Rochester, NY — Voice and opera students at the Eastman School of Music will vie for awards and accolades at the fifth annual Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition on Saturday, November 19 in Kilbourn Hall.
Eighteen students have already made it into the first round by being nominated by an Eastman voice teacher. Each will then sing one aria for voice faculty, who will choose just eight students for the final round. The eight finalists will each prepare three arias in two languages for the 3 p.m. recital, which is free and open to the public. Each will sing an aria of his or her choice, with the adjudicator picking the second aria. At the end of the recital, first, second and third-place winners will be announced and will receive prizes totaling $1,700. A reception for all on the Cominsky Promenade will follow immediately.
Former winners of this competition include Janinah Burnett, who won the first competition’s first prize and went on to play the lead in Broadway’s La Boheme in 2003. Last year’s first-place winner, bass Marc Webster, was awarded the Lynn Clarke Vocal Prize in the amount of $800.
“My fellow competitors were all so wonderful, I was just honored to be among them,” says Marc, a Rochester native who’s currently a second-year master student at Eastman. “I was thrilled that Robert Larson heard something promising in my presentation.”
This year’s adjudicator is William Florescu, currently the General Director of Milwaukee’s Florentine Opera. Before that, Florescu was the General Director of Lake George Opera and Columbus Light Opera.
Friends of Eastman Opera, which presents this annual competition, supports teh Eastman School of Music’s opera students, programs and productions, and strives to make Eastman Opera Theatre better known in the Rochester community.
“This competition enhances the students’ ability to be viewed as professionals by professionals,” says Friends of Eastman Opera Chair Rose-Marie Klipstein. “And the fact that the Rochester community gets a sneak peek at some of the stars of tomorrow makes it a great event for everybody!”