Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Winners: OPERA COMPANIES, 2019-20

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, chief judge, is honored to announce the winners, runners-up, and citation recipients of The American Prize in Opera Performance, 2019-20, in both 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—COVID EXTENSIONS: 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, application deadlines have been extended. We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS postmarked or emailed by Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) and in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) will be accepted until Wednesday, September 9, 2020. Further extensions may be granted pending the most current information about the virus. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information.

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

The American Prize in Opera Performance, professional division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
Pacific Opera Project
Josh Shaw 
Los Angeles  CA
Madame Butterfly / Magic Flute

Madame Butterfly
Pacific Opera Project (POP) was founded in July 2011 with the mission of providing "accessible, affordable, and ENTERTAINING" opera to audiences across Los Angeles. Over the past nine seasons, POP has performed over 30 operas employing hundreds of singers and musicians from Southern California and across the country. Noteworthy productions include an updated take on La bohéme, subtitled "The Hipsters" (now and annual tradition), a setting of Mozart's Abduction from the Seraglio as an episode of Star Trek, and an updated setting of The Magic Flute which sets the opera in the worlds of 1980s video games. Perhaps POP's most ambitious production is a reimagining of Madama Butterfly, sung as if the story really happened, in Japanese and English featuring a cast of over 40 singers, all appropriately cast with Japanese-American singers for the Japanese roles.


2nd Place:
Queen City Opera     
Isaac Selya
Cincinnati OH
Iolanta

Iolanta
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 any of our past productions, visit QueenCityOpera.Org.
 

3rd Place:
Heartland Opera      
Rachel M. Harris
Joplin  MO      
La Boheme

La Boheme
Heartland Opera Theatre strives to bring professional performances of opera and musical theatre to the Four-State Area, engaging regional, national, and international performers, as well as promoting exceptionally talented local artists. Heartland Opera Theatre is a 501(c)(3) performing arts organization established in 1998 by Terrence O’Brien. Since its creation the Heartland Opera Theatre, or HOT, has provided professional performances of opera and musical theatre to the Four-State Area. HOT has hosted performers from around the globe and toured full productions through Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma. HOT strives to not only engage national and international performers, but also to showcase exceptional local artists from the community and surrounding universities.  Heartland Opera Theatre has worked for years in collaboration with Missouri Southern State University, Pittsburg State University, the upsideDown Theatre, Crowder College, Community Theatre Productions and others, striving to bring professional theater to the Four-State Community.
 



The American Prize in Opera Performance, college/university division, 2019-20

The American Prize winner:
The Crane School of Music   
SUNY Potsdam        
Kirk Severtson            
Potsdam    NY
MAYO (Cipullo)   

MAYO (Cipullo)   
The award-winning Crane Opera Ensemble at The Crane School of Music is a significant source for opera and music theatre in the North Country region of New York State. The ensemble is unique as it integrates the SUNY Potsdam mission of teaching, scholarship and public service, into its fully staged production each semester. MAYO, by Tom Cipullo, was the 2018 winner of the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Competition, which awarded a full commission and production award for the composer to create this work, which was premiered by the Crane Opera Ensemble in November 2018.  https://www.potsdam.edu/academics/Crane/opera


2nd Place (there was a tie):
University of NC at Greensboro
David Holley
Greensboro  NC        
Falstaff

Falstaff
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 have been finalists: Galileo Galilei (2015), Dialogues of the Carmelites (2016), and Die Zauberflöte (2018).  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 2009.  For more information: http://opera.uncg.edu.


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at
Louisiana State University  
Dugg McDonough           
Baton Rouge  LA     
Elizabeth Cree (Puts)  

Elizabeth Cree (Puts)  
The Turner-Fischer Center for Opera at LSU embodies one of the first major university programs in the United States, producing exceptional singers who have graced world opera stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, New York City Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, and the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden.  LSU annually creates four new productions, two fully staged, designed, costumed, and accompanied by the LSU Symphony Orchestra, alongside two smaller shows and additional outreach performance possibilities.  Mainstage repertoire is balanced between standard and classical European operas, performed in a variety of original languages, and a strong dedication to American contemporary works, often collegiate premieres.  At LSU, 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:
Lawrence University  
Copeland Woodruff             
Appleton   WI   
Mass (Bernstein)    

Mass (Bernstein)    
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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Congratulations!

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