Tuesday, April 4, 2017

OPERA PRODUCTION winners, runners-up, citations

The American Prize is honored to announce the winners,  runners-up and citation recipients of The American Prize in OPERA Performance, 2016-17. Congratulations!

All applicants finalist or higher 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 use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

Please make us aware of any misprints: theamericanprize@gmail.com

The American Prize in OPERA Performance, 2016-17

The American Prize winner:
University of Michigan Opera
    Kathleen Kelly    Ann Arbor MI
    Ravel—L'heure espagnole / Puccini—Gianni Schicchi
University of Michigan Opera—Gianni Schicchi
The Opera Program at the University of Michigan is a cornerstone program in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Students develop skills in an environment that oversees careful skill building yet encourages adventurous risk. Here they find world-class coaching in music, languages, and stagecraft. University Productions, a unique collaboration of faculty, staff, and students, designs and executes all scenery, costumes, properties, and lighting. Two mainstage productions and two workshop productions each year provide myriad performances opportunities for both undergraduates and graduates. Last but not least, the incomparable academic resources of the University of Michigan are at the program’s disposal.

2nd Place (there was a tie):
University of South Dakota Opera
    Tracelyn Gesteland    Vermillion SD
    Copland—The Tender Land
University of South Dakota Opera—The Tender Land
The University of South Dakota Opera offers training and performance opportunities for students interested in the art of opera.  Every semester, students have the opportunity to study and perform operatic literature from the common practice period as well as contemporary lyric theater.  Annually, USD Opera presents a main stage opera in addition to children’s touring outreach productions.  In 2014, USD Opera was honored to have been selected as a Finalist for The American Prize in Opera Performance.  In 2013, USD Opera was awarded Second Place for The American Prize in Opera Performance, and in 2012, won Third Place in division 3 of the National Opera Association’s Opera Production Competition.  USD Opera was also honored to perform children’s opera excerpts by invitation at the NOA convention in 2011.

2nd Place (there was a tie):
Messiah College Opera
    Damian Savarino    Mechanicsburg PA
    Copland—The Tender Land
Messiah College Opera—The Tender Land
The Messiah College Opera Workshop recently collaborated with the Department of Theatre and Dance at Messiah College to present Aaron Copland’s opera, The Tender Land the first ever student opera production in the college’s 100+ year history.  Previous offerings by the Opera Workshop ensemble have been Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, Menotti’s The Medium and The Old Maid and the Thief, Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial By Jury, as well as opera scenes programs with scenes representing various time periods, composers, and languages.  The Messiah College Opera Workshop was founded and currently directed (music and stage direction) by Dr. Damian Savarino.  Dr. Savarino’s production of The Medium won 1st Prize in the 2013-2014 National Opera Association Opera Production Competition.  www.damiansavarino.com

3rd Place:
Conservatory Opera of Music (SUNY—Purchase)—The Crucible    Jacque Trussel    Purchase NY
    Ward—The Crucible
Conservatory Opera of Music (SUNY—Purchase)—The Crucible
The Purchase Opera, performing arm of The Opera Performance/Vocal Studies Area in the Conservatory of Music/S.U.N.Y., has received critical acclaim, collecting eleven National Opera Association - Best Opera of the Year awards, including the American East Coast premiere of Lee Hoiby’s The Tempest. Working with the composer the company later recorded one of the only existing recordings of the piece (Albany Records). The company also presented the World Premiere of Raphael Lucas’ Confession, winning National Opera Association’s International competition for Best Chamber Opera, 2011/12 (also recorded for Albany Records). This past March (2016) they presented Robert Ward’s The Crucible, which will be recorded in September 2016.

FINALIST—CITATION: "Exceptional Production Values"

Bob Jones University Opera    Darren P. Lawson    Greenville SC
Bob Jones University Opera—Aida
The Bob Jones University Opera Association was founded in 1942 as part of the university’s commitment to liberal arts training for all of its students, who are provided free tickets to the productions.  It has become a national award-winning organization that mounts major operatic works, including Aida, Mefistofele, Samson et Dalila, Tosca, Andrea Chenier, L’Elisir d’Amore, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Il Trovatore, Rigoletto, La Cenerentola, and others.  Opera productions are presented regularly, with guest artists featured in the principal roles along with student and faculty soloists. Supporting roles and chorus parts are taken by students who show requisite ability.  http://www.bju.edu/events/fine-arts/concert-opera-drama/archive/

FINALIST—CITATION: "Ensemble Excellence"

FSU Student Opera Society—The Mikado
    Justin John Moniz    Tallahassee FL
    Gilbert & Sullivan—The Mikado
FSU Student Opera Society—The Mikado
The Student Opera Society at Florida State University mission is to serve the diverse student body within the College of Music and beyond by providing unique performance and professional development opportunities in opera. The productions chosen are aimed at complementing Florida State Opera’s mainstage programming while also being relevant and meaningful to the development of student singers. Additionally, workshops, fundraisers, socials, and other enrichment events are hosted to encourage the enjoyment and appreciation of opera among the greater Florida State University community.

FINALIST—CITATION: "Exceptional Commitment to New Music"

Texas State University Opera
    Samuel Mungo    San Marcos TX
    Mollicone—Lady Bird, First Lady of the Land

Texas State University Opera—Lady Bird, First Lady of the Land
The Award Winning Texas State Opera Theatre is dedicated to training the whole Opera performer. Voice, Acting, Dance and Theater Tech professionals training strictly in their fields join Director Samuel Mungo, Conductor Carolyn Watson and Collaborative Artist Kristin Roach to give Texas State possibly the most comprehensive undergraduate opera program in the country. 2 full Productions, Scenes Programs, Masterclasses with names like Jill Grove, Margaret Lattimore, Nicholas Carthy, and Margo Garrett, and access to professional summer programs, draw students from across the country. Recent productions include Don Giovanni, Candide, Turn of the Screw and Dialogues of the Carmelites. In May of 2016 TSOT produced the World Premiere of Lady Bird: First Lady of the Land, composed by Henry Mollicone with libretto by Sheldon Harnick.



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