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In the New News: Opera Edition

Ovations and HonorsEastman performers and recording artists earn accolades.

Several Eastman School of Music voice alumni earned recognition this spring from colleagues and peers in operatic and cultural organizations.

Soprano Teresa Perrotta ’17E was one of six national grand prize winners in the Metropolitan Opera’s Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition this spring. Considered one of opera’s most prestigious competitions, the event is designed to discover and support artists early in their careers. Baritone David Wolfe ’21E was a Laffont finalist.

Among many recent performances, Perrotta makes her mainstage debut this summer as Mimi in La Bohème at the Glimmerglass Festival.

Perrotta and tenor Jonathan Pierce Rhodes ’20E, ’20RC were selected as members of the 2022–23 cohort of the Cafritz Young Artists program of the Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Rhodes made his Washington National Opera debut in January as Frank in The Passion of Mary Cardwell Dawson.

Among past winners of the Laffont competition is Renée Fleming ’83E (MM), ’11 (Honorary), who added to her resume of accolades this spring when she was named to the 46th class of honorees recognized by the Kennedy Center. Fleming was joined by actor Billy Crystal, singer-songwriter and member of the Bee Gees Barry Gibb, rapper and actress Queen Latifah, and singer Dionne Warwick in the class.

Soprano and Eastman professor Nicole Cabell ’01E sings the lead role in a world premiere recording of a 1780 opera by Joseph Bologne, the Chevalier de Saint-Georges, one of the first composers of African descent to receive acclaim in Europe. Cabell performs the role of Leontine in the opera L’Amant Anonyme, a production of the Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago (Cedille Records).

A trailblazer for Black composers, Bologne is the subject of the film Chevalier, which premiered last fall and moved to streaming platforms this spring.