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Congratulations to CCM alumnae Caitlin Mathes (MM, 2008, Artist Diploma, 2010) and Alisa Suzanne Jordheim (MM, 2010, DMA candidate) who both earned sizeable honors at this year’s Lotte Lenya Competition, sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation. Mathes earned First Prize and $15,000, while Jordheim earned a spot in the Final round of competition and $1000. The Lotte Lenya Competition was held on April 16, 2011 at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y.

The Lotte Lenya Competition recognizes young singers, ages 19-30, who perform a multitude of singing styles while convincingly portraying the scene. In essence, the competition is looking for talented “singing actors.” The Competition was created in 1998 to honor the centenary of the birth of Lotte Lenya (1898-1981), an extraordinary singer/actress and one of the foremost interpreters of the music of her composer husband, Kurt Weill.

Each competitor is required to perform an aria from an opera or operetta, two songs from the American Musical Theatre repertoire (one pre-1968 and one later) and a piece by Kurt Weill. Judges included three-time Tony Award-nominee Rebecca Luker, Broadway and Encores! Music Director Rob Berman, and the Artistic Director of the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau, Germany, Michael Kaufmann.

About Caitlin Mathes
Mezzo-soprano Caitlin Mathes has been hailed by critics as “charming” and “smashing.” She has been praised for her “natural acting ability” and “vocal agility.”

During the summer of 2009, she was a participant of San Francisco Opera’s Merola program, where she sang the role of Despina in Così fan tutte. She also performed scenes from Il barbiere di Siviglia.

She recently received her Artist Diploma from CCM, where she sang the roles of Idamante in Idomeneo, Ruggiero in Alcina, Lady with a Hat Box in A Postcard from Morocco and Ottavia in L’incoronazione di Poppea, among others.

Mathes has appeared as a young artist with the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Chautauqua Opera and was a participant in CCM’s Spoleto and Lucca Festivals. In the past, her roles have included Cherubino in The Marriage of Figaro, the Secretary in The Consul, Bianca in Lucrezia Project and Dorabella in Così fan tutte.

A native of Dayville, Connecticut, Mathes received her Bachelor’s of Music from Ithaca College and her Master’s of Music from CCM. She is a recipient of the Norman Triegle Memorial Award and Chautauqua Opera Guild Encouragement Award.

Mathes’ future plans include appearances with Encompass Opera and Opera New Jersey. Read more about Caitlin and hear recordings at

About Alisa Suzanne Jordheim
A native of Appleton, Wisconsin, Jordheim’s lyric coloratura soprano “has that measure of quick spin that keeps it rock steady in all registers” (Northeast Wisconsin Music Review). She is the recipient of a Central City Opera Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Artists Training Program Award, Audience Favorite Award in the Tri-State College Vocal Competition, NFAA Level I Arts Award, Sigma Alpha Iota Career Performance Grant and a teaching assistantship at CCM.

For four consecutive years, Alisa took first place in the Wisconsin Chapter of National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), and has twice been a finalist in the Palm Beach Opera Competition – Junior Division. Lori Laitman, Joanne Metcalf, Josh Deutsch and Rodney Rogers have written compositions specifically for Jordheim. She was the only singer to win the Midwest Young Artists National Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance with the MYA Alumni Orchestra at Chicago’s Orchestra Hall and a performance of Signor Deluso with the Midwest Young Artists Opera, in which she sang the role of Célie.

Alisa has appeared on NPR’s From the Top radio show twice in the past, singing two duets with Bobby McFerrin in her most recent appearance. Jordheim is a student of William McGraw and Donna Loewy at CCM. In summer 2011, she will be performing the role of Second Knabe in The Magic Flute with Cincinnati Opera.


  1. Caitlin: I found your website and am really impressed. You remind me of Natalie Dessay who when “complimented for being an excellent opera singer” responded that she is a singing actress, and that, my dear, fits you to a “T.” Love, Suzanne and Dr. Bob

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