Tuesday, April 16, 2019

WINNERS: The American Prize in Vocal Performance (women in opera), The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2018-19

Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up and citation recipient of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera, 2018-19—The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards. Congratulations!

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 Vocal Performance—Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Award honors the memory of the greatest Wagnerian baritone of his age, Friedrich Schorr, who commanded the operatic stage between the world wars, and his wife, Virginia Schorr, who taught studio voice at the Manhattan School of Music and the Hartt School of Music for nearly fifty years. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best performances by classically trained vocalists in America in 2018-19, based on submitted recordings.

REMINDER: Because of many requests from artists with late spring and early summer performances, The American Prize 2019-20 will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, July 1, 2019. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, August 5, 2019. (Please note that although the dates on the application forms may not be changed, rest assured that your materials will be accepted if sent by the new deadline dates in the respective contest areas.)


The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera (professional division),  2018-19, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Jacqueline Piccolino
Chicago IL   

Jacqueline Piccolino
Soprano, Jacqueline Piccolino, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as having "impeccable technique and stage presence" recently performed two debut recitals at the Chicago Cultural Center and the Fourth Presbyterian Church Chicago. She also performed the Israelitish Woman in Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus with the North Shore Choral Society, sang the role of the First Lady in Die Zauberflöte at Seattle Opera, and performed Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915" with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.

A recent Adler Fellow, she made her San Francisco Opera debut in the summer of 2013 as Stella in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. She returned as First Lady in The Magic Flute, Lady Madeline in La chute de la maison Usher, Laura in Luisa Miller, 2nd maid in the world premiere of Dolores Claiborne, Kate Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly, Clotilda in Norma, and Mrs. Hayes in Susannah. As a participant in the 2012 and 2013 Merola Opera Program, the soprano appeared as Countess Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro and Arminda in La finta giardiniera. Other career highlights include appearing in the Napa Festival del Sole’s Bouchaine Young Artist Concert Series, as a Studio Artist with the Wolf Trap Opera, and a participant in the Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Vocal Academy.

Piccolino is recent recipient of the 2017 Igor Gorin Memorial Award from the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona and the prestigious 2017 Rose M. Grundman Award Recipient from the Musicians Club of Women in Chicago. She is also a Sullivan Foundation Career Grant recipient, a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Mid-South Region and George London Foundation Encouragement Award Winner. In May 2016 she sang in the 9th International Moniuszko Competition and was a finalist having the opportunity to sing with the Polish National Opera Orchestra in Warsaw, Poland. She is also recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant from the Shoshana Foundation and the Bel Canto Vocal Scholarship. Jacqueline graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign School of Music in 2013 and received the prestigious Kate Neal Kinley Memorial Fellowship from her Alma mater, She currently resides in the beautiful city of Chicago.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Rachel Blaustein
Olney MD 

Rachel Blaustein
Hailing from Olney, MD, Soprano Rachel Blaustein was most recently seen as the soprano studio artist with Florentine Opera for the 2017-2018 season. In previous seasons, she has been a young artist with Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Chautauqua Opera, and has appeared in concert with Fort Worth Opera. Upcoming in 2019, she will make her debut with Opera NEO, and in 2020, will debut with the Bel Canto Chorus as the Bach B Minor Mass soloist. In competition, she was recently a Central Region Finalist, as well as a Wisconsin District Winner and Audience Choice recipient from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2019 and 2018, respectively. She has also won awards from the Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition, and Partners for the Arts, Inc. She holds degrees from The Peabody Conservatory and Hofstra University. www.rachelblaustein.com
 

2nd Place (there was a tie):
Abigail Levis
Claremont CA

Abigail Levis
Named "Debut Artist of the Year" by the Joy in Singing Foundation, Abigail Levis has appeared as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony, the Handel and Haydn Society, Florida Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, Portland Baroque, American Symphony Orchestra, Utah Opera/Symphony, Opera Parallele, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Philadelphia, The Dallas Opera, and Ars Lyrica Houston. She is also a prize winner of several competitions both at home abroad, including the Klaudia Taev Competition, the William Mattheus Sullivan Foundation, the Classical Singer Competition, the Gerda Lissner Competition, and the William C. Byrd Concerto Competition.

A native of Portland, Maine, Ms. Levis holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, the University of Houston, and Bard College. She has completed residencies at Utah Opera and Los Angeles Opera and currently resides in Southern California with her fiancée and three awesome step-children (and a dog, cat, and two mice…).
   

3rd Place:
Youna Hartgraves
Carrollton TX 

Youna Hartgraves
Acclaimed for her electrifying and passionate performances, soprano Youna Jang Hartgraves has sung leading operatic roles throughout the United States, including the title role of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, which she sang when she was 23 years old at Opera Delaware. She was then invited to sing Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème as well as many recitals and concerts.
At Temple University in Philadelphia, she performed Natalia Petrovna in Hoiby’s A Month in the Country, Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro, Mimì in La Bohème, Climene in L'Egisto, Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, and Antonia in Les Contes d'Hoffmann. A rare opportunity to sing the role of Susan B. Anthony in the Thomson's The Mother of Us All was given to her at The University of North Texas.

Youna has participated in the young artist programs at Opera Saratoga (formerly Lake George Opera) for two seasons and sung the role of Louise in La Vie Parisiènne and covered the title role of Madama Butterfly. She participated in the apprentice and studio programs at Sarasota Opera and sang the title role of Madama Butterfly at the Sarasota Chalk festival. As a resident artist at The Academy of Vocal Arts, she sung the roles of Amelia in Un ballo in maschera and Tatyana in Eugene Onegin. She has participated and won awards from the Fritz & Lavinia Jensen Foundation, The Annapolis Opera Competition, Gerda Lissner International Competition, Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, New Jersey State Alfredo Silipigni Vocal Competition, Compositione dell’opera in Germany and Hariclea Darclee Competition in Romania. She received the Boyer Merit scholarship in recognition of her musical excellence and was the soprano soloist in Bruckner's Te Deum at the Kimmel Center – Verizon Hall. Youna earned a Master of Music degree and a Bachelor of Music degree in voice and opera performance from Temple University before appearing as a resident artist at the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
  


The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera (college/university division),  2018-19, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Lani Stait
Chicago IL

Lani Stait
Raised in Annandale Virginia, soprano Lani Stait now calls Chicago her home. As a young artist with Chicago Opera Theater Lani was recently featured in the roles of Anna Gomez The Consul, Isolt The Love Potion, and appeared in Il Pigmalione & Rita, Fairy Queen, and The Perfect American. Also in Chicago she has performed the roles of Donna Anna Don Giovanni with Petite Opera, and the title role in Suor Angelica with Opera West. Lawrence A. Johnson of Chicago Classical Review lauded Lani’s Isolt; “The young soprano displayed a bright, youthful tone with pinpoint clarity and even projection throughout her range, and was always dramatically credible in her understated acting.”

Lani recently had the immense honor of singing for Ruth Bader Ginsburg as part of her lecture tour at the Auditorium Theater. Recent awards include The American Prize Winner, Musicians Club of Women Ginger Meyer Scholarship in Voice, the Sinfonietta Bel Canto Emerging Artist 1st place award, and the 1st place in the highest division of the NATS competition. Lani is also involved in theater and film acting in Chicago. Upcoming she will be performing a leading role in the play The Gallery at The Second City Chicago Skybox Theater, and can be seen in several student films.

Lani is an alumna of Roosevelt University Professional Diploma in Opera studies, University of Michigan Master of Music, and University of Cincinnati Bachelor of Music.
   

2nd Place (there was a tie):
Alyce Daubenspeck
Nazareth PA

Alyce Daubenspeck
ALYCE DAUBENSPECK is a classically-trained mezzo-soprano whose public performances have been described as "emotionally shattering" with a voice "fully formed from top to bottom, a pristine tone, and high notes that are both extraordinarily controlled and on the edge of wildness."

Ms. Daubenspeck has most recently performed with Opera in the Ozarks (2018), Westminster Opera Theater (2016 – 2017), the Princeton Festival (2016) and the Russian Opera workshop (2016). She has also participated as a Fellow in the CoOPERAtive program (2016), as an artist apprentice with Opera Ithaca (2015-2016) and as a young artist with the Si Parla, Si Canta program (2014). Ms. Daubenspeck has also sung with the Princeton Society of Musical Amateurs, and in Westminster’s Lindsey Christiansen Art Song Festival – both in 2017 and 2018. Ms. Daubenspeck’s past roles have included Augusta Tabor (The Ballad of Baby Doe), Berta (Il barbiere di Siviglia) Madame de Croissy (Dialogues des Carmélites), Third Lady (Die Zauberflöte), Lyubov (Mazepa), Kecal (Bartered Bride), La Tasse Chinoise (L’enfant et les sortilèges) and Virginia (Billy Blythe).

In 2019, Ms. Daubenspeck has placed first in the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions in South Carolina, and was also selected as the winner of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2018-19, in the college/university art song division. Her upcoming engagements include the Brahms Alto Rhapsody with the Moravian College Choir and Festival Orchestra, and Hänsel und Gretel with Opera Steamboat, where she will perform the Witch.

Ms. Daubenspeck studies privately in the studio of the distinguished dramatic soprano Sharon Sweet. (Prof. Sweet did not participate in the evaluation.—DK) She graduated with distinction from Westminster Choir College in 2018 with a Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy.



2nd Place (there was a tie):
Keely Futterer
Dover AR 

Keely Futterer

Soprano KEELY FUTTERER (www.KeelyFutterer.com) is finishing her Doctoral work at the Eastman School of Music.  She has performed standards such as Elle in La Voix Humaine, the title role of Suor Angelica, and Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro.  For new works, she performed Isabella Beecher in Victoria Bond’s Mrs. President with Rochester Lyric Opera, she premiered the role of Sara Turing in The Life and Death(s) of Alan Turing with American Lyric Theatre, and at Opera Saratoga she sang the role of The Witch Mother in the American premiere of Glass’s The Witches of Venice.  She recently placed at Rochester Oratorio Society’s Classical Idol and was a finalist for Shreveport Opera’s Mary Jacob Smith Singer of the Year Competition.  In the past year, she covered Renée Fleming for the world premiere of Kevin Puts’ Letters from Georgia and performed Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Zarah Brock
Fredericksburg VA 

Zarah Brock
 Zarah Brock, soprano, is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Zarah received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she sang several roles, including Hanna Glawari/The Merry Widow, Casilda/The Gondoliers and First Spirit/Die Zauberflöte. In addition, Zarah trained at the late Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival and also had the privilege to travel to Oman with the Castleton Festival to sing in La Bohème at the Royal Opera House in Muscat. Other roles include Lucy/The Telephone and Don Ettore/La canterina with Old Towne Opera, Zerlina/Don Giovanni with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Belinda/Dido and Aeneas with the Stafford Opera Troupe, Annio/La clemenza di Tito and Soeur Constance/Dialogues des Carmélites with the Maryland Opera Studio. Zarah holds a Master of Music in Opera Performance from the University of Maryland, where she was a member of the Maryland Opera Studio.
  

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Rebecca Sacks
Athens GA

Rebecca Sacks
Mezzo soprano Rebecca Sacks  has performed across the country and internationally including with Portland Opera, San Jose Lyric Theater, Cascadia Concert Opera, and  the Astoria Music Festival. This summer, she will be an Apprentice artist at the Miami Music Festival, singing the role of the Composer in Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. Ms. Sacks is currently a master’s student at the University of Georgia studying with Frederick Burchinal. In Georgia, she has performed the roles of Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro, and served as the mezzo-soprano soloist for a gala featuring the operatic works of Verdi. Enjoying success in competitions, Ms. Sacks has earned prizes in the Professional Division of the Orpheus Competition (2018), the NATS Artist Awards Competition (2016), the NATS National Student Auditions (2016), the Oregon district of the Classical Singer Competition (2015), and the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions (2014).
   

Special Judges' Citation: "Championing the Music of Lesser Known Composers"
Kristen Sullivan
Denton TX

Kristen Sullivan
Soprano, Kristen Sullivan, is currently earning her DMA at the University of North Texas, focusing in early music performance practice and vocal pedagogy. Sullivan is a trained vocologist through the National Center for Voice and Speech. After graduating with her Master’s from UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, she performed extensively, taught a prestigious private voice studio, and was an adjunct professor for the Metropolitan Community College. A consummate performer of musical theater, opera, operetta, Sullivan has recently championed lesser known composers such as August Holmès, recording with Centaur Records this year. She was featured with Kansas City's AGO Schola Cantorum – soloist for the world premiere of Pangrazio’s Requiem, and Midwest Chamber Orchestra – soloist for the world premiere of Hartman’s Suite from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Sullivan recently produced Le Mariage d’Antonio by Lucile Grétry and will produce Coronide by Vít Zouhar this Fall, both are North American premiers.

   
The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera (high school division),  2018-19, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Alea Vernon
Cheshire CT

Alea Vernon
Alea Vernon, soprano is a freshman at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she studies vocal performance under the tutelage Professor William McGraw. She is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School Pre-college; where she was a vocal performance major, and studied with Lorraine Nubar. Ms. Vernon was also an Ensign-Darling Fellowship at The Bushnell Theatre.

Alea has won and placed in several competitions and received numerous awards. Some accomplishments include being the first place winner of the 2017 Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, a 2019 National YoungArts finalist, the first place winner of the Rondo Young Artists Vanguard Competition, third place winner of The Boston Schmidt Vocal Competition, and a two time George London Scholarship Recipient.

Prior to beginning her undergraduate studies at CCM, Alea spent her summers attending summer programs such as the Casentino Voice Festival in Popi, Italy, New York Summer Music Festival, and The Boston University Tanglewood Institute. This past summer she attended The Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria under the tutelage of Lorraine Nubar, Dalton Baldwin, and Wolfgang Holzmair. This summer Alea will be singing with the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center.



2nd Place:
Rebecca Clark
West Hartford  CT

Rebecca Clark
Rebecca Clark is a multi talented home schooled senior.  She studies voice with Rachel Rowe Morris.  She has participated in church choir for several years, as well as Rochester Mormon Choir.   She participated in the New England Music Festival Association Orchestra 2017 and 2018, where she received qualifying ratings for harp, piano, violin and voice both years.  Awards include:
1st place Blossom Vocal Division Virtuosi Music Competition 2013 Rochester, NY, 3rd place Musical Club of Hartford Vocal Competition 2018, Finalist Danbury Orchestra Competition 2018, Semi Finalist Hal Leonard National Vocal Competition Music Theatre 2018, Finalist Hal Leonard National Vocal Competition Art Song 2018 and 1st place Rondo Vanguard Young Artist International Competition 2018 NY, NY which gave her the opportunity to perform in Carnegie Hall in May.


3rd Place:
Alina Dong
Houston TX

Alina Dong
Alina Dong, age 16, is currently a junior attending Clear Lake High School.  She enjoys singing, dancing, playing the piano, flute, and composing songs. After beginning vocal studies under Houston Baptist University's Professor Summer Song, Alina delved into the field of opera singing.  Since then she has received numerous awards in vocal competitions such as 1st Place Winner in the GHNATS Classical Singing Competition in 2016 and 2017, 1st Prize in the International Grand Prize Virtuoso Singing Competition in 2017 and 2018, 1st place American Protégé International Vocal Competition in 2016 and 2017, and finalist in The American Prize vocal competition in high school division in 2017, etc. Alina is also a member of Houston Grand Opera's highly selective Bauer Family High School Voice Studio Program. She also had the privilege of performing in the World Premiere of Houston Grand Opera's "The House Without a Christmas Tree" production by composer Ricky Ian Gordon alongside HGO studio artists. As the sole vocalist of the Houston Young Artist Concert for two years now, Alina says that singing is a part of what defines her and will remain a part of her life.


*** 
Congratulations!

No comments:

Post a Comment