CCM will provide local audiences with a first glimpse of tomorrow’s opera stars during the 2012 Opera Scholarship Competition running from 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 31 in Corbett Auditorium on the University of Cincinnati campus. Admission is free and open to the general public.

30 current and incoming young artists will compete for roughly $100,000 in tuition grants and $62,500 in other named awards, including the Corbett Award, Italo Tajo Memorial Award, Andrew White Memorial Award, Seybold-Russell Award and John Alexander Memorial Award.

A panel of judges composed of world-renowned opera industry professionals will select the winners. The judges’ panel for this year’s competition includes:

  • Fabrizio Melano, acclaimed director
  • Claudia Catania, mezzo-soprano and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Westminster Choir College
  • James Robinson, Artistic Director, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis

The winners will be announced at a reception in the Baur Room of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts at 5 p.m., following the conclusion of the competition.

Event Times
10 a.m. Saturday, March 31

Corbett Auditorium, College-Conservatory of Music
University of Cincinnati

Admission & Parking Information
Admission to the CCM Opera Scholarship Competition is FREE and open to the general public; reservations are not required. Parking is available in the CCM Garage (at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the University of Cincinnati campus. For parking rates and information, please visit For more information, visit or call the CCM Box Office at 513-556-4183.

About CCM Opera
The Department of Opera at CCM boasts one of the most comprehensive training programs for opera singers, coaches and directors in the United States. Students at CCM work with some of the most renowned teachers and artists active in opera today.

CCM students frequently advance to the final rounds of the Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Auditions and CCM’s Mainstage and Studio Series of Opera have received some of the National Opera Association Production Competition’s highest honors throughout the years, taking home six of the 18 non-professional prizes awarded in 2010 and four prizes in 2011.

CCM Opera graduates have performed on the stages of the world’s greatest opera companies, including Cincinnati Opera, Metropolitan Opera (New York), Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera (London), La Scala (Italy) and more.

Learn more about CCM Opera here.

About the Judges
Fabrizio Melano is an established figure on the international opera scene, having worked with leading houses throughout the world for more than 40 years. He began a long-standing relationship with the Metropolitan Opera in 1969 and has directed 21 operas there, among them seven new or revised productions. Much of his work has been seen in PBS’s Live from the Met series, including his staging of La bohème (which inaugurated the series in 1977), Il Trittico, Les Troyens (which also opened the Met’s centennial season in 1983) and Il Trovatore. Melano has worked with most of the major American and Canadian opera companies, including five productions at Lyric Opera of Chicago and four with the New York City Opera. He assisted Maria Callas in her staging of I Vespri Siciliani at Torino’s Teatro Regio and has directed for such companies as the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Opéra de Monte-Carlo and the English National Opera. He directed Tony Randall in his last play, Pirandello’s Right You Are, with the National Actors Theater, and staged a new musical, Asylum, at the York Theatre Company. In April 2010, Juilliard presented his production of Poulenc’s Dialogues des Carmélites and in February 2012, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, his staging of Gluck’s Armide.

Claudia Catania is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice and Music Theater at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. She also teaches at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts (AADA), the Wichita State University summer program in Florence, Italy and at the Chautauqua Summer Institute, where she coaches and prepares Italian diction and opera scenes for the vocal studio program. Catania also has private voice studios in Manhattan and New Jersey. She delivers Master Classes in both Broadway and classical singing.

Catania’s roles as a mezzo-soprano at the Metropolitan Opera have included Idamante, Hansel, Nicklausse, Maddalena, Suzuki and Stephano. In 1982 she was chosen by Music Director James Levine to sing as well as dance the role of The Cook in the Met’s new production of Le rossignol. She has also appeared with the companies of Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Santa Fe, Dayton, Toledo, Lake George, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Miami, and Fort Worth. Concert credits include performances with the Denver, Baltimore and Boston Symphonies, the Cleveland Orchestra and most notably, two series of Bach concerts with the New York Philharmonic: the B Minor Mass and the Magnificat in D. Catania may be heard and seen on the Live from the Met series as Ascanius in Les Troyens and Adonella in Francesca da Rimini.

A mezzo-soprano who is equally at home on the on the Broadway stage, Catania was last seen on Broadway as the villainous sister Marie in the Tony-nominated revival of The Most Happy Fella and is featured on the cast recording. In the national revival of The King and I, critic Alvin Klein praised Catania’s performance in the New York Times, noting that her “sumptuous voice is a standout in the role of Lady Thiang. Here ‘Something Wonderful’ really is.”

Catania received a Bachelor of Music degree in voice from Temple University in 1968. In 1995, she received a Master of Arts degree in psychoanalysis from the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis and holds a Psya D. (ABD) in that school’s Institute for the Study of Violence. She received her Certification in Psychoanalysis from the Center for Modern Psychoanalytic Studies in March of 2000.

In addition to her work in the artistic world, Catania is also a communications skills consultant to Fortune 500 companies including Goldman, Sachs & Co.

James Robinson
is regarded as one of America’s most inventive and sought-after stage directors. He has won wide acclaim for productions that range from the standard repertory to world premieres to seldom performed works and is considered the most widely performed director of opera in North America.

Past season productions include Il Trittico at San Francisco Opera, Casanova’s Homecoming at Minnesota Opera, The Ghosts of Versailles at Wexford Festival Opera and Abduction from the Seraglio at Welsh National Opera. He has also directed numerous new productions for the New York City Opera including Il Trittico, Il Viaggio a Reims, Lucia di Lammermoor, Hansel and Gretel (co-produced with Los Angeles Opera) and the widely acclaimed La bohème (broadcast on Public Television as part of Live from Lincoln Center in 2001). In 2002, he made his Houston Grand Opera debut with a new production of Abduction from the Seraglio and followed up this production with La bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor and Giulio Cesare. He has directed new productions of Elektra and Norma for the Canadian Opera Company, The Rake’s Progress and Così fan tutte for The Santa Fe Opera, Carmen for the Seattle Opera, Antheil’s Transatlantic and Lucia di Lammermoor for the Minnesota Opera and Eugene Onegin for Boston Lyric Opera. In 2004, James Robinson directed the world premiere of Daniel Catán’s Salsipuedes for the Houston Grand Opera. His production of Turandot, first produced for the Minnesota Opera in 1995, has been seen by more than twenty-five companies in North America. James Robinson has also directed Katya Kabanová and Eugene Onegin for Opera Ireland, Norma for the Royal Swedish Opera, Rinaldo for Opera Australia and Radamisto and Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. His 2004 production of Nixon in China, first produced by St. Louis, has been seen throughout the United States.

In 2008, Robinson was appointed Artistic Director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis.  Following his appointment, his first production was a landmark version of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles (a co-production with the Wexford Festival in Ireland).

Recent productions include Un Ballo in Maschera at Washington Opera, The Golden Ticket at the Wexford Festival, Nixon in China at the Canadian Opera Company and Jeanne d’Arc au Bucher at Carnegie Hall.

2012 CCM Opera Scholarship Competition Contestants:

  • Melisa Bonetti
  • Wesley Brax
  • Marco Cammarota
  • Jennifer Cherest
  • Leah Degruyl
  • Natalie Eccleston
  • Jacqueline Echols
  • Meryl Gellman
  • Paola Gonzalez
  • Jasmine Habersham
  • Summer Hassan
  • Chia-Lin (Karen) Ho
  • Erin Keesy
  • YoonGeong Lee
  • Yi Li
  • Katherine Maysek
  • Edward Nelson
  • Luis Alejandro Orozco
  • Amanda Pabyan
  • Jennifer Panara
  • Jeremy Parker
  • Thomas Richards
  • Daniel Ross
  • Abigail Santos Villalobos
  • Nicole Spoltore
  • Jonathan Stinson
  • Meghan Tarkington
  • Xi Wang
  • Nicholas Ward
  • Chabrelle Williams

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

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