Watch: CCM Alumnus Edward Nelson Wins Glyndebourne Opera Cup

CCM alumnus Edward Nelson (BM Voice, 2011; MM Voice, 2013) took home the first prize award at the 2020 Glyndebourne Opera Cup, an international competition designed to discover and spotlight the best young opera singers from around the world. Dame Janet Baker, the competition’s honorary president, gave Nelson his trophy, which was inspired by the golden lyre that Baker used in Glyndebourne’s 1982 production of Orfeo ed Euridice.

This prize includes £15,000 (about $18,400 in U.S. currency) and the guarantee of a professional role at a top international opera house. The members of the deciding jury included opera legends Sumi Jo, Sir Thomas Allen and Dame Felicity Lott, as well as other industry professionals.

Following preliminary rounds in Cape Town, Berlin, London, Milan, Paris, Vienna and New York, six singers advanced to compete in the Glyndebourne Opera Cup final, accompanied by the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Nelson performed two dramatic arias from Ambroise Thomas’ Hamlet before sealing his win with a spectacular performance of “Largo al factotum” from The Barber of Seville. His winning performance is available to watch online at YouTube.

Nelson recently made his European debut with the Norwegian premiere of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the Norwegian National Opera. His performances were well-reviewed, despite his having learned the role in just four weeks. said that “Nelson impressed with a ringing baritone, excellent French diction and a surprisingly easy top [register].”

This season, Nelson appears with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus, Vancouver Opera as Figaro in The Barber of Seville, with San Francisco Opera as Bosun in Billy Budd and with the Saint Louis Symphony in Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem. Read more about Nelson’s professional accomplishments.

Story by CCM Graduate Student Alexandra Doyle

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Vocalists Compete for 2017 CCM Opera Scholarships on Feb. 25

Artist Diploma candidate Yi Li with Mark Gibson and the CCM Philharmonia.Every year since 1976, the young vocalists of UC’s College-Conservatory of Music take the stage by storm to compete for five coveted full-tuition scholarships and $62,500 in awards that accompany them. This year, the competition will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in CCM’s Patricia Corbett Theater.

Twenty-five current and incoming students will compete before a panel of acclaimed judges for the five scholarships and named awards, including:

  • Corbett Award ($15,000): Supported by the Corbett Foundation in cooperation with CCM.
  • Italo Tajo Memorial Award ($15,000): Supported by the Italo Tajo Memorial Scholarship Fund (established by Mr. Tajo’s wife Inelda Tajo) in cooperation with CCM.
  • Andrew White Memorial Award ($12,500): Supported by the Andrew White Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.
  • Seybold-Russell Award ($10,000): Supported by the Seybold-Russell Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.
  • John Alexander Memorial Award ($10,000): Supported by the John Alexander Memorial Scholarship Fund in cooperation with CCM.

Each contestant will be judged on the basis of voice, acting, language, musicianship and style in a complete dramatic performance of an aria. This year’s judges are Benita Valente, Stephen Lord and Roberto Mauro.

Valente is an acclaimed American soprano who has performed and recorded with some of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. Additionally, many composers have collaborated with her to create new works, including William Bolcom, Alberto Ginastera and Libby Larsen. Lord is an American opera conductor who is currently the music director of Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and who will become the principal conductor of Michigan Opera Theatre in the 2018-19 season. Mauro is the Director of Music and Artistic Administration for the Canadian Opera Company.

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 AuditionsAs reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer, four singers with ties to CCM advanced to the semi-final round of the 2016 Met Auditions. This year, alumna Summer Hassan (MM Voice, 2014) and alumnus Cody Quattlebaum (BM Voice, 2015) were first place winners in their respective regions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

In addition, CCM’s Mainstage Opera and Studio Opera Series 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’s 2016-17 Mainstage Opera season concludes next month with Mozart’s Idomeneo, conducted by Aik Khai Pung with stage direction by Marcus Shields. The production runs from March 30 through April 2. Learn more about the production at


2017 Opera Scholarship Competition

Performance Time
Saturday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati


Admission to the Opera Scholarship Competition is FREE and open to the general public. Reservations are not required and audience members may enter and exit the theater at appropriate times throughout the day.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus.

Please visit for information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit Additional parking is available off-campus at the U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit


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