Wednesday, October 8, 2014

OPERA COMPANIES: college/university division

The American Prize is honored to announce the winner and runners-up in the college/university company division of The American Prize in Opera Performance, 2014. Congratulations!  

All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

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 Opera Performance
—college/university division

The American Prize winner:
Rebecca Renfro Grimes, director
Huntsville  TX
Sam Houston State University

SHSU Opera is a 25-member collegiate performing group comprised entirely of undergraduate singers.  The focus of this ensemble is to provide performance training for young musicians who wish to pursue opera studies after their undergraduate career.  SHSU Opera’s performance schedule includes one scenes program, one full production, and one summer intensive each year.  In addition, this group represents the SHSU School of Music in various outreach events for the university.  SHSU Opera was selected as a finalist in the National Opera Association Scenes Competition in 2011, 2012 and 2013.  This ensemble was also the second prize winner in the 2012 NOA Opera Production competition, for their production of Opera Incognito, an opera scenes program that integrated Film Noir into the opera performance.  SHSU Opera performs under the artistic direction of Rebecca Renfro Grimes.

Among judges' comments: "This is an absolutely wonderful production with a terrific set, superb instrumental playing, beautiful singing, and skillful stage direction."

2nd Place:
for "The Marriage of Figaro"
Beau Gabriel, director
New Haven  CT

Opera Theatre of Yale College
Founded in 1992, the Opera Theatre of Yale College is dedicated to offering Yale’s aspiring artists the chance to perform opera. Our entirely student-run organization affords students the opportunity to get hands-on experience in arts management and teamwork.  Under the leadership of Ashby Cogan '14 and Beau Gabriel '14 the company has expanded the scale of its productions, incorporating artists from across the Yale community, and focusing particularly on historically-informed productions. 

Among judges' comments: "...the singing from this young cast was quite good; music was prepared well..."

3rd Place:
for "The Pirates of Penzance"
Dawn Padula, director
Tacoma  WA

University of Puget Sound Opera Theatre
The University of Puget Sound Opera Theatre is the operatic ensemble vehicle of the University of Puget Sound School of Music.  Puget Sound is a four-year liberal arts university with approximately 2,600 students.  The ensemble features not only vocal performance majors, but also general music majors, music education majors, music business majors, music minors, as well as non-majors.  The ensemble rotates its offerings annually between an opera scenes program with piano, a full opera production with orchestra and a musical theatre collaboration with our Theatre Arts department.  The repertoire for the yearly offering is chosen dependent upon the current student population.  The idea is to showcase the students that are currently in our program, and to give all interested students stage experience (often, our productions mark our students’ stage debut).  Most full productions are double-cast to give several students performance opportunities.

Among judges' comments: "What a rollicking good time these young singers had in this entertaining production! "


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