NOTE: Winners List Updated on April 15, 2020

Twenty-six current and incoming students competed for five coveted full-tuition scholarships and $65,500 in additional awards during the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s 2020 Opera Scholarship Competition.

Since its inauguration in 1976, this annual competition welcomes current and incoming CCM voice students to compete for scholarships and cash prizes. A panel of judges composed of opera industry professionals selects each year’s class of prizewinners.

Six students won awards in this year’s competition, which was conducted virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To maintain social distancing, each participating singer was asked to select two arias. Each singers’ assigned pianist then recorded a piano reduction of the chosen arias and provided audio files, which served as virtual accompaniment for the competing vocalists.

Singers were required to record their performance on their smart phones and submit their recordings back to CCM. These recordings were then shared with the competition’s panel of distinguished judges.

The Winners of CCM’s 2020 Opera Scholarship Competition

Michael Pandolfo, baritone, first-year Master of Music student from Fort Worth, Texas; studying at CCM with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Corbett Award ($15,000)
The Corbett Award is supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with CCM.


Teresa Perrotta, soprano, first-year Artist Diploma student from Orlando, Florida; studying at CCM with Gwendolyn Coleman
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Italo Tajo Memorial Award ($15,000)
This award is supported by the Italo Tajo Memorial Scholarship Fund (established by Mr. Tajo’s wife Inelda Tajo) in cooperation with CCM.


Amber Monroe, soprano, first-year Artist Diploma student from Youngstown, Ohio; studying at CCM with William McGraw
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Andrew White Memorial Award ($12,500)
This award is supported by the Andrew White Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.


Brittany Logan, soprano, second-year Master of Music student and incoming Artist Diploma student from Garden Grove, California; studying at CCM with Gwendolyn Coleman
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the Seybold-Russell Award ($10,000)
This award is supported by the Seybold-Russell Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.


Amanda Olea, soprano, first-year Doctor of Musical Arts student from Mexico City, Mexico; studying at CCM with Gwendolyn Coleman
Prize: Full-tuition scholarship and the John Alexander Memorial Award ($10,000)
This award is supported by the John Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.


Christina Hazen, mezzo-soprano, second-year Master of Music student from Loveland, Colorado; studying at CCM with Gwendolyn Coleman
Prize: Norman Treigle Award ($3,000)
This award is supported by the Norman Treigle Opera Scholarship Competition Award Fund in cooperation with CCM.


The judges panel for CCM’s 2020 Opera Scholarship Competition included:

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 Auditions, which is widely considered to be the nation’s most prestigious vocal competition. In 2019, soprano Elena Villalón (BM Voice, ’19) was named a Grand Finals Winner at the competition while she was still finishing her undergraduate degree at CCM. CCM’s other recent Grand Finals Winners include Jessica Faselt (MM Voice, ’16) in 2018, Amanda Woodbury (MM Voice, ’12) and Yi Li (AD Opera, ’13) in 2014 and Thomas Richards (MM Voice, ’13) in 2013. At least two CCM singers advanced to the Upper Midwest Regional Auditions in this year’s Met National Council Auditions: artist diploma students Amber Monroe and Teresa Perrotta.

CCM singers also recently won awards in other prestigious national competitions. Jessica Faselt won a $10,000 award and Alisa Jordheim (DMA Voice, ’15; MM Voice,’ 10) won a $1,000 Encouragement award at the 2020 George London Foundation Awards Competition for young American and Canadian opera singers. Jasmine Habersham (AD Opera, 2015; MM Voice, 2013) won the silver medal in the 2020 American Traditions Vocal Competition. Edward Nelson (BM Voice, 2011; MM Voice, 2013) won first prize at the 2020 Glyndebourne Opera Cup. Perrotta also advanced to the finals of the 2020 Lotte Lenya Competition.

In addition, CCM Opera productions 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.

CCM Opera is also part of Opera Fusion: New Works, a dynamic partnership with Cincinnati Opera that offers composer/librettist teams the opportunity to workshop an opera during a 10-day residency in Cincinnati.

Created in 2011 to foster the development of new American operas and generously funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Opera Fusion: New Works has grown into a nationally recognized collaboration which is not only advancing the repertoire, but also serving as an inspiring example of a successful joint venture between an educational institution and a professional performing arts organization.

For more information about CCM, please visit us online at ccm.uc.edu.

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