Eight 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. 19, 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 Lenore Rosenberg, a major casting director for the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and currently the Met’s associate artistic administrator as well as the former director of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
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 $3,250. The first prize of $1,500 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, second year master’s degree student
- Tracy (Hsin-Mei) Chang, soprano, first year master’s degree student
- Tamar Greene, tenor, second year master’s degree student
- Matthew Grills, tenor, second year master’s degree student
- Laura Osgood, soprano, second year doctoral degree student
- Elizabeth Smith, soprano, second year master’s degree student
- Matthew Valverde, tenor, second year master’s degree student
- Caleb (Wing-Ching) Woo, baritone, second year master’s degree student
- Alternate: Noelle McMurtry, soprano, second year master’s degree student
As a casting director for the Met, Rosenberg is a member of the in-House Auditions Screening Committee, as well as the Stage Audition Panel and the National Council Finals Jury. Among the international juries on which she has served are the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, the Belvedere Competition in Vienna, the Francisco Viñas Competition in Barcelona, the Montserrat Caballe Competition in Andorra, the Renata Tebaldi Competition in San Marino, the Ottavio Ziino Competition in Rome, the Luciano Pavarotti Competition in Modena, Italy, and both the Rimsky-Korsakov and Elena Obraztsova Competitions in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Rosenberg, who has a background in both the performance and production aspects of opera, joined the Met’s artistic staff in 1985. She has degrees in voice from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music.
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. 19
Finals of Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition
Kilbourn Hall, 26 Gibbs St.
Free and open to the public