Monday, June 7, 2021

Winners: VOCALISTS (women in opera)—The American Prize in Vocal Performance—The Friedrich & Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards, 2021


The American Prize BLOG is getting a NEW LOOK! Changes begin the week of June 14th.


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, runners-up and honorable mentions of The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera, 2021—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 blogPlease use the chronological tool in the right-hand column to find specific results.

COVID EXTENSIONS to APPLY for 2022:  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, 2022. In addition, application deadlines have been extended with further extensions available by email request. 

We will accept applications from COMPOSERS, CLASSICAL VOCALISTS, PIANISTS, CHAMBER ENSEMBLES and INSTRUMENTAL SOLOISTS will be accepted until Tuesday, June 22, 2021. 

Applications from CONDUCTORS, STAGE DIRECTORS, CONDUCTED ENSEMBLES, ARTS ADMINISTRATORS (arts marketing, arts education) in the performance of American Music (BACON AWARD) and in the new category of VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE will be accepted until Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Visit theamericanprize.org for complete contest information. 

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.

The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera (professional division),  2021, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize Winner
Jacquelyn Matava       
San Antonio TX
Jacquelyn Matava

Praised for her “warm sound” and “soothing legato line,” mezzo-soprano Jacquelyn Matava most recently won 3rd prize in the 2020 National Opera Association Vocal Competition and was named a national semifinalist in the 2020 Lyndon Woodside Oratorio Competition. She made her Kennedy Center debut as a finalist in the Washington International Competition in 2019, performing with the Washington Chamber Orchestra and was a 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions District Winner. She has sung with the Tanglewood Music Center, Lucerne Festival Academy, Crested Butte Music Festival, Opera San Antonio, Alamo City Opera, Opera Saratoga, and Norfolk Chamber Music Festival.   A native of Farmington, CT, Matava holds music degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Vassar College, and teaches on the faculty at Trinity University in San Antonio, TX. www.jacquelynmatava.com


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Zarah Brock  
Fredericksburg VA  

Zarah Brock  

Zarah Brock, soprano, recently performed the solos in Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Richmond Ballet and Richmond Symphony. In the summer of 2019, she was a young artist with the National Arts Centre in Ontario and a fellow at the CoOperative Program. She recently competed in the semi-finals of the Lotte Lenya Competition and will compete in the semi-finals of the Annapolis Opera Competition in 2021. Zarah has performed various roles, including Annio/La clemenza di Tito, Soeur Constance/Dialogues des Carmélites, Zerlina/Don Giovanni, Hanna Glawari/The Merry Widow, Casilda/The Gondoliers, Lucy/The Telephone and Belinda/Dido and Aeneas. Zarah trained at the late Lorin Maazel’s Castleton Festival and also had the privilege to travel to Oman with the festival to sing in La Bohème at the Royal Opera House in Muscat. Zarah holds degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Maryland. www.zarahbrock.com


2nd Place (there was a tie):
Melissa Zgouridi
Salzburg AUSTRIA 
Melissa Zgouridi

Brazilian-American mezzo-soprano/alto Melissa Zgouridi, is quickly making a name for herself both in Europe and in her native USA. Melissa won 5th Prize and the “Mercedes Viñas” special prize at the 57th International Tenor Viñas Singing Competition in Barcelona, was a District Winner in the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, received the Young Talent Award at the Immling International Singing Contest 2016 and was the recipient of a 2015-2016 Fulbright Grant. In January 2021, Melissa will join the ensemble of the Saarländische Staatstheater in Saarbrücken (Germany), where her roles will include Siegrune in “Die Walküre” & Mercédès in “Carmen”. Melissa holds a Master’s Degree in Lied and Oratorio performance from the Universität Mozarteum Salzburg (Austria) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Eastman School of Music (USA). For a complete biography and more information, please visit www.melissazgouridi.com.


3rd Place:
Danielle Davis  
Lindenhurst NY

Danielle Davis  

Soprano Danielle Davis is noted for her “high pure notes" that she "delivers with power and sustainability”. Davis has given acclaimed performances at Carnegie Hall - hailed as a stand out who sings “with authority and good dynamic control”, Lincoln Center, and in Hawai'i & Austria. Credits include Sieglinde in Die Walküre with Concert Opera Philadelphia, Angelica in Suor Angelica with Hawai'i Performing Arts Festival, and Tosca in Tosca with West Side Opera Society. Danielle strives to build community through the arts.  She loves to collaborate with artists and composers, and has produced events combining the talents of local artists of all modalities and opera.  She makes an effort to keep opera alive and well by bringing the art form to unconventional audiences through New York, making appearances at places like art galleries, coffee houses, and even open mic nights.  Please visit www.danielledavissoprano.com to learn more.


Honorable Mention:
Chantelle Grant  
Jersey City NJ

Chantelle Grant  

New Jersey based mezzo soprano Chantelle Grant was honoured to join Trilogy: An Opera Company, singing the role of Waltraute,  in August as they completed their landmark ring cycle in a socially distanced open air performance of Gotterdammerung. In summer 2021 she looks forward to her role debut as Klytemenstra in Elektra in Berlin.    Chantelle Grant debuted  in October 2019 with City Lyric Opera in The Medium and Riverside Opera Company for a concert of operatic highlights. Chantelle has had the pleasure of working with outstanding maestri such as Joseph Colaneri, Steven White, Timothy Myers, and Peter Oundjian. Ms. Grant has performed on such illustrious programmes as the American Song Book series at Lincoln Center, and the Kennedy Center Honors. www.chantellegrant.com



Honorable Mention
Aubrey Odle
Knoxville TN

Aubrey Odle

Praised for her "distinctive and oh-so attractive vocal clarity," mezzo-soprano Aubrey Odle is no stranger to the operatic stage. Past seasons have featured Ms. Odle in the title role of Carmen, Mistress Quickly in Falstaff, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, Zita and La Zia Principessa in a double bill of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi, and many others. Aubrey has had several concert appearances, including Alto Soloist in Bach's St. John Passion, Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music as a featured soloist, and many Messiah performances. In competition, Aubrey received the Jacqueline Polk Award at the Orpheus Vocal Competition and was a winner at the Utah Opera "AriaFest" Competition. She has participated as a Young Artist with Utah Lyric Opera and currently performs with Knoxville Opera. Ms. Odle holds vocal performance degrees from Utah State University (BM) and Brigham Young University (MM).



The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera (college/university division),  2021, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize Winner:
Kim Kenny       
Fishers IN


Kim Kenny       

Indianapolis-based singer, songwriter, and musician Kim Kenny has been performing for as long as she can remember. Encouraged by her parents, she began singing and playing the piano in the family’s church when she was just eight years old. As a child, Kim could often be found on the piano singing and composing her own songs. In her teenage years, her study of classical voice and jazz landed her a scholarship to Marian University to purse Vocal Performance. While in college, Kim balanced school work along with a budding professional singing career. Upon graduating from Marian University, she emerged in the field of education as piano accompanist and choral director. Today, she is a proud Butler University alum, where she obtained her masters of Music. Kim balances her multi-faceted career all while being a dedicated mother to her beautiful daughter, Charity. www.kimkennyllc.com


2nd Place:
Solene Le Van     
Anaheim CA
Solene Le Van     

Solène Le Van is a 23-year-old lyric coloratura whose artistic activities have taken her across several continents. This season, she was invited to perform as a soloist with the Teatro Nuovo Bel Canto Festival Orchestra as well as the Burbank Philharmonic (Grand Prize Winner of the Hennings-Fischer Young Artist Competition). A recipient of the Ernst Bacon Award for American Music for her interpretation of Barber’s Knoxville, she has also sung the soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah under the baton of John Butt at American Handel Society, selections by Massenet, Puccini, and Donizetti with the Hollywood Chamber Orchestra, premieres of orchestrated mélodies with the Young Musicians Foundation Orchestra, and   the role of Maria in West Side Story with the RCM Orchestra. A recording with Peer Music Records featuring her singing with the Malaga Philharmonic Orchestra of Spain under the baton of José Serebrier will be released this year. Solene was accepted to Princeton at fifteen. A two-time winner of the Princeton Concerto Competition, she also played Cunegonde and the Königin der Nacht in concert staging as well as La Musica (L’Orfeo) under the directorship of ENO director Tom Guthrie. In 2016, Ms. Le Van attended the Royal College of Music in London in a dual study program in voice and violin, receiving first class honors with distinction. A frequent recitalist, she has been engaged nationally and internationally, notably at the Brunneby Concert Series (Sweden), the LA Philharmonic Affiliates, Carnegie Hall, and the Vianden Festival (Luxembourg) under the patronage of the US Embassy. Ms. Le Van will soon release her debut recording of French melodies featuring world premieres. She is a two-time laureate of the Opera Buffs Grant and a winner of the French Embassy Cultural Services Award, the Camille Coloratura Awards, the David W. Scott Competition, and the David Weiss Scholarship. www.solenelevan.net 


3rd Place:
Julia Coelho        
Denton TX
Julia Coelho        

Soprano JÚLIA COELHO comes from Portugal. She is pursuing her DMA in Vocal Performance and a Ph.D. in Musicology at the University of North Texas, where she studies with mezzo-soprano Jennifer Lane. Previously, she obtained master degrees in voice and musicology from the University of Missouri (2018, 2017) and the Conservatory of Avellino in Italy (2013). Recently, Ms. Coelho was involved in the UNT Opera program in the Monteverdi Project as Ninfa (Book VIII) and as style coach. Between 2015 and 2018, she sang at the Baroque Opera Workshop in Queens, NY (Poppea [Poppea, Monteverdi], Amherst Early Music Festival (Orontea [Orontea, Cesti]), and at MU in operas and staged scenes as Suor Genevieffa (Suor Angelica, Puccini), Cleopatra (Giulio Cesare, Händel), Amina (La Sonnambula, Bellini), among other roles. Ms. Coelho often plays the Gothic harp and keyboard to accompany her singing, frequently performing her own arrangements and compositions. In addition, she also has publications in philosophy, music, and poetry. www.xjcoelhox.wixsite.com/juliacoelho


The American Prize in Vocal Performance—women in opera (community division),  2021, The Friedrich and Virginia Schorr Memorial Awards

The American Prize Winner:
Rachel Mellman 
Burlingame CA
Rachel Mellman 

Rachel, soprano, has been performing in musical theatre for most of her life and, in high school, began studying classical voice. She is currently a senior at the University of Washington studying drama: performance and astronomy. Although she does not study music in school, Rachel has taken lessons with graduate students from the School of Music for the duration of her college experience.

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Congratulations!

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