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Judges and Finalists Announced for 2012 Lotte Lenya Competition

12 Finalists Selected; Rebecca Luker, Rob Berman & Theodore S. Chapin Will Judge

Twelve exceptionally talented young singer-actors have made it through two rounds of auditions for the 2012 Lotte Lenya Competition and will compete for top prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500 in the finals, to be held on April 21, 2012, at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. Three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker, Broadway and Encores! music director Rob Berman, and Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization President and American Theater Wing Chairman of the Board Theodore S. Chapin will serve as judges.

Held annually by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theater singing contest that recognizes talented young singer-actors, ages 19-30, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire, and emphasizes the acting of songs within a dramatic context.

Finalists were selected from a group of twenty-nine semi-finalists after auditions in New York on March 9-10, 2012. Contestants were required to prepare four selections: an aria from the opera or operetta repertoire; two songs from the American musical theater repertoire (one from the pre-1968 "Golden Age" and one from 1968 or later); and a theatrical selection by Kurt Weill. Tony Award winner Victoria Clark and Vicki Shaghoian of the Yale School of Drama faculty served as coach-adjudicators, evaluating and working with each of the contestants.

The 2012 finalists are:

  • Christine Amon, mezzo-soprano (Bowling Green, Ohio)
  • Natalie Ballenger, soprano (Santa Cruz, Calif.)
  • Douglas Carpenter, baritone (Woodbridge, Conn.)
  • Maria Failla, soprano (Scarsdale, N.Y.)
  • Matthew Grills, tenor (Rochester, N.Y.)
  • Justin Hopkins, bass-baritone (Philadelphia)
  • Briana Elyse Hunter, soprano (New York)
  • Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano (Malvern, Penn.)
  • Cecelia Ticktin, mezzo-soprano (Roosevelt, N.J.)
  • Mollie Vogt-Welch, soprano/belt (New York)
  • Jacob Keith Watson, tenor (Wynne, Ark.)
  • Nicky Wuchinger, bari-tenor (Berlin, Germany).

 

The twelve finalists will perform their entire programs for the judges on April 21 between 11 am and 3 pm. At 8 pm, the competition will culminate in an evening concert featuring all of the finalists, followed by the announcement of the winners. Both the daytime finals and evening concert are free and open to the public, and will take place in Kilbourn Hall at the Eastman School of Music, 26 Gibbs Street, Rochester, New York.

The Kurt Weill Foundation will award special prizes in addition to the top prizes, and has already presented an Emerging Talent Award to Robert Ariza, tenor, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Grace Keagy Award for Outstanding Vocal Promise to Kate Tombaugh, mezzo-soprano, of Streator, Illinois.

Previous Lenya Competition winners perform regularly in major theaters, opera houses, and concert halls around the globe. This season alone, their credits include performances on Broadway (Kyle Barisich, Morgan James, Zachary James), in national tours (Richard Todd Adams, Cooper Grodin), and at the Metropolitan Opera (Paul Corona), Covent Garden (Noah Stewart), Carnegie Hall (Amy Justman, Lauren Worsham), Arena Stage (Justin Lee Miller), Centerstage (Erik Liberman), Los Angeles Opera (Liam Bonner, Jonathan Michie), San Francisco Opera (Lucas Meachem), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Elaine Alvarez, Rodell Rosel), Florida Grand Opera (Margaret Gawrysiak, Jonathan Michie), and Oper Frankfurt (Elaine Alvarez, Elizabeth Reiter).

If you'd like more information about this topic, please contact Kate Chisholm at the Kurt Weill Foundation: (212) 505-5240 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 


Originally posted: 14 March 2012