Hal Prince, William Bolcom, Angelina Réaux Select Lotte Lenya Singing Competition Winners

The Lotte Lenya Competition for Singers was established by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music in 1998 to recognize versatile young singer/actors who can perform convincingly in a broad range of musical theater styles. In the eighth annual Lenya Competition, held on 9 April 2005 at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, four prizewinners were selected. The first prize of $7,500 was awarded to baritone Jonathan Michie, 20, a student at the Eastman School of Music and the youngest first prizewinner in the competition’s history. Two second prizes of $4,000 each were garnered by tenor Erik Liberman, 28, and baritone Liam Bonner, 24, both of New York City. Another New York resident, Morgan James, a 24 year-old soprano, won the third prize of $3,000. In addition to the prizes above, a $1,000 special award for “Outstanding Performance of an Individual Song” was given to Jendi Tarde, a 26 year-old soprano from Chicago, for her rendition of Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlon’s “The Girl in 14G.”

Judges for the competition were 20-time Tony-winning Broadway producer and director Harold Prince, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and pianist William Bolcom, , and acclaimed opera and musical theater singer/actress Angelina Réaux, who heard each contestant perform four varied musical numbers: two contrasting selections by Kurt Weill and one each from the opera/operetta repertoire and from the American musical theater.

Competing in the finals were twelve artists selected at regional auditions in Chicago, Rochester, and New York City by judges Richard Pearlman, Director of the Chicago Lyric Opera Center for American Artists, and Tony Award-winning actress/singer Judy Kaye. Past winners of the competition have gone on to appear at the Houston Grand Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, and Deutsche Oper Berlin, on Broadway in Baz Luhrman’s Boheme, and in national touring companies of Broadway shows.

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