Legendary Soprano Teresa Stratas returns for the tenth time; Victoria Clark and Jeanine Tesori to judge Semifinals

January 11, 2016: Kim Kowalke, President and CEO of the Kurt Weill Foundation, has announced the judges for the 19th Annual Lotte Lenya Competition. Headlining the jury panel for the finals round is legendary operatic soprano Teresa Stratas, marking her tenth time judging the competition. Ms. Stratas judged the competition in its inaugural year in 1998 and it remains the only competition she has ever consented to adjudicate.

Semifinalists have the opportunity to sing for and be coached by two Tony-Award-winning adjudicators: Broadway, film and television actress Victoria Clark (GIGI The Musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella) and composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home, Shrek the Musical). Semi-finals take place March 10 and 11 at the Manhattan School of Music, New York, NY.

Joining Ms. Stratas at the finals are Theodore S. Chapin, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein and former Chair of the American Theater Wing, also returning for his tenth year, and Andy Einhorn, music director, conductor and accompanist to such stars as Audra McDonald and Barbara Cook. Einhorn’s Broadway credits include Bullets Over Broadway, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and Grammy-nominated Sondheim on Sondheim. Finals are April 16 at Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY, and open to the public.

More than a vocal competition, the Lotte Lenya Competition recognizes talented young singer/actors who are dramatically and musically convincing in repertoire ranging from opera/operetta to contemporary Broadway scores, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. Prizes will exceed $60,000, including First, Second and Third prizes and additional discretionary awards recognizing emerging talent and outstanding performances of individual numbers. Past prize winners have gone on to appear on major theater, opera and concert stages around the world. Don’t miss the competition described by Opera News as “target[ing] today’s total-package talents, unearthing up-and-coming singers who are ready for their close-ups.”

The 2016 competition is open to singer/actors of all nationalities, ages 19-32 (born after December 31, 1983 and before January 1, 1997). Applications and audition videos are due January 27. Complete competition guidelines and information may be found here.


If you’d like more information about this topic, please contact eblaufox@kwf.org.