ROCHESTER, NY — Eight talented voice/opera students from the Eastman School of Music have been nominated to compete in the second annual voice competition presented by the Friends of Eastman Opera — a volunteer group that supports Eastman Opera students, programs, and productions as well as promotes Eastman Opera Theatre in the Rochester community. The competition, which is free and open to the public, is at 3 p.m., Saturday, November 23, in Kilbourn Hall (26 Gibbs St.).
Each singer will perform up to three arias in different languages, vying for cash prizes of $400, $300, and $200. The competitors are sopranos Tiffany Blake, Jennifer Gliere, Valerie Kopinski, Erin Palmer, and Sonia Rodriguez Bermejo; mezzo-soprano Christina Gill; tenor Cheol Min Jin; and baritone Munenori Sugitani.
This year, Richard Pearlman, Eastman’s former director of opera and current director of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Center for American Artists, will serve as adjudicator of the competition. Noted for his development of young American talent and innovative approach to opera, Pearlman has staged productions for the Santa Fe and San Fransisco Operas, Wolf Trap Opera, Spoleto Festival, Chicago Opera Theatre, and other world-renowned companies. His translations of La Bohème, La Périchole, Faust, and La finta giardiniera are frequently performed from coast to coast. Pearlman has served as the director of opera for the Aspen Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, and the Washington Opera.
The top three winners will be announced at the end of competition. A reception for all will be held on the School’s Cominsky Promenade immediately following the competition.
“For me, nothing beats the thrill of hearing Eastman’s best-of-the-best singing my favorite arias,” said Sarah Collins, co-chair of the Friends of Eastman Opera. “The chance to hear the stars of tomorrow sing and then chat with them afterwards makes this competition one of my favorite events of the year.”