On Sunday 21 October 2018 at The Frick Art & Historical Center's auditorium, mezzo-soprano Katherine Beck was named the winner of the eighth annual Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, hosted by Pittsburgh Festival Opera.
The Mildred Miller International Voice Competition was founded in 2011 to identify and nurture talented young singers. The competition is named for Pittsburgh Festival Opera founder Mildred Miller Posvar, who sang for 26 illustrious seasons at the Metropolitan Opera and other world capitals. Miller's acclaimed recordings include Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde with conductor Bruno Walter, Mozart's Le Nozze de Figaro with Erich Leinsdorf, and the commemorative concert and album celebrating the Boston Pops Orchestra 100th anniversary with Arthur Fiedler.
Mildred Miller Posvar and an esteemed panel of judges will select First, Second, and Third prize winners in the Finals round, as well as an award for Audience Favorite. Afterwards, enjoy delicious food and drink while you mingle with Mildred, the judges, and the event's finalists at a cocktail reception in a nearby East End private home.
The event's judges include:
- Mildred Miller Posvar, founder of Pittsburgh Festival Opera and Artist Lecturer in Voice, Carnegie Mellon University School of Music
- Robert Chafin, Assistant Professor of Voice, West Virginia University School of Music, and Director of Pittsburgh Festival Opera's Young Professional Artist Program
- Jonathan Eaton, Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Festival Opera and Professor of Music/Margot and Bill Winspear Chair in Opera Studies, University of North Texas
- Kenneth Shaw, Professor of Voice, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
- Maria Spacagna, Associate Professor of Voice, Carnegie Mellon University School of Music
- Robert Croan, Professor and Chair of Voice/Opera Department at Duquesne University (retired), and music critic/writer
For singers age 18–35 interested in participating in the 2018 Competition, please see information for contestants.
Congratulations to the following singers! At the conclusion of the Semi-Final round held on Saturday at Mellon Institute Auditorium, the judges selected the following singers to advance to the Final round. They will sing on Sunday in the following order.
Saturday 20 October
11:00 am–1:00 pm and 3:00–6:00 pm
Mellon Institute Auditorium
Carnegie Mellon University
4400 Fifth Ave
Pittsburgh PA 15213
[Building entrance on Bellefield Avenue]
On Saturday, a field of 20 semi-finalists will sing for the international panel of judges led by the company founder and competition’s namesake Mildred Miller Posvar. The Semi-Final Round is open to the public free of charge.
Metered street parking is available on Bellefield Avenue and S. Dithridge Street.
Free admission, no ticket required. Come and go as you like.
Sunday 21 October
Frick Art & Historical Center
7227 Reynolds Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
WQED-FM's Jim Cunningham once again hosts the Final Round in the auditorium at the Frick Art & Historical Center in Point Breeze. Eight singers, selected by the judges from Saturday's Semi-Final Round, will present arias during the Final Round. From these eight finalists, three will be selected as winners and a fourth will be chosen as “Audience Favorite.” Winners receive prizes and resident artist contracts ranging from $4,000 to $6,000 in Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s 2019 summer season.
General admission tickets include refreshments during the intermission while the judges deliberate. Students with a valid ID may reserve free tickets in advance. Walk-up student admission with valid ID will be dependent on seat availability.
Free parking is available in the Frick's attended parking lot.
FINALS + PARTY
VIP package includes preferred reserved seating for the Final Round, intermission reception, and the exclusive afterparty at a lovely nearby private home. Mingle with the winners and esteemed judges over great food and drink, with catering by Black Radish Kitchen. (Detailed information on address, parking, etc., will be emailed to ticket holders.)
As well as awarding monetary prizes, the Mildred Miller International Voice Competition offers young singers leading roles in productions, helping them develop their performing experience and build their repertoire. Previous Competition award winners include:
Meghan Kasanders, first-prize winner in 2017, has been lauded by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for her “…important voice, big and opulent,” Kasanders is quickly gaining recognition as a promising young dramatic soprano, and is currently working towards an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies at the Juilliard School, under the direction of Stephen Wadsworth.
Alasdair Kent, first-prize winner in 2016, was hailed in his 2017 appearance with Wolf Trap Opera, and he made his European debut with the Rossini Opera Festival in Pesaro. This fall, he performs in Rossini's L'italiana in Algeri with the Opéra National de Montpellier, France.
Kisma Jordan placed first in the 2015 MMIVC competition. Kisma has appeared in multiple recital series around the country since winning the competition and appeared last fall as Michaëla with the Western Opera Reserve.
Karen Chia-ling Ho placed first in the 2014 MMIVC event. She sang Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni with San Francisco’s prestigious Merola Opera and made her debut at St. Petersburg Opera (Tampa) as Liu in Turandot.
Soprano Elizabeth Baldwin, the 2013 MMIVC winner, received critical acclaim for her performance in the title role of Ariadne on Naxos in the 2014 Festival, and has contracts with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. She was recently seen as Tatyana in Eugene Onegin at Chautauqua Opera Company and the title role in Tosca at both the California Theater and Opera San Jose.
Tenor Juan José de León, 2012 winner, is a rising star in demand to sing leading Rossini roles. He was showcased at the Festival as Tamino in The Magic Flute, a role he also sang as a resident artist at Pittsburgh Opera. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in the world premiere of Two Boys. He has since sung with the opera companies of La Scala, Paris, Rome, Verona, Mallorca, Stuttgart, and Tel Aviv, among others.
Countertenor Andrey Nemzer, 2011 first-place winner, was cast in leading roles in Festival productions and went on to win the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and was a third place winner in the prestigious Operalia competition led by Placido Domingo. At the Met, Nemzer covered for David Daniels in the title role of Handel’s Giulio Cesare in Egitto, a role he sang for the first time in Pittsburgh Festival Opera’s 2016 Festival. In 2017, he appeared in the title role of Handel’s Xerxes with the Festival Opera.
While at the Frick...
While you're at the Frick Art & Historical Center for the Finals on Sunday 21 October, don't miss the opportunity to view two different exhibits on display—one just ending and another just beginning.
Driving the Disenfranchised: The Automobile's Role in Women's Suffrage
CLOSES OCTOBER 21, 2017
Discover the automobile's impact on increasing individual autonomy and heralding vast social changes in the 20th century.
Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper
OPENS OCTOBER 13
Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave's marvelous paper costumes will be on view at the Frick during the fall of 2018 as part of the artist's first touring retrospective exhibition.
$15 (free for Frick members)
Frick Art & Historical Center
The culture and refinement of the Gilded Age is celebrated through the beautiful grounds and breathtaking collections of the Frick Art and Historical Center. The museum and its multiple collections are the legacy of Helen Clay Frick, daughter of Henry Clay Frick, one of America’s greatest industrialists and art collectors.