipient of the Shirley Rabb Winston Scholarships in Voice (Grand Prize Winner), was a National Finalist in the Shreveport Opera Competition and a finalist for the Harold Haugh young artist award.   

Mr. Ketter has studied under and sung in masterclasses with renowned artists including legendary stage director Tito Capobianco; soprano, Diana Soviero; baritone, Nathan Gunn; Maestro Enrique Patrón de Rueda; the Metropolitan Opera’s Joan Dornemann; film conductor David Friedman; Verdi Baritone Sherrill Milnes; and heldentenor Carl Lawrenz. For more information about Mr. Ketter go to

Among judges' comments: "Mr. Ketter has a beautiful, silvery voice.  He sings with wonderful legato lines and spins a lovely musical phrase."

2nd Place:
Mitchell Hutchings   (Cincinnati, OH)
Mitchell Hutchings
Mitchell Hutchings’ most notable roles include the title roles in GIANNI SCHICCHI and SWEENEY TODD, Marcello in LA BOHÈME, Tarquinius in THE RAPE OF LUCRETIA, Escamillo in LA TRAGÉDIE DE CARMEN, Germont in LA TRAVIATA, Mercutio in ROMÉO ET JULIETTE, Marullo in RIGOLETTO, Quince in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, Frank in DIE FLEDERMAUS, Ben in THE TELEPHONE, Yamadori & the Commissioner in MADAMA BUTTERFLY, and Benoit & Alcindoro in LA BOHÈME. Mitchell has been a Resident Artist of Pensacola Opera, Opera Saratoga, Ash Lawn Opera, DiCapo Opera Theatre, the Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca, the Czech-American Summer Music Institute, and Opera Tampa's V.O.I.C.Experience program.  Mitchell received his master's degree from Florida State University where he studied with David Okerlund.  He is currently attending the University of Kentucky. He makes his home in Cincinnati, OH with his wife, and composer, Sarah Hutchings.

Among judges' comments: "Mr. Hutchings has a very expressive, solid baritone voice...he sings with a real flair for the dramatic..."

3rd Place:
Michael Orlinsky    (Chicago, IL)
Michael Orlinsky

Michael Orlinsky is a baritone who is developing a growing singing career in the Chicago area.  As well as singing for several companies, he has produced, directed and portrayed Bob in The Old Maid and the Thief and Ben in The Telephone.  Since moving to Chicago he has started graduate studies at North Park University (NPU) studying with Dr. Karen Bauer.  Michael has been seen in such roles as Papageno (The Magic Flute) and The Wolf (The Knightly News) (Premiere), among other roles.  Michael is a composer of art song as well as a performer. Michael is engaged to perform Ko-ko-ri-ko in Ba-ta-clan with North Park University as well as solos in Messiah, and Bach’s Magnificat.  He will also be covering the bass solos in the Faure Requiem with VOX3. In the fall he is engaged to sing Zuniga in

Among judges' comments: "a wonderful voice...and “Madamina” is a wonderful aria for him...excellent possibilities..."

The American Prize in Voice—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award: Art Song Division (men), 2013

The American Prize winner:
Darren Chase   (New York, NY)
Darren Chase
Raised in a family of musicians, recordings of Fischer-Dieskau, Prey and Souzay were Darren Chase’s first influences. He began performing art song as a teenager, studying first in his native San Diego and then continuing his education at UC Berkeley and Boston University.  His wide range of operatic, concert and cabaret performances includes appearances with the Santa Fe Opera, the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, the Aspen Music Festival, the International Contemporary Ensemble and Exilkabarett.  His first CD, The Young Debussy, was released in 2011.  He recently completed a new album, Schumann Liederkreis: Three Song Cycles, which has recently been released.

Among judges' comments:  "Mr. Chase sings with exquisite technique, consistent up and down the scale."

2nd Place: 
Michael Cavalieri
Michael Cavalieri   (Homewood, IL)

Baritone Michael Cavalieri has sung a wide range of styles and repertoire, from concert to opera to ensemble.  He was last seen on the Symphony Center  stage with Sir Marc Elder and the Chicago Civic Orchestra singing Mahler's Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen.  Previously, he made his Chicago Chorale debut in Grieg's Four Hymns.

His operatic roles include Count Almaviva (Le Nozze di Figaro), Guglielmo (Così fan tutte), Gianni Schicchi,Valentin (Faust), Escamillo (Carmen), and Germont (La Traviata).  He was heard in Light Opera Works productions of Sondheim's A Little Night Music (Carl Magnus) and Gilbert & Sullivan's The Pirates of Penzance (Pirate King), a performance which prompted the Chicago Sun-Times to call his voice "rich and juicy."  Michael contributed over a dozen songs to the complete songbook of Charles Ives for Naxos Records. He currently sings in the ensembles of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Solo Dei Gloria.

Among judges' comments: "He sings with a great sense of phrasing in the long lyric lines." 

3rd Place: 
Conor Angell    (Houghton, NY)

Conor Angell
Born and reared in Ireland, baritone Conor Angell recently completed his doctoral degree in voice at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. This fall, he joined the faculty of the Greatbatch School of Music, Houghton College, where he teaches voice and directs the lyric theater. With IU Opera Theater, he appeared in performances of A View from the Bridge, Il barbiere di Siviglia, The Tale of Lady Thi Kinh and Gianni Schicchi. Previously, Angell was a studio artist at Kentucky Opera, singing roles in Werther, Pirates of Penzance, Verdi’s Otello, Telemann's Don Quichotte and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta. Other operatic credits include roles in Le nozze di Figaro, Così fan tutte, La bohème, Rigoletto, Susannah, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, Madama Butterfly, and La vida breve. Angell has sung at the Opera North and Brevard Music Center summer festivals. He completed his master’s degree at UNC-Greensboro and his bachelor’s degree at Taylor University. Angell has performed as a soloist with orchestras in Illinois, Indiana and North Carolina in oratorio and concert works. Earlier this spring, he was chosen as a winner of The American Prize Chicago Oratorio Award.

Among judges' comments: "Mr. Angell is a fine singer and performer.  His good stage demeanor draws you into his presentation."

Congratulations to all winners and runners-up.

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