We are delighted to announce that graduating CCM student Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, 2013) has been named a winner of the 2013 Lotte Lenya Competition. The soprano was awarded third prize in the prestigious international theater singing contest during the final round of the competition on Saturday, April 13. Congratulations Lauren!
The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, which sponsors the competition, distributed a record $61,500 in prizes this year. Roesner received a third prize of $7,500. CCM alumna Heather Phillips, soprano, was also a finalist in the competition and received an award of $1000.
Several other current and former CCM students were awarded special prizes during this year’s competition. Learn more about those awards here.
Founded in 1998 to celebrate the centenary of Lenya’s birth, the Lotte Lenya Competition recognizes talented young singer/actors, ages 19-32, who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire.
This year’s panel of judges included acclaimed soprano and 2010 Opera News Award winner Patricia Racette, British opera and musical theatre conductor James Holmes, and Theodore S. Chapin, President of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Vice-Chairman of the American Theater Wing.
Chapin, who has judged the Competition eight times, said, “The Lenya Competition was founded to address a need for performers who can both sing and act. In the spirit of Kurt Weill, it bridges the gap between musical theater and a more serious kind of sung-through theater. It’s the perfect way to do it, and it’s been a wonderfully successful program.”
Each contestant presented a diverse program that included an aria from the opera or operetta repertoire; two songs from the American musical theatre repertoire (one from the pre-1968 “Golden Age” and one from 1968 or later); and a theatrical selection by Kurt Weill. After a preliminary round of auditions, 24 semi-finalists from five continents auditioned in New York for adjudicator/coaches Jeanine Tesori and Rebecca Luker, who then selected the 12 finalists.
About the Lotte Lenya Competition
The Lenya Competition celebrated its 15th Anniversary this year. Since its inception, the Kurt Weill Foundation has awarded more than $500,000 to exceptionally talented young singer-actors, many of whom are enjoying prominent careers in musical theater, opera, and sometimes both. In the past year alone, previous winners’ credits include performances on Broadway (Kyle Barisich, Morgan James); in national and international tours (Richard Todd Adams, Maria Failla, Zachary James, Ariela Morgenstern); at regional theaters such as Baltimore Centerstage, Westport Country Playhouse, and Portland Center Stage (Erik Liberman), The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park (Cooper Grodin), and Classic Stage Company (Amy Justman); and on major opera stages including the Metropolitan Opera (Paul Corona, Ginger Costa-Jackson), Los Angeles Opera (Rodell Rosel, Liam Bonner), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Rodell Rosel, Lucas Meachem), Florida Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Oper Leipzig (Jonathan Michie), Houston Grand Opera (Liam Bonner), New York City Opera (Lauren Worsham, Jennifer Goode Cooper), Glimmerglass Festival (Noah Stewart, Ginger Costa-Jackson), English National Opera and Teatro Real Madrid (Zachary James), Hamburg Staatsoper and Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (Rebecca Jo Loeb), and Oper Frankfurt (Elizabeth Reiter).