The 2018 George London Awards Public Finals Round Is Friday, 2/16
On Friday, February 16, 2018, 16 of the best young American and Canadian opera singers will perform with pianist Craig Rutenberg before a panel of judges and an enthusiastic audience at The Morgan Library & Museum. At the event's conclusion, six of them will be named this year's winners of the George London Award, an honor that has been conferred upon hundreds of the best young singers since 1971. The award, currently a $10,000 prize, is named for the legendary Canadian-American bass-baritone, one of the greatest opera singers of 20th century.
This event is the final round of the 47th annual George London Foundation Awards Competition, one of the oldest and most prestigious vocal competitions in the U.S. and Canada. Over three days of preliminary auditions on February 12-14, 90 singers will compete to reach the finals. On Friday, February 16, at 4:00 PM, at the Morgan's Gilder Lehrman Hall, each finalist performs one selection, and the audience is invited to a reception while the judges deliberate. The audience is then asked back into the hall for the announcement of the winners.
The competition will be awarding $78,000 in prizes. This year's panel of judges includes soprano Harolyn Blackwell, mezzo-soprano Rosalind Elias, former Metropolitan Opera administrator Alfred F. Hubay, George London Foundation President Nora London, tenor and voice professor George Shirley, and baritone Richard Stilwell (who won a George London Award at the first competition, in 1971). The competition pianist is renowned collaborative pianist Craig Rutenberg.
The 2017 George London Award winners were sopranos Michelle Bradley and Lara Secord-Haid; tenors Aaron Blake and Errin Duane Brooks; and baritone Will Liverman.
Many George London Award winners have gone on to international stardom - the list of past winners includes Christine Brewer, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Catherine Malfitano, James Morris, Matthew Polenzani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Neil Shicoff, and Dawn Upshaw. (See list below.)
To round out the foundation's season of events, the George London Foundation Recital Series, which presents pairs of outstanding opera singers, many of whom were winners of a George London Award, concludes its 22nd year:
- Heidi Melton, soprano, and Kyle van Schoonhoven, tenor, with Craig Rutenberg, piano. Heidi Melton won the 2009 George London-Kirsten Flagstad Award for a potential Wagnerian singer; the following year, Montreal's La Presse was moved to say, "This could perhaps be the Wagnerian voice we have been waiting for since Flagstad and Nilsson." Kyle van Schoonhoven won the Nicolai Gedda Memorial Award at the 2017 George London competition, singing the mad scene from Peter Grimes "with riveting directness" (New York Classical Review) - Sunday, March 4, 2017, at 4:00 pm
The Legacy of George London
The goal of the London Foundation, the support and nurturing of young singers, was an abiding interest of the great Canadian-American bass-baritone George London, who devoted a great part of the time and energy of his later years to this purpose. "Remembering his difficult road to success, George wanted to devise a way to make the road a little easier for future generations of singers," said George London Foundation President Nora London. Initially created under the auspices of the National Opera Institute, the George London Awards program has been administered since 1990 directly by the Foundation as a living legacy to George London's own exceptional talent and generosity. As The New York Times recently noted, "this prestigious competition ... can rightfully claim to act as a springboard for major careers in opera." Visit www.georgelondon.org.
Friday, February 16, 2018, at 4:00 PM
Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York City
The George London Foundation for Singers Presents
The 47th Annual George London Foundation Awards Competition -
Final Round and Awards Presentation
For reservations and information, call (212) 956-2809, or e-mail email@example.com
George London Award Winners 1971-2017 - A Selected List
Mary Ann McCormick