Dallas Opera Announces Ten Finalists for 2014 Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year; Ceremony Set for 5/22

Dallas Opera Announces Ten Finalists for 2014 Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year; Ceremony Set for 5/22

Ten artists have been nominated and thousands of subscribers will soon be casting their vote for this year's winner of the prestigious "Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year" Award. The Dallas Opera bestows this award annually to the performer who makes the most unforgettable impression onstage in their company debut. The winner will be announced at the annual Dallas Opera Board and Trustee Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, May 22, 2014 in the Crescent Ballroom of the Rosewood Crescent Hotel, 400 Crescent Court in Uptown Dallas.

Inspired by the legacy of the legendary soprano Maria Callas, who launched TDO in her 1957 company debut, Dallas Opera renewing subscribers determine a single winner each season by popular vote. Ballots will be emailed to renewing subscribers on Monday, April 21, 2014 and voting will begin immediately. The deadline for casting the vote is Monday, May 5, 2014 at 5:00 PM.

The etched-crystal plaque created by award-winning designers from Tiffany & Co. for the Dallas Opera bears Callas' likeness.

"This has been a spectacular year for programming that included classics, neglected gems, and avant-garde works, offering the opportunity for a wide-range of riveting performances by our gifted debut artists," explains Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny. "The singers not only had to show their vocal expertise, but captivate us with their acting prowess in often-challenging roles. Our patrons were dazzled by the incredible talent on display this season. Now the time has come to choose the one opera artist who most closely follows in the footsteps of opera legend Maria Callas."

Balloting for the award will be conducted entirely online. Any Dallas Opera subscriber, full or FLEX, who has renewed for the upcoming 2014-2015 Season is eligible to vote and will receive an email with complete instructions on how and where to do so. The results will be verified by the independent accounting firm of Travis, Wolff & Company, L.L.P., prior to being announced.


Jennifer Aylmer, soprano - "Berta" - The Barber of Seville

Burak Bilgili, bass - "Don Basilio" - The Barber of Seville

Mardi Byers, soprano - "Marietta" - Die tote Stadt

Hal Cazalet, tenor - "Nicholas" - Death and the Powers

Isabel Leonard, mezzo-soprano - "Rosina" - The Barber of Seville

Jan Lund, tenor - "Victorin" - Die tote Stadt

Clémentine Margaine, mezzo-soprano - "Carmen" - Carmen

Bruno Ribeiro, tenor - "Don Jose" - Carmen

Alek Shrader, tenor - "Count Almaviva" - The Barber of Seville

Katherine Tier, mezzo-soprano - "Brigitta" - Die tote Stadt

The Maria Callas Debut Artist of the Year Award was launched during the 1991-1992 Dallas Opera Season.

Sharon Sweet was the first recipient for her impressive performance in the title role of Aida. The list of subsequent winners reads like an opera's "Who's Who" from Cecilia Bartoli, Mary Dunleavy, Elizabeth Futral, Hei-Kyung Hong, Denyce Graves, Indira Mahajan, Mary Mills, Patricia Racette, Latonia Moore, Christopher Ventris, Catherine Naglestad, James Valenti, and Ben Heppner, Laura Claycomb to last year's winner, mezzo-soprano Susan Graham.

Additional information is available at WWW.DALLASOPERA.ORG.