Opera Theater of Pittsburgh presents the 3rd Annual Mildred Miller International Voice Competition


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PITTSBURGH, PA   The future stars of opera will shine during the third annual Mildred Miller International Voice Competition presented by Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and the Gailliot Family Foundation on Nov. 1 and 2 during National Opera Week (Oct. 24-Nov. 2, 2014). Three top winners receive cash prizes totaling $9,000 resident artist contracts in Opera Theater’s SummerFest 2015.

 Applications for singers 18-35 are open through Wed., Oct. 10 via Yaptracker.com.

Mildred Miller International Voice Competition is named in honor of the Opera Theater’s founder who created the company in 1978. Mildred Miller Posvar, one of America’s best-loved opera stars with a 25-year long career at the Metropolitan Opera, says about ‘her’ international voice competition: “It is wonderful to be able to support a new generation of talented young singers, and to help launch their careers onto the professional opera stage.”

The international panel of judges includes Mildred Miller Posvar, Robert Chafin, Robert Croan, Kevin Glavin, Eugene Perry, and Maria Spacagna.

Winners are offered monetary prizes plus contracts to perform roles in SummerFest 2015 productions. Three top prizes are sponsored by regional arts patrons:

  • The Ralph Zitterbart First Prize of $5,000.
  • The Drs. Michelina Fato and Carl Synderman Second Prize of $3,000.
  • The Robert Chafin Third Prize of $1,000, made possible by the Grambrindi Davies Fund of The Pittsburgh Foundation.

In addition to the judge’s selections, those attending will vote for “Audience Favorite”.

Semi-finals feature up to 20 competitors on Sat., Nov. 1, 11 am–1 pm and 3–5 pm. at Carnegie Mellon University’s Mellon Institute Auditorium, 4400 Fifth Ave., Oakland (Pittsburgh, PA 15213, entrance on Bellefield Ave, opposite Heinz Chapel). As part of NATIONAL OPERA WEEK, the semi-finals are open to the public free of charge. Seats may be reserved online at otsummerfest.org or obtained at door.

Finals, hosted by Anna Singer of WQED-FM, will feature up to eight singers on Sun., Nov. 2 from 2:30 to 5 pm at the beautiful Twentieth Century Club in Oakland (4201 Bigelow Ave. at Parkman). Ms. Singer, who most recently received acclaim as the title character of OT SummerFest’s The Merry Widow, will entertain the audience as part of her emcee duties.

The $35 general admission tickets include afternoon tea during the intermission while the judges deliberate. Students with a valid ID are admitted free at the door. A VIP package for $125 includes preferred seating, afternoon tea, and a post-concert reception hosted by Mildred Miller Posvar with the contestants and judges at a private home in the historic Woodland Road district at Chatham University campus. Tickets are on sale by phone at: (412) 326-9687 or online at otsummerfest.org where parking and event details can be found.


About the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition

 “Our competition is different – as well as awarding monetary prizes, we offer young singers leading roles in productions, helping them develop their performing experience and build their repertoire,” says Opera Theater’s Artistic Director Jonathan Eaton.

WATCH/LISTEN:  ‘Burgh Vivant’s interview with Jonathan Eaton, Executive and Artistic Director of Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.

The previous three top MMIVC award winners are already embarking on stellar careers. Countertenor Andrey Nemzer, 2011 first-place winner, was cast in leading roles in SummerFest productions and went on to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and was a third place winners in the prestigious Operalia competition led by Placido Domingo. Nemzer now has a contract at the Met. Tenor Juan José de León, 2012 winner, was showcased at SummerFest, has also won contracts at the Met and the operas of Paris and Rome. Elizabeth Baldwin, the 2013 first place MMIVC winner, received critical acclaim for her performance in the title role of Ariadne on Naxos in SummerFest 2014, and has contracts with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.

The 2013 MMIVC attracted 185 emerging young professionals (ages 19-35) from throughout North America (US, Canada, Mexico), Bulgaria, France, Russia, Korea, China, Japan, and Taiwan.

About National Opera Week

National Opera Week, Oct. 24-Nov. 2, 2014, is led by OPERA America, the national service organization for opera, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts. National Opera Week celebrates the vibrancy of opera in America today, and brings the inventiveness and excitement of opera to a national audience. The strength and diversity of established opera companies, community opera ensembles, and opera training programs across the United States will be shared through free, dynamic activities designed to engage novices, opera lovers, and everyone in between.


About Opera Theater of Pittsburgh and SummerFest   

Since its founding in 1978 by Mildred Miller Posvar, Opera Theater of Pittsburgh has served a diverse market of music drama audiences in Western Pennsylvania. Jonathan Eaton has served as artistic and general director since 1999. By presenting high-quality productions of music drama not available elsewhere, the company works at the forefront of the genre. In its 36-year history, Opera Theater has presented more than 50 Pittsburgh premieres, many of them American operas that would not have been produced by other regional companies. Opera Theater reaches out across traditional lines of demarcation in the arts, presenting works which engage diverse, new and younger audiences, bringing in supporters of music, theater, dance and the visual arts.

Over its first three seasons, SummerFest drew more than 22,000 people to operas, musicals, new works and recitals. SummerFest features a company of performers including top national and regional singers, and rising stars from its Young Artist Program. Members of the six-week Young Artist Program are recruited from more than 300 candidates in auditions in Pittsburgh and six cities across the US. It combines performance opportunities for emerging professionals with a comprehensive training experience including coaching, master classes, and a variety of special events. Thirty-seven young artists, including singers, pianists and stage directors from the US, Korea, China, Japan, Russia, Belgium, France, Argentina, and Canada took part in SummerFest 2014.


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