Opera at Florham to Host 28th Violetta DuPont Vocal Competition

Madison, NJ -- After putting on a fabulous Musicale on March 20th titled "An Afternoon of Arias about Spring and Songs of Love", Opera at Florham (OAF) prepares for its annual renowned Vocal Competition.

OAF presents its 28th Annual Vocal Competition established by Violetta DuPont to benefit singers, 21 to 35 years of age, who are pursuing a career in opera. The competition will be held at the Florham Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University on Sunday April 24, 2016 at 3 p.m. in Lenfell Hall, Hennessy Hall.

The preliminary judging of 115 candidates will be held on April 18, 19 and 20 in New York City at the Kosciuszko Foundation Concert Hall to choose 10 finalists for the April 24thevent. The Competition is organized and directed by OAF's Board of Trustees member, Stephen DeMaio, President of Gerder Lissner.

The accompanist for the preliminary judging and for the final Vocal Competition will be Mary Pinto, who is also the Vice President at OAF. A musical interlude will be provided by concert pianist, Ariana Krasniqi DuPont of a Chopin Sonata and an opera aria by 2015's first prize winner, Alasdair Kent. The judges for the competition on April 24 will include Stephen DeMaio, Maestra Eva Quelar, Robert Lombardo, and Barbara Ann Testa.

Stephen DeMaio is President of the Gerda Lissner Foundation and this foundation was cited by Opera News as one of the most prestigious foundations fostering the careers of young artists with very generous financial awards. He also serves as Administrative and Artistic Director of the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, Artistic Adviser of The Giulio Gari Foundation, Loren L. Zachary Society for The Performing Arts, Opera At Florham NJ, Assistant to Director Musician Emergency Fund. He is on the Advisory Boards of the Martina Arroyo Foundation, Opera Index, American Center For Musical Arts.

Maestra Eve Queler is the Conductor and Artistic Director of Opera Orchestra of New York.

Robert Lombardo, Artists' Manager and Consultant to opera and recording companies, has managed for the past forty-five years many of the leading opera artists of our time including Renata Scotto, Ileana Cotrubas, Krassimira Stoyanova, Cornell Mac Neil, Elena Obraztsova, Fiorenza Cossotto, Giuseppe Taddei, Matteo Mannuguerra, Alfredo Kraus, Ruggero Raimondi and conductors Eve Queler, Nello Santi and Giuseppe Patane.

Barbara Ann Testa is a famous soprano who had a wonderful career in Italy; studied with the great tenor Giovanni Martinelli and Licia Albanese. She is also an accomplished pianist, a trustee of the The Gerda Lissner Foundation and The Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation.

Prizes will be awarded to the three winners: first prize of $5,000 donated by Gerda Lissner Foundation; second prize of $3,000 donated by Joseph DuPont, and third prize of $1,500 donated by Elena Matos and Betty McColgan. Encouragement Awards will be will be given to the other finalists donated by OAF and additional donors.

The Opera at Florham's Vocal Competition was established in 1987 by its co-founder and benefactor Violetta Pollara DuPont who passed away in 2012 at the age of 100. OAF continues her legacy in honor of her vision and her tireless work on behalf of OAF. In sponsoring the Competition, OAF acts in concert with its mission: to provide young artists on the threshold of promising operatic careers with the opportunities to gain role and stage experiences and to advance those careers through a variety of programs. Previous winners have had their operatic careers launched onto the national and international stages. Last year's winners were Alasdair Kent, tenor; Galeano Salas, tenor; and Vanessa Vasquez, soprano. Many previous finalists and winners are now on the rosters of the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and other major companies here and abroad.

The tickets are $25 for the competition at 3 p.m., and $75 for the combo ticket which includes admission to the competition as well as lunch in Hartman Lounge. Fancy desserts will be served at intermission. Tickets can be ordered by calling 973-443-8620 or online. Checks can be mailed to Opera at Florham, P.O. Box 343, Convent Station, NJ 07961.

The Florham Campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University is located at 285 Madison Ave., Madison, NJ. For more information, visit www.operaatflorham.org.

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