Nine Eastman School of Music voice and opera students will compete in the finals of the Friends of Eastman (FEO) Opera Voice Competition at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, in Kilbourn Hall. The FEO event gives local audiences the opportunity to hear rising vocal talents early in their careers while providing singers the chance to compete for cash prizes and perform for a recognized conductor, stage director, or impresario serving as judge.
This year’s adjudicator is Paul Nadler, one of the world’s most respected symphonic and operatic conductors. Nadler is the co-founder and Director of Musical Activities for the International Vocal Arts Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding and training the most talented young opera singers around the world.
For the finals, singers prepare three arias in two different languages; each sings a work of his or her choice, with the adjudicator picking the second aria. The top three winners will be announced at the end of the recital and will receive prizes totaling $2,250. The first prize of $1,000 is the Lynne Clarke Vocal Prize, donated by Friends of Eastman Opera founding member John Clarke in memory of his wife. A reception open to everyone will be held on the Cominsky Promenade following the competition.
This year’s finalists are:
- Joshua Bouillon, tenor, first year master’s degree student
- Claire Boling, soprano, second year master’s degree student
- Alyssa Doggett, soprano, second year master’s degree student
- Erin Gonzalez, mezzo-soprano, second year master’s degree student
- Matthew Grills, tenor, first year master’s degree student
- Ashley Hill, mezzo-soprano, second year master’s degree student
- Thomas Lehman, baritone, first year master’s degree student
- Matthew Valverde, tenor, second year master’s degree student
- Nicholas Wiggins, baritone, senior
Since his debut in 1989, Nadler has led more than 60 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, including Die Zauberflöte this season. He has conducted stars such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Karita Mattila, Bryn Terfel, Renee Fleming, Anna Netrebko, and in concert has collaborated with soloists such as Garrick Ohlsson, Emannuel Ax, Misha Dichter, and Glenn Dicterow. Internationally, Nadler’s operatic and symphonic conducting includes the Opera de Montréal in performances of Puccini’s Tosca, the Iasi and Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestras in Romania, Orquestra de Navarra in Spain, Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, and the Hong Kong Opera, among others.
The Friends of Eastman Opera is a volunteer group that supports Eastman opera students, programs, and productions, and promotes Eastman Opera Theatre in the Rochester community.
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Saturday, Nov. 20
Finals of Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Free and open to the public