March 28, 2013

More Information:
For Media Only: Helene Snihur (585-274-1057, hsnihur@esm.rochester.edu)

Eastman Hosts Finals of International Lotte Lenya Competition for Rising Musical Theater Stars

Twelve finalists from four countries vie for cash prizes in 15th anniversary event UPDATED March 29, 2013

Lotte Lenya Competition 2013

Lotte Lenya Competition 2013

Twelve exceptionally talented young singer-actors, with previous stage experience ranging from roles on Broadway to the Metropolitan Opera House, will participate in the finals of the 2013 Lotte Lenya Competition on Saturday, April 13, at the Eastman School of Music.

The finalists will compete for top prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500 in front of a panel of judges composed of acclaimed soprano and 2010 Opera News Award winner Patricia Racette; British opera and musical theater conductor James Holmes; and Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization President and American Theater Wing Vice-Chairman Theodore S. Chapin.

Held annually by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music and celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theater singing contest that recognizes talented young singer-actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, and emphasizes the acting of songs and arias within a dramatic context.

Finalists were selected from a group of 24 semi-finalists who auditioned in New York City on March 15 and 16. The 2013 finalists are: Alison Arnopp, soprano (County Cork, Ireland); Daniel Berryman, tenor (New York); Douglas Carpenter, baritone (Woodbridge, Conn.); Ginger Costa-Jackson, mezzo-soprano (Sandy, Utah); Christian Ketter, tenor (Chicago); Mingjie Lei, tenor (Hengyang, China); Erin Mackey, soprano (Astoria, N.Y.); Rachel Kara Cordeiro-Pérez, soprano (Brooklyn, N.Y.); Heather Phillips, soprano (Philadelphia); Lauren Roesner (Cincinnati); Christy Sullivan, mezzo-soprano (Sydney, Australia); and Maren Weinberger, soprano (New York).

For the finals, the competitors will each perform a program of four selections between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.: an aria from the opera or operetta repertoire; two songs from the American musical theater repertoire (one from the pre-1968 “Golden Age” and one from 1968 or later); and a theatrical selection by Kurt Weill.  At 8 p.m., the competition will culminate in a concert featuring all of the finalists, followed by the announcement of the winners. Both the daytime finals and evening concert are free and open to the public, and will take place in the Eastman School of Music’s Kilbourn Hall.

Previous Lenya Competition winners are making their marks playing leading and featured roles in major theaters and opera houses around the globe. In the past year alone, their credits include performances on Broadway (Kyle Barisich, Morgan James), in national tours (Richard Todd Adams, Zachary James, Ariela Morgenstern), at Baltimore Centerstage, Westport County Playhouse, and Portland Center Stage (Erik Liberman), The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park (Cooper Grodin), Classic Stage Company (Amy Justman), Metropolitan Opera (Paul Corona), New York City Opera (Lauren Worsham, Jennifer Goode Cooper), Los Angeles Opera (Rodell Rosel, Liam Bonner), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Rodell Rosel, Lucas Meachem), Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Oper Leipzig (Jonathan Michie), Houston Grand Opera (Liam Bonner), Glimmerglass Festival (Noah Stewart), English National Opera and Teatro Real Madrid (Zachary James), Hamburg Staatsoper (Rebecca Jo Loeb), and Oper Frankfurt (Elizabeth Reiter).

The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, Inc. is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of composer Kurt Weill (1900-1950) and preserving the legacies of Weill and his wife, actress-singer Lotte Lenya (1898-1981). The foundation has published a commemorative brochure for the 15th anniversary of the Lotte Lenya Competition, which can be found at http://www.kwf.org/media/llc15thannivprogram.pdf

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Related Information: Kurt Weill is being celebrated locally over the course of a month, beginning with three broadcasts of Kurt Weill, American, on WXXI Classical 91.5 March 9, 16, and 23; Eastman Opera Theatre’s production of Street Scene April 4 through 7; the Lotte Lenya Competition; and Nazareth College’s production of The Threepenny Opera April 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21.