Tuesday, August 6, 2019

WINNERS: opera companies, 2018-19

The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, and citation recipients of The American Prize in Opera Performance, 2018-19, in all divisions. 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.

QUICKNOTES: Although The American Prize does not usually provide written evaluations to semi-finalists, some semi-finalist composers will receive in their certificate packets short comments, suggestions or overall impressions made during the judging. We hope they will prove valuable. All finalists receive written evaluations from a member of The American Prize judging panel.

REMINDER: Because of many requests from artists with late spring and early summer performances, 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 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, with extensions available by email request. (theamericanprize@gmail.com)

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

The American Prize in Opera Performance, professional division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
Chicago Fringe Opera
George Cederquist
Chicago IL  
Rossa Crean: The Great God Pan 

Chicago Fringe Opera
Called "the city's alt-opera company" by the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Fringe Opera’s repertoire comprises works composed in English, often produced in immersive settings and always featuring local artists.  Since its founding in 2014, CFO has become the definition of storefront opera in Chicago. The company’s productions have twice received Newcity’s “Top Five Operas of the Year”, while its Fall 2015 production of Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw” was featured in The Wall Street Journal. Visit chicagofringeopera.com, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@chicagofringeop and #operaspeaks), and Instagram (@chicagofringeopera). 

2nd Place:
Queen City Opera
Isaac Selya
Cincinnati OH 
Don Giovanni 

Queen City Opera
Queen City Opera was founded in 2012 to advance the careers of emerging singers, instrumentalists, designers, and conductors by giving them valuable professional engagements in high-quality productions. In recognition of their high artistic quality and work to transform neighborhoods through the arts, the company was profiled in August 2014 in the Business section of the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Recent projects have combined high-caliber opera with relevant contemporary issues: Their production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni featured workshops on sexual assault and consent, and their production of Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta was presented in collaboration with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Their performance of Siegfried was the first complete performance of the work in the state of Ohio in over a century. For more information or to see recordings of past productions, visit QueenCityOpera.Org

3rd Place:
Hawaii Performing Arts Festival
Justin John Moniz
Waimea HI  
The Mikado

Hawaii Performing Arts Festival
Now preparing for its fifteenth season on the Big Island, Hawaii Performing Arts Festival brings together some of the most talented young musicians and emerging professionals from Hawaii, the U.S., Canada, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, South America and Europe to Hawaii Island between late June and early August to study, grow and perform with professional musical performer/teachers. The results are astonishing. During the 2018 Festival weeks — June 26 through July 24 — more than 20 concerts and stage performances were presented, giving the students invaluable experience and the privilege of appearing on stage with some of the top musical artists in their field. Performances are held around the Big Island and on Oahu. HPAF is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the appreciation and advancement of classical music and musical theater, to offer a world-class music training and performance program in the inspirational setting of Hawaii, and to improve the education and elevate the spirit of all who participate, especially the local community.

Special Judges' Citation:  "Unusual Repertoire & Free Admission Equals 'One Hot Ticket'"
Chatham Concert Opera
Walter Morales
Pittsburgh PA  

including: Taylor: The King's Henchman
Chatham Concert Opera
Chatham Concert Opera began as a Vocal Recital Series at Chatham University in 2009.  Since then we have produced over twenty concert programs, which have served and hopefully will continue to serve as a means for Chatham students and the Pittsburgh community to learn about opera and hear other vocal compositions rarely performed in our city.  Our concerts have always been free of charge. 

Chatham Concert Opera currently provides an environment in which professional singers prepare new dramatic roles by learning them in their entirely, and perform them in a concert setting with their colleagues.  Operas that have been performed in this manner include – Carmen, Turandot, Il trovatore, The King’s Henchman, Otello, Aida, Don Carlo, La forza del destino, Un ballo in maschera, The Ring, Tristan and Isolde, and Elektra. Upcoming operas will include Simon Boccanegra, Salome, I vespri siciliani, Tannhauser and Wozzeck.
For more information, please visit our website: http://www.chathamconcertopera.com/

The American Prize in Opera Performance, college/university division, 2018-19

The American Prize winner:
UNCSA AJ Fletcher Opera Institute
Nicholas Muni
Winston-Salem NC  
Constant/Debussy: Impressions de Pelleas 

UNCSA AJ Fletcher Opera Institute
UNCSA A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute Description: www.fletcheropera.org
The A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute is part of the University of North Carolina (UNCSA) School of the Arts. Named for businessman and arts advocate Alfred Johnston Fletcher (1887-1979), the A.J. Fletcher Foundation has supported opera in America for over 50 years, first through the creation of the Grassroots Opera Company in 1948 and subsequently through the productions and educational outreach of the National Opera Company. In order to perpetuate Mr. Fletcher’s vision for opera, the Foundation took the unprecedented step in the spring of 2000 of committing $10 million to establish an Opera Institute at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. In September 2001, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation merged its National Opera Company with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts School of Music’s graduate opera program, in collaboration with the University of North Carolina School of the to create the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute.

2nd Place:
Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU
Dugg McDonough
Baton Rouge
David T. Little: Dog Days

Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU
Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU, one of the first major university programs in the United States, has produced exceptional singers who have sung on world opera stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington Opera, New York City Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, and Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.  Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU annually produces two main stage productions, fully staged, designed, costumed, and accompanied by LSU Symphony Orchestra, alongside smaller staged shows and numerous outreach performance opportunities.  In addition to private voice lessons with faculty, students receive one-on-one coachings with the opera music director and extensive training in acting and stagecraft from the opera stage director. 

3rd Place (there was a tie):
Arizona State University
Brian DeMaris
Mark Alpizar and Kamna Gupta conductors
Tempe AZ 
Les mamelles de Tiresias

Arizona State University
The Music Theatre and Opera program in the School of Music at Arizona State University’s Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts is committed to preparing outstanding music theatre and opera artists for professional careers in the 21st century. Through expert individual and classroom instruction, the production of operas and musicals, student-led workshops, new work development, research opportunities, dynamic community engagement, and multiple professional collaborations, we foster a creative, student-centered environment that enables students to discover who they are as individuals and artists, at their own pace, in their own unique way, at the highest level. 

3rd Place: there was a tie): 
University of NC Greensboro
David Holley
Greensboro NC  
Die Zanberflöte 

University of NC Greensboro
The UNCG Opera Theatre, led by David Holley, is highly acclaimed and the recipient of a number of awards. Seven productions have won First Place in the National Opera Association Opera Production Competition, including Susannah, Little Women, Orpheus in the Underworld, The Consul, Dialogues of the Carmelites, Amahl and the Night Visitors, and Don Giovanni, and five production have placed Second: Galileo Galilei, L’Enfant et les sortilèges, La vida breve, Albert Herring and Gianni Schicchi; Amahl and the Night Visitors also won Third Place.  2016's Amahl received honorable mention recognition in the American Prize Competition and other productions were American Prize finalists: Galileo Galilei (2015) and Dialogues of the Carmelites (2016). The UNCG Opera Theatre commissioned renowned American composer Libby Larsen to write an opera based on William Inge’s play, Picnic, with a libretto written by David Holley.  Picnic was premiered in April of 2009.  For more information, visit http://opera.uncg.edu.

Special Judges Citation: "Tremendous energy and infectious spirit in a new, timely opera"
Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra
Tian Hui Ng
South Hadley MA  
Bode Omojola: Irin Ajo 

Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra
The Mount Holyoke Symphony Orchestra (MHSO) is one of the largest musical groups on campus. Led by their conductor Ng Tian Hui, the group reflects the diversity of the college's community, with musicians from the five colleges and the Pioneer Valley, in addition to students, faculty and staff from Mount Holyoke College. Students who perform in the Orchestra might be majors in Music or Biology, English or International Relations, philosophy or mathematics. They are drawn by the collective desire to be an active participant in creating great beauty in the realm of sound.

The orchestra is particularly proud of its second prize in the 2014 American Prize for Orchestral Programming, and acknowledged for its fine work by grants from the Massachusetts Arts Council, Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, National Arts Council of Singapore, the Singapore International Foundation, Women’s Philharmonic and WomenArts in acknowledgement of its creative and engaging programming.

Ìrìn Àjò, an opera composed, written and directed by Five College music professor Bode Omojola, debuted on April 12 and 13 in Chapin Auditorium. The title of the opera is a Yoruba phrase meaning “life’s journey,” which is fitting as the opera details the story of Káyòdé, a Nigerian engineer who leaves his fiancée Ìyábò to immigrate to the United States in search of a better life.

Special Judges' Citation: "Exceptional Production Values in Service to Music and Story"
Lawrence University
Copeland Woodruff
Appleton WI 
Le Comte Ory

Lawrence University
Lawrence University and Conservatory of Music is an all-undergraduate, liberal arts institution. The opera studies division is dedicated to training the young singing actor in all the elements for success: musical styles, acting, text/languages, and modern as well as traditional theatrical techniques. Recent productions have garnered national attention, because of their well-crafted and dedicated musical and dramatic performances. Offering performance opportunities as varied as improvised micro-operas, scenes programs, main stage operas, and re-imagined recital formats, LU is preparing the 21st-Century singing artist to meet the challenges of today’s market. Opera studies faculty: Copeland Woodruff and Andrew Crooks. Voice faculty: Kenneth Bozeman, Joanne Bozeman, Steven Paul Spears, Karen Leigh-Post, John Holiday, and John Gates.


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