Brian Zeger to Chair Judges Panel for April 2015 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition

Brian Zeger to Chair Judges Panel for April 2015 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition

The Dallas Opera is proud to announce the appointment of Brian Zeger as Chair of the Judges Panel for the 2015 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition. This season's competition will take place on Saturday, April 18, 2015 and Sunday, April 19, 2015 in the elegant setting of the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center. The event is free and open to the public.

On the faculty of The Juilliard School since 1993 and Artistic Director of Vocal Arts at Juilliard since 2004, Dr. Zeger is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

As a performer, Dr. Zeger is a frequent recital partner and artistic collaborator to leading vocal artists including Deborah Voigt, Anna Netrebko, Marilyn Horne, René Pape, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Joyce DiDonato, Bryn Terfel and Susan Graham.

Dr. Zeger has lent a distinguished musical presence to a variety of recordings for EMI Classics, Delos, Naxos, New World and Koch.

A polished broadcast professional and frequent guest on the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, Dr. Zeger has also contributed critical essays for publications such as Opera News, Chamber Music Magazine and The Yale Review. He has participated in countless summer festivals: Ravinia, Santa Fe, Caramoor, Aldeburgh and Aspen, as well as the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival where he served as artistic director from 1993-2000. This native New Yorker has also adjudicated the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the Concert Artists Guild Auditions and the Walter W. Naumberg Vocal Competition.

Judges for the expanded 27th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition will be drawn from distinguished performers and opera administrators and will also include General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and newly-appointed Artistic Administrator Ian Derrer.

The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, historically, has been focused on singers with Texas roots or academic connections, and its many distinguished alumni include Latonia Moore, Clifton Forbis, Marjorie Owens, Weston Hurt, Steven LaBrie and Jesus Garcia.

As the competition seeks to gain even greater prominence and significance, The Dallas Opera and The Dallas Opera Guild are making two significant changes:

· First, in order to attract the most talented applicant pool, with the greatest potential, the eligibility criteria for applicants to the 2015 competition has changed. It will be open to residents of all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Competitors must be individuals aged 18 to 32 on the dates of the actual competition.

· Second, the Finals Round of the competition, which will take place on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 7:30 pm in the Winspear Opera House, will be accompanied for the first time by The Dallas Opera Orchestra, conducted by TDO's acclaimed Music Director, Emmanuel Villaume. Up to six finalists will participate, singing two arias each.

Responding to his appointment as Chair of the Judges Panel, Dr. Zeger noted, "I am delighted to be collaborating with General Director and CEO Keith Cerny and Music Director Emmanuel Villaume on this new expanded format. We are already working to engage a distinguished panel of judges, and I know these changes will allow The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition to reach even greater heights."

Commented General Director & CEO Keith Cerny: "The Dallas Opera is delighted to be working with Dr. Zeger and partnering closely with The Dallas Opera Guild. Dr. Zeger brings an enviable reputation as a pianist, coach, and arts administrator, and we are honored to have him work with us to enhance the competition and to chair the judges' panels for preliminary, semi-final, and final rounds."

"Having known Brian Zeger for many years, I am looking forward to collaborating with him on this newly expanded competition," said Music Director Emmanuel Villaume. "It will be a particular delight to work with TDO's excellent orchestra to accompany the competition finalists next April."

Dallas Opera Guild President Susan Fleming explained that "The Guild has long been proud of the annual Vocal Competition, and our members who work countless hours behind the scenes to bring the competition to life. We are pleased to be working together with General Director & CEO Keith Cerny, Maestro Emmanuel Villaume, and Brian Zeger to build on our past success and to increase the national prominence of this competition."

Dallas Opera Guild 2015 Vocal Competition Chair Ketty Fitzgerald added, "Building on the foundation of all those who came before us, we have a unique opportunity to restructure this competition to enable it to do even more to advance the careers of the best young singers in opera. That is our ultimate goal, in taking this event to the next level."

ABOUT THE 2015 DALLAS OPERA GUILD VOCAL COMPETITION

Potential applicants are encouraged to check TDO's website for more information about the application process, as well as YAP Tracker. The Dallas Opera will begin accepting applications for the 2015 competition on September 15, 2014. The entry fee is $35. Applications must be submitted exclusively through YAP Tracker -- no later than 11:59 p.m. on November 15, 2014. Semifinalists will be notified on January 15, 2015. Additional details regarding the changes to the competition may be found at www.dallasopera.org/vocal.

The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House is conveniently located in the heart of the Arts District at 2403 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201. All performances are in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center unless otherwise described. Single Tickets range from $19 to $275 and Flex Subscriptions are on sale starting at $75. Family performance tickets are just $5. For more information or to make your purchase, contact The Dallas Opera Ticket Services Office at 214.443.1000 or visit us online, 24/7, at www.dallasopera.org.