Field of 24 contestants selected as semifinalists from an international pool of 271 applicants.

Final Round at center of gala weekend of celebrations 29-30 April in Rochester, NY. 

Kim H. Kowalke, President of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, today announced that Dame Josephine Barstow DBE, Kyle Scatliffe, Ted Chapin, and James Holmes will serve as judges for the final round of the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Lotte Lenya Competition. The Foundation simultaneously announced the field of 24 contestants who have advanced as semifinalists in the internationally renowned theatrical singing contest. Selected from a pool of 271 applicants representing 20 countries and 36 US states, these semifinalists will compete for the opportunity to advance to the final round, which takes place on Saturday, 29 April as part of a celebratory weekend of events in Rochester, New York.

Dame Josephine Barstow is recognized as one of the world’s leading singing actresses. During a long career she has performed in most of the world’s major opera houses singing a varied repertoire of Verdi‚ Richard Strauss‚ Puccini, Weill, Shostakovich, and Janácek among others, with many great conductors. In recent years she has appeared in productions of Sondheim’s works, including Follies at National Theatre in London and A Little Night Music at Opera North.

Kyle Scatliffe is currently appearing in Hamilton on Broadway as Marquis de Lafayette / Thomas Jefferson. He received West End’s “Newcomer of the Year” award and an Olivier nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical for his performance as Haywood Patterson in The Scottsboro Boys in 2014.  He has also starred in the Broadway revivals of Les Misérables and The Color Purple in 2014 and 2015, respectively

This will be the first time judging the Lenya Competition for both Dame Josephine Barstow and Scatliffe, though he has experienced it close up as a contestant. He will be both the first LLC prizewinner to be a judge for the finals and, at age 36, the youngest ever. Scatliffe won a special award in the 2010 competition for Extraordinary Promise.

The other two panelists bring extensive experience with the Competition. Ted Chapin, the longtime President and CEO of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization and co-founder of the Encores! series at City Center, will judge for a record eleventh time. Returning for a sixth time as a judge, James Holmes, is a British conductor, editor, and arranger with a long and brilliant track record as a conductor of classic American musical theater, at English National Opera, Opera North, and elsewhere. Holmes most recently led a production of Lady in the Dark at the Vienna Volksoper.  He is one of two living recipients of the Kurt Weill Lifetime Achievement Award.

Semifinalists will audition in-person and receive immediate feedback and coaching with one of the two semifinal round judges: prominent music director Andy Einhorn and “Leading Lady of Crossover” Amy Justman. Einhorn, who has served on five previous occasions as a judge and has long been Audra Macdonald’s musical director, and Justman, herself a top prize winner of the Competition in 2004, are exceptionally qualified to adjudicate and coach the semifinalists.

Those contestants selected as finalists will compete for top prizes of $25,000, $20,000, and $15,000, with total prizes exceeding $120,000. The final round will occur as the centerpiece of a gala weekend of anniversary events on Saturday and Sunday, 29-30 April in Rochester, NY, the Competition’s original home.  The events will be streaming live online at The 2023 Lenya Competition semifinalists, who range in age from 22 to 32, are:

Ruby Dibble (Kansas City, MO)
Taylor-Alexis DuPont (Orlando, FL)
Kendra Dyck (Toronto, Canada)
Rebekah Howell (Hendersonville, TN)
Ryan Johnson (Muleshoe, TX)
Stavros Koumbaros (Shelton, CT)
Sam Krausz (St. Louis, MO)
Olivia LaPointe (Fredericton, Canada)
Katherine Leidlein (New York, NY)
Ryan Lustgarten (Kirkland, WA)
Midori Marsh (Toronto, Canada)
Elise Noyes (Edmonton, Canada)
Kaileigh Riess (New York, NY)
Lisa Marie Rogali (Hawley, PA)
Celeste Rose (New York, NY)
Alicia Russell Tagert (Richmond, VA)
Jeremiah Sanders (Marion, IN)
Lauren Senden (North Mankato, MN)
Sadie Spivey (State College, PA)
Lucie St. Martin (Montreal, Canada)
Juliane Stolzenbach Ramos (Madrid, Spain)
Tristan Tournaud (Nashville, TN)
Nyla Watson (Cleveland, OH)
Ian Williams (Fort Wayne, IN)

Six applicants received Emerging Talent Awards with a cash prize of $750 each: Stephanie Chee, Jenna Rose Cipolla, Franziska Geprägs, Zoé Haugomat, Hannah Kulawiak, and Rebecca Madeira. Stephanie Wake-Edwards, of London, UK, received the Grace Keagy Award for Outstanding Vocal Talent in the amount of $750. Olivia Doig and Brandon Roth also each received a $750 Prize for Outstanding Performance of a Lenya Competition Songbook Selection, for their performances of “If I Didn’t Know Better” from The Luckiest Girl by Sonya Hayden, and “Killing Time” from Washington Square by Ben Wexler, respectively.

About the Lotte Lenya Competition

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. Since its inception in 1998, the Lotte Lenya Competition has grown into an internationally recognized leader in identifying and nurturing the next generation of “total-package performers” (Opera News) and rising stars in both the opera and musical theater worlds. In awarding more than $1.3 million in prize money since the Competition’s inception, the Kurt Weill Foundation has celebrated the talent and supported the careers of hundreds of singing actors worldwide.