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2009 Lotte Lenya Competition Seeks Rising Stars

Top Prize Set at $15,000

The Lotte Lenya Competition presents a one-of-a-kind opportunity for talented young singer/actors to illustrate their versatility in repertoire ranging from opera/operetta to contemporary Broadway scores, with a focus on the theater works of Kurt Weill. The competition was established in 1998 by the Kurt Weill Foundation in honor of Weill's wife and celebrated interpreter, and its international prizewinners have gone on to appear on Broadway, in major opera houses in Europe and the United States, in regional theaters, and in multi-national tours.

The 2009 Lenya Competition is open to artists born after 31 December 1976 and before 1 January 1990. First, Second, and Third Prizes of $15,000, $10,000, and $5,000 and additional special prizes will be awarded by the panel of judges, all distinguished musical theater/opera professionals. The finals will be held on 18 April 2009 at the University of Rochester's Eastman School of Music, after regional auditions at Seattle Opera (3 February 2009), the University of Kansas in Lawrence (18 February), the Eastman School of Music (21 February), the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (26 February), and Dicapo Opera Theater in New York City (6, 7, and 8 March). Contestants who are unable to participate in any of the scheduled live auditions may instead submit a DVD, which must contain all four of the required repertoire selections. Finalists selected from the five regional competitions and video submissions will each receive an award of $500, plus a stipend to offset travel costs to the finals in Rochester.

Required competition repertoire includes two contrasting theatrical selections by Kurt Weill, plus two non-Weill selections--an opera/operetta aria and a selection chosen from the American musical theater repertoire. All selections must be performed in their original musical versions and languages, and at least one selection must be in a language other than English. Contestants will be judged on ability to interpret text and portray a character, stage presence, beauty of voice, and secure vocal technique.

The application deadline is 19 January 2009; audition DVDs must be received by 15 February 2009. Further information regarding the 2009 Lotte Lenya Competition and application forms are available at the web site of the Kurt Weill Foundation or by phone (212.505.5240).