CS Music Vocal Competition Winners
An amazing total of 803 singers participated in the 2022 CS Music Vocal Competition at the CS Music Convention in Chicago. The Convention featured classical and musical theatre divisions, more than 90 masterclasses, and the Expo Recruiting Fair with 55 schools.
First Place winners of the vocal competition included Anjulie Djearam (Classical High School I), Dejah Watts (Classical High School II), Natalie Corrigan (Classical University), Megan Koch (Classical Young Artist/Emerging Pro), James Nelson (Musical Theatre High School I), Julia Tooker (Musical Theatre High School II), and Cydney Washington (Musical Theatre University/Pre-Professional).
The next CS Music Convention will take place in San Francisco, May 26-29, 2023.
Eight North American Conservatories & The Violin Channel Present “Unite for Ukraine”
Several conservatories across North America joined forces to present “Unite for Ukraine,” a virtual performance in support of Ukraine. The fundraising event—which took place on April 16, 2022, on The Violin Channel—included performers from such institutions as Cleveland Institute of Music, Colburn School, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, New World Symphony, The Royal Conservatory of Music, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Musicians played music by Schubert, Bartók, Taffanel, Skoryk, and Popper, among others. All donations were sent toward humanitarian aid, supplies and transportation, and medical services to such organizations as Humanity & Inclusion, Global Communities, MedShare, International Rescue Committee, World Vision International, UNICEF, and International Medical Corps.
Rice University Unveils Brockman Hall for Opera
Rice University has unveiled its new Brockman Hall for Opera. The new Lucian and Nancy Morrison Theater seats 600 and accommodates a full opera orchestra of up to 70 performers. In creating the hall, the engineers consulted with Threshold Acoustics, led by Robin Glosemeyer Petrone. The design was inspired by such venues as the Royal Opera of Versailles and the Estates Theatre in Prague, with an emphasis on making the experience unique for audience members.
“The new opera hall is, without question, a work of art,” said Shepherd School of Music Dean Matthew Loden. “But it’s not just visually gorgeous. All of the careful planning went into this building has resulted in spaces that are custom built for the needs of our students and sound even more beautiful than they look.” The aim is for the hall to also be usable for recitals as well as performances by chamber music, ensembles, and smaller orchestras. “It’s a one-of-a-kind space,” Loden concluded.
Metropolitan Opera Announces Laffont Competition Winners
The Metropolitan Opera has announced the 2022 winners of its Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition. The six winners include Chinese bass-baritone Le Bu, Canadian tenor Matthew Cairns, Minnesota-born soprano Alexandra Razskazoff, French mezzo-soprano Julie Roset, New Jersey soprano Anne Marie Stanley, and Georgian soprano Esther Tonea. The six winners will take home prizes of $20,000 each. The singers each performed two arias on the Met stage accompanied by the Met Orchestra under the musical direction of Marco Armiliato. Nadine Sierra, a previous winner of the competition, hosted the event.
Austin Opera Names Inaugural Curator for Hispanic & Latinx Programming
Austin Opera has named Claudia Chapa the company’s first-ever curator of Hispanic and Latinx programming.
“I am honored to be part of this forward-thinking initiative and grateful that Annie Burridge has integrated me into the amazing Austin Opera team. It’s been an exciting learning curve since being appointed Artistic Curator for Conciertos en el Consulado last year,” Chapa stated in an official press release. She is currently curating Concerts at the Consulate/Conciertos en el Consulado as part of a partnership established between Austin Opera and the Mexican Consulate.
Chapa is a beloved performer at Austin Opera, appearing in such operas as The Magic Flute, The Flying Dutchman, and Ariadne auf Naxos. She has also appeared with such organizations as Houston Grand Opera, Opera Grand Rapids, Carnegie Hall, St. Petersburg Opera Company, Winter Opera St. Louis, Opera in Williamsburg, Opera Southwest, Opera San Jose, San Antonio Opera, St. Petersburg Opera, Opera Delaware, Baltimore Concert Opera, Charlottesville Opera, and Opera in the Heights, among many others.
Mezzo Soprano Teresa Berganza Passes at 89
Teresa Berganza, a renowned mezzo-soprano best known for her interpretation of the works of Rossini, Bizet, and Mozart, passed away at age 89. Born in 1933 in Spain, she studied piano, cello, organ, and a number of other instruments before centering on the voice at the Madrid Conservatory, where she won its top prize for singing in 1954.
From there, she would go on to debut at the Festival Aix-en-Provence in 1957 followed by debuts at the Teatro alla Scala, Glyndebourne, the Dallas Opera (where she performed alongside Maria Callas in Medea), Covent Garden, and the Metropolitan Opera as well as Paris, Vienna, Salzburg, and others.
In addition to her interpretation of Italian opera, Berganza was also a major proponent of Spanish zarzuelas, arias, and Gypsy ballads. She was the recipient of the Grand Prix Rossini, the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2018 International Opera Awards, and the Gold Medal of Merit in Fine Arts from Spain. She would also become the “Hija Predilecta” of Madrid.