Monday, May 11, 2020

Winners: WOMEN in OPERA, The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2019-20

Schorr as Wotan, Bayreuth
The American Prize wishes everyone safety and health during this difficult time.
 


The American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts, David (Volosin) Katz, founder and chief judge, is honored to announce the winners and runners-up of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera, 2019-20—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, based on submitted recordings.

REMINDER: Because of the current national and international situation, many rules have been changed and requirements eased to make it easier to apply for The American Prize 2020-21, In addition, we will accept applications from CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by the new extended deadline date of Monday, June 23, 2020. Applications from COMPOSERS, CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS MARKETERS and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Monday, July 20, 2020. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.


The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera (professional division),  2019-20, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Madison Marie McIntosh
West Palm Beach  FL

Madison Marie McIntosh
Madison Marie McIntosh, mezzo-soprano, has been praised for her “wondrously flexible voice” and “prodigious vocal skills” (Voce di Meche). OperaWire has praised her “vocal power,” “enchanting voice,” and “velvety mezzo-soprano.” She has been featured as Ernesta (Un avvertimento ai gelosi) at Caramoor, Tancredi (cover) and Eco (Tancredi rifatto) at Teatro Nuovo, Delia (Il viaggio a Reims) with the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro, and Alto Soloist (Messiah) with New Amsterdam Opera. She has also performed Rosina (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Title Role (Carmen), Isabella (L’Italiana in Algeri), Angelina (La Cenerentola), Cesare (Giulio Cesare in Egitto), Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Dido (Dido and Aeneas), Sara (Roberto Devereux), Prinz Orlofsky (Die Fledermaus), Giovanna Seymour (Anna Bolena), Zerlina (Don Giovanni), and lead roles in four world premières. In 2019, she joined Eve Queler as a soloist in her 25thannual Bel Canto Opera Concert.


2nd Place:
Hillary Esqueda
Chicago IL 

Hillary Esqueda
Known for her floating high notes and rich middle range, soprano Hillary  Esqueda is a versatile lyric soprano emerging in the opera scene. Described as a “powerful” and “solid” performer,  Ms. Esqueda strives to bring truth and relatability to her performances by exploring the worlds of movement, musical theater and more. Roles performed include: Drusilla (L'incoronazione di Poppea), Popelka (Comedy on the Bridge), Marie (La Fille du Régiment), First Lady (Magic Flute), and Musetta (La Bohème). She has also had the fortune to perform as a young artist with Hubbard Hall Opera Theater, Pacific Encore Productions, and OperaWorks. Her interest for new music has lead her to create two roles for composer Francis Lynch, as well as perform in the Midwest premiere of With Blood, With Ink (Dying Juana). Hillary holds degrees from NYU and Roosevelt University, and currently resides in Chicago where she studies with countertenor Mark Crayton.


3rd Place (there was a tie):
Elizabeth Lewis
Chicago IL 

Elizabeth Lewis
Winner of the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship 2017 from the Australia Council for the Arts, Elizabeth is a graduate of the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University and The University of Melbourne. In 2015, she was the winner of The Opera Foundation for Young Australians, Lady Fairfax New York Scholarship and the 2015 Sydney Opera House Award. Last year, Elizabeth was one of five Finalists in the 2018 Elizabeth Connell Prize for Dramatic Sopranos and was Runner-up in the John Alexander National Vocal Award (USA). She also sang her first Strauss singing the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos under the baton of Maestro Simone Young. Elizabeth is a previous Young Artist for Opera Q (AUS), Victorian Opera (AUS) and Fargo-Moorhead Opera (USA).


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

Zarah Brock
Zarah Brock, soprano, is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland where she obtained her Master of Music in Opera Performance. She 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. 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. She was a fellow at the CoOPERAtive Program and a Young Artist with the National Arts Centre in Ottawa in the summer of 2019.



The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera (college/university division),  2019-20, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize winner:
Myka Murphy
Roswell GA

Myka Murphy
From Roswell, GA, Myka Murphy is a mezzo-soprano, who most recently performed the roles of  Zita in Gianni Schicchi and La Zia Principessa in Suor Angelica with Red River Lyric Opera. She made her Juilliard School premiere as Maman in L'enfant et les sortilèges; she also performed in the commemorative NYFOS concert honoring John Corigliano and William Bolcolm and covered the Alto soloist for Bernstein’s Songfest with Juilliard Orchestra. Upcoming performances, include performing the Sorceress in the Juilliard School’s production of Dido and Aeneas and a Wednesday at 1 concert in Alice Tully Hall. She received an encouragement award from the Middle/East Tennessee District Metropolitan National Council Auditions in Knoxville this past January. This season Ms. Murphy will be making her Jackson Symphony debut as the mezzo-soloist for Beethoven’s 9th  Symphony. She is finishing her Masters degree in Voice at The Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Professor Cynthia Hoffmann.


2nd Place:
Amalia Crevani
Milford NJ     

Amalia Crevani
Amalia is a graduate from the Juilliard Pre-College (teacher-Lorraine Nubar) and currently a sophomore vocal performance and theatre major at DePauw University (teacher Caroline Smith). She was recently the winner of the University Concerto Competition for which she sang with the orchestra "Les oiseaux dans la charmille" from Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffman.  As a freshman, she performed the roles of Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro and Hamlet in Hamlet Mostly. This year, she was La Fée in Cendrillon.  Outside of DePauw, Amalia has won many competitions such as 1st Place at Indiana NATS for both the Musical Theatre and Classical divisions for 2 consecutive years, 1st The American Prize- Women in Art Song (2017-2018), 1st place NY Lyric Opera Theatre, 1st Great Composers Competition Series for Rossini and Debussy, and 1st Rondo Vanguard. She was a Paper Mill Playhouse nominee for the Rising Star Award (Best Actress in leading role) and winner for Hal Leonard Music Theater.  Amalia’s summers  have included studies and performances in the US and in Europe, such Nice, France (Lorraine Nubar & Dalton Baldwin), Montepulciano, Italy (Claudia Visca), and NYC with NY Lyric Opera Theatre (Gretel, Manon) at the National Opera Center, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center Amalia also studies dance with Deborah Grammel.


3rd Place:
Leah Brzyski
Branford CT    

Leah Brzyski
Soprano Leah Brzyski has performed as a soloist with esteemed companies including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, Opera Grand Rapids, and Orchestra New England. Ms. Brzyski has also had lead roles with the Michigan State University Opera Theater including that of Despina in Mozart’s Così Fan Tutte and Atalanta in Handel’s Xerxes.  Ms. Brzyski was the Young Artist Award winner of the 2017 Harold Haugh Light Opera Competition and took 2nd place in this year’s Opera Ithaca Competition. Ms. Brzyski was recently seen in the role of Königin der Nacht in Yale Opera Theater’s production of Die Zauberflöte, Sandmädchen and Taumädchen in Hänsel und Gretel, and as the soprano soloist for New Haven Symphony Orchestra’s Messiah. Upcoming engagements include the title role in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and as a studio artist with Central City Opera.


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Congratulations!

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