Soprano Tracy Cox and Pianist Maureen Zoltek Perform in Inaugural Opera America's Emerging Artist Recital Series, 9/25

Soprano Tracy Cox and pianist Maureen Zoltek, winners of the 2012 Music Academy of the West Marilyn Horne Song Competition, will perform a program of works by Verdi, Strauss, Mark Carlson, Poulenc, and Gabriel Kahane at Opera America's new National Opera Center in New York City on Wednesday, September 25. The recital, which begins at 8 pm, will inaugurate Opera America's Emerging Artist Recital Series, a showcase for finalists and prizewinners from the nation's most prestigious young artist programs and competitions. Tickets cost $20. The National Opera Center is located at 330 Seventh Avenue in New York City.

"The song recital remains a uniquely vibrant art form. It's vital that we continue to nurture and promote it among performers and audiences alike," said world-renowned concert and opera singer Marilyn Horne, who has directed the Music Academy's acclaimed Voice Program since 1997. "These two wonderfully talented young women are certain to do the recital tradition proud."

Ms. Cox, who studied with Ms. Horne as a 2012 Music Academy Voice Fellow, recently completed her third year in the Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program at Los Angeles Opera. While with L.A. Opera, she made her professional debut as Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by Plácido Domingo, and sang the role of Pisana in I Due Foscari, the company's 2012/13 season opener. A finalist in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Ms. Cox was named a 2013 recipient of the prestigious Sara Tucker Study Grant from the Richard Tucker Foundation. She was awarded the Birgit Nilsson prize at the 2013 Operalia Competition in Verona, and most recently performed in Hungary's Széchenyi square with the Györ Philharmonic Orchestra.

"I am beyond thrilled to be presenting a program that features in part the work of two living, American composers," said Ms. Cox. "Most of all I am honored and privileged to have the support of Marilyn Horne, Warren Jones, and the Music Academy of the West. The work that they do on behalf of art song preservation is inspiring."

In high demand as a collaborative artist and coach, Ms. Zoltek previously served as a full-time keyboardist with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and has performed as an orchestral pianist with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. She has premiered works by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's former composers in residence, Augusta Read Thomas and Marc Anthony Turnage. Ms. Zoltek, who studied with Warren Jones as a Music Academy Vocal Piano Fellow in 2010 and 2012, was recently named apprentice coach at Lyric Opera of Chicago's Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center. Immediately prior, she served as coach-accompanist for San Francisco Opera's July 2013 world premiere of Mark Adamo's newest opera, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene.

"I'm excited to be collaborating again with Tracy. We had a wonderful time preparing for and performing in the song competition last year, and have a fun program planned for our recital," she said. "I am grateful to Ms. Horne, Warren Jones, and the Music Academy of the West for providing us with this opportunity to work together and to share our love for art song with the New York community."

One of the most popular events of the summer season at the Music Academy, the Marilyn Horne Song Competition (formerly known as the Marilyn Horne Foundation Vocal Competition) is a showcase for Academy singers and vocal pianists. Top awards, presented in memory of longtime Music Academy vocal accompaniment faculty member Gwendolyn Koldofsky, are given to the Academy singer and vocal pianist who demonstrate excellence in the performance of song repertoire as well as a unique gift for audience communication. The competition regularly attracts industry insiders eager for a glimpse of up-and-coming talent.

Baritone John Brancy and pianist Mario Antonio Marra were named winners of the 2013 Music Academy of the West Marilyn Horne Song Competition on July 20. They will be presented in recital later this season at the Music Academy's Hahn Hall, Santa Monica's Broad Stage, and the National Opera Center.

The recital on September 25 will be live-streamed. Tickets can be purchased online at www.operaamerica.org/content/learninglab/artistic/events/2013/0925.aspx. For more information, visit http://www.operaamerica.org or call 212.796.8620.

Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West is among the nation's preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. The Academy provides these promising musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and frequent performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and Fellows receive full scholarships (tuition, room, and board). Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. Based in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West presents more than 200 public events annually, including performances by faculty, visiting artists, and Fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and fully staged opera. The Music Academy began broadcasting live, high-definition simulcasts by the world-renowned Metropolitan Opera at Hahn Hall in October 2008. For more information, visit www.musicacademy.org.

Founded in 1970, OPERA America (operaamerica.org) supports the creation, presentation, and enjoyment of opera. The organization helps opera companies and creative and performing artists improve the quality and increase the creation of productions. OPERA America's worldwide membership network includes nearly 200 company members, 300 associate and business members, 2,000 individual members, and more than 10,000 subscribers to the association's electronic news service. The National Opera Center opened in September 2012 in New York City.




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