September 10, 2013: The Lotte Lenya Competition seeks exceptionally talented young singer/actors who excel in a wide range of musical theater styles for the 2014 competition. Contestants will compete for top prizes of $15,000, $10,000 and $7,500; total prizes awarded will exceed $50,000.
Established in 1998 by the Kurt Weill Foundation, the Lotte Lenya Competition is a unique international contest that bridges the worlds of opera/operetta and Broadway musical theater, following the example of Lenya's husband, composer Kurt Weill. More than a vocal competition, the contest emphasizes wide-ranging repertoire and the acting of songs and arias within a dramatic context.
The 2014 Lotte Lenya Competition is open to artists ages 19-32 born after December 31, 1981 and before January 1, 1995. Contestants must follow repertoire guidelines and submit a video audition on DVD by January 31, 2014. For those unable to prepare DVDs, limited live auditions will be held on January 25, 2014; the deadline to apply for a live audition is January 10. Semi-finalists will be invited to audition in New York City on March 7-8, 2014. Finalists will each receive an award of $1,000, plus a stipend to offset the cost of travel to the Competition finals, which will be held on April 12, 2014, at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York, USA.
Contestants must prepare a program of four selections: one selection from the opera or operetta repertoire; two songs from the American musical theater repertoire (one pre-1968 and one from 1968 or later); and a theatrical selection by Kurt Weill. They will be judged on their ability to interpret text and portray a character, along with stage presence, beauty of voice, and vocal technique.
A panel of distinguished musical theater and opera professionals will judge the Competition. Past judges have included world-renowned soprano and actress Teresa Stratas; legendary director and producer Harold Prince; and Broadway leading ladies Victoria Clark and Rebecca Luker.
Previous winners perform regularly on Broadway, in regional theaters and international tours, and in major opera houses in the United States and Europe. Highlights of their upcoming performances include Lauren Worsham as Phoebe D’Ysquith in A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway, Douglas Carpenter as Joey in The Most Happy Fella at Goodspeed Opera House, Caitlin Mathes as Jenny in The Threepenny Opera at Indianapolis Opera, Liam Bonner in the title role of Billy Budd at Los Angeles Opera, Rebecca Jo Loeb as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel and Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Hamburg State Opera, and Jonathan Michie as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at Leipzig Opera.