Winners Announced For The 2020 International Collegiate Singing Championship

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The winners of the 2020 International Collegiate Singing Championship have been announced!

What is the International Collegiate Singing Championship competition? ICSC emphasizes competitive collegiate singing that spans across borders. We seek to award the best singers from around the world who are currently enrolled in or a recent graduated of an undergraduate or graduate program in voice. The winners were selected based on talent, potential, and overall presentation. All voice types were judged equally. All performances and adjudication was done via a simple online process.

First Place

At the age of 19, mezzo-soprano Kathie Kane sang her first lead operatic role as Nate in the premiere of The Fox and the Pomegranate. Since then, Kathie has performed in operas of many styles, from composers such as Francesca Caccini to Ricky Ian Gordon. She has had the thrill of performing such a wide variety of music all over the world, having recently been a young artist at Si parla, si canta. Recently, Kathie won Second Prize in the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition and gave her Verdi Requiem Debut as the Mezzo-Soprano Soloist in Rochester, NY. Kathie holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree from the Crane School of Music and the Eastman School of Music, respectively, and is currently based in Western New York. This summer, she will be a Resident Professional Artist at the Ohio Light Opera.

Judges Comments:

Very relaxed, tension free instrument which creates a really focused and beautiful mezzo sound.

Lovely voice, polished presentation

Fantastic tone; rich and full, yet also bright, easy, and energized.

The flexibility and warmth of the voice was largely evident in the performance.

Second Place

Brazilian-American soprano Sophia Hunt is currently beginning her master's degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she holds the Hirsig Family Fellowship and studies with Vinson Cole. She recently made her Opera Philadelphia debut, singing in the Curtis in Concert recital series as part of Festival O19. Sophia's upcoming engagements include singing as Contessa Almaviva in an excerpt of Le nozze di Figaro with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as well as a performance of Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Main Line Symphony Orchestra.

This summer, Sophia returned to the Aspen Music Festival, where she sang Mrs. Anderssen in A Little Night Music and covered Contessa Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro. Last season, Sophia sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Faith in Rene Orth's Empty the House with the Curtis Opera Theatre, as well as performing with Curtis on Tour in the Nights of Classical Music at the Gennadius Library in Athens, Greece. She is also a frequent performer in the Curtis Student Recital Series.

Sophia has participated in the Joyce DiDonato master classes at Carnegie Hall, Houston Grand Opera's Young Artists Vocal Academy, SongFest, and the Westchester Summer Vocal Institute. She was recently a finalist in the New York International Vocal Competition, as well as a recipient of a Shirley Rabb Winston Voice Scholarship.

Sophia grew up in New York City, where she attended LaGuardia High School. She holds a bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music.

Judges Comments:

Very clean, rich, and lush sound.

Lovely, full voice

Great acting; the dramatic and dynamic contrasts are spot on.

Displays thorough understanding and communication of the text and fully communicates its meaning.

Third Place

Soprano Alexia Mate is currently completing her Master of Music degree in Voice at The New School - Mannes School of Music where she studies with Beth Roberts. This year, Alexia was the recipient of a Grant Award from the 2019 Gerda Lissner Song/Lieder Competition. She was also named a finalist in the 2020 National Opera Association's Carolyn Bailey and Dominic Argento Competition and national semi-finalist in the 2019 Camille Coloratura Awards Competition. She is currently on the 2019-2020 artist roster for Opera on Tap NYC. Coming up, she will sing the role of Suor Dolcina in Suor Angelica with the Mannes Opera, and will spend the summer as a Professional Fellow with SongFest.

Alexia received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University where she was featured as Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte, Jenny Slade in Roman Fever, Adele (cover) in Die Fledermaus, Cunegonde in Candide scene selections, and the soprano soloist in the Fauré Requiem with the Carnegie Mellon University choir. She also premiered the role Idealized Martha in a newly composed opera called Trapped in a Mind with a Friend of Mine by Andrew Dewey. In 2018, she performed the role of Amy in Little Women with the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. In addition, she has been a Studio Artist with the Redwoods Opera Workshop, the Savannah Voice Experience Festival, and IVAI. In 2015, Alexia was featured as the soprano soloist in Beethoven's 9th Symphony with the Clinton Symphony Orchestra under the baton of maestro Charles Schneider.

Alexia received the Derdeyn Award in Voice in 2017 from Carnegie Mellon University. She has also been a recipient of the Jacobs School of Music Premier Young Artist Award from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music and the Robert E. McGuire Music Award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars with a resolution from the New York Senate.

In addition to opera, Alexia is very passionate about the violin and has been a classical violinist for 19 years. She has performed as a soloist and concertmaster of various chamber and symphony orchestras.

Judges Comments:

Exciting, nicely aligned coloratura instrument with engaged and energized character choices!

Lovely voice, interesting timbre, connected and flexible.

Beautiful singing. Stunning coloratura. Excellent French.

Resonance is complete and ringing with balanced chiaroscuro throughout.

Finalists in the competition were:

Kerby Baier, soprano

Andrea Bickford, soprano

Chelsey Geeting, soprano

Melina Jaharis, soprano

Khadija Mbowe, soprano

David Rivera Bozón, tenor

Mats Roolvink, bass-baritone

Lindsay Webber, soprano

The 2020 ICSC Judges:

Dr. Nicholas Larson, Oregon State University

Prof. Marc Embree, Michigan State University

Dr. Christi McLain, Coker University

Dr. Alexis Davis-Hazell, University of Alabama

Published with permission from American Vocal Arts LLC


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