--27th Annual International Vocal Competition Accepting Applications--
(Fort Lee, New Jersey; March 20, 2015) – The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera announces four winners and seven finalists in the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera 2014 Annual International Vocal Competition. José Heredia, a tenor from New York City originally from the Dominican Republic, received first place and a $2,000 award. Daniel Maimone, a tenor from Kew Gardens, New York, and Chae Seon Kim, a soprano from New York City, were awarded second place and shared the $1,000 prize. Victoria Cannizzo, a soprano from Millburn, New Jersey, received third place and a $500 prize.The finalists were:
• Sophia Benedetti, soprano. New York, New York
• Taras Chmil, tenor. Toronto, Ontario. Canada
• Junhan Choi, baritone. Brookline, Massachusetts
• Danielle E. Davis, soprano. Lindenhurst, New York
• Bevin Hill, soprano. Atlanta, Georgia
• Meredith Mecun, soprano. Bronx, New York
• Shin-Yeong Noh, soprano. Bloomington, Illinois
The annual international competition offered rising opera stars an opportunity to develop their careers, participate in master classes, receive essential feedback, and perform in a professional setting. First prize vocal competition winner José Heredia will perform the role of Jose in the company's new production of Carmen on April 26 at Verismo Opera's home theatre, Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), in Englewood, New Jersey at 3:00 p.m.
Verismo Opera launched the competition with preliminary auditions held in November 2014 at bergenPAC's Drapkin Cabaret & Lounge in Englewood, New Jersey. The preliminary auditions featured a luminary panel of judges: Met Opera legend Lucine Amara, Artistic Director, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; Gloria Gari, Chair, The Gulio Gari Foundation; Anthony Morss, Music Director/Principal Conductor, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera; and Evelyn La Quaif, General Manager/Principal Stage Director, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera. Pianist Bob Wilson accompanied the singers.
The competition held master classes in early 2015, culminating with finals conducted at Liederkranz Hall in New York City. Finalists attended free master classes taught by Lucine Amara and Evelyn La Quaif. They received critical feedback; extensive free coaching on language, style and presentation; and the prospect to perform in Verismo Opera's fully staged upcoming productions.
An illustrious panel of judges adjudicated the final round of the competition made up of Met Opera tenor Francisco Casanova, conductor Anthony Morss and conductor Joseph Rescigno. Pianist Mara Waldman accompanied the finalists.
New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera 27th Annual International Vocal Competition
Applications are now being accepted for the 27th Annual International Vocal Competition. Vocalists of all ages are invited to apply. Preliminary auditions will take place at bergenPAC's Drapkin Cabaret & Lounge, located at 30 North Van Brunt Street, from November 1-14, 2015. The application deadline is October 31, 2015. Final auditions will take place in early 2016.
The early bird registration fee, $55, is in effect through July 31, 2015, changing to $75 on August 1, 2015.
All applicants are required to send a resume, bio, a MP3 file or a CD containing at least three arias, an 8 x 10 black and white photo, and the application fee. Applicants will be notified if they are accepted into the competition. To request an application or for further information, contact [email protected] or call (201) 886-0561.
About New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera
The New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera (Verismo Opera) has been a part of the New Jersey music scene since 1989. Verismo Opera, a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, is a grand, professional opera company led by Artistic Director and Met Opera luminary Lucine Amara.
The organization provides performing opportunities for young musicians and artists and sponsors an annual vocal competition held in November with finals generally conducted in Liederkranz Hall, drawing artists from all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. The company also organizes opera workshops and concerts and offers affordable, highly professional operatic productions.
For more information about Verismo Opera, visit its web site, www.verismopera.org; follow the company on Facebook, http://bit.ly/9JXTP8, Twitter @NJVerismoOpera or Pinterest at http://bit.ly/1Du1wjY; or call (201) 886-0561.