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November 15, 2010

Competition spotlights rising vocal stars

This year’s finalists are:

  • Joshua Bouillon, tenor, first-year master’s degree student
  • Claire Boling, soprano, second-year master’s degree student
  • Alyssa Doggett, soprano, second-year master’s degree student
  • Erin Gonzalez, mezzo-soprano, second-year master’s degree student
  • Matthew Grills, tenor, first-year master’s degree student
  • Ashley Hill, mezzo-soprano, second-year master’s degree student
  • Thomas Lehman, baritone, first-year master’s degree student
  • Matthew Valverde, tenor, second-year master’s degree student
  • Nicholas Wiggins, baritone, senior


Nine Eastman School voice and opera students will compete in the finals of the Friends of Eastman Opera Voice Competition at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, in Kilbourn Hall. The FEO event gives local audiences the opportunity to hear rising vocal talents early in their careers while providing singers the chance to compete for cash prizes.

This year’s adjudicator is Paul Nadler, a symphonic and operatic conductor. Nadler is the cofounder and director of musical activities for the International Vocal Arts Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding and training  young opera singers around the world.
For the finals, singers prepare three arias in two different languages; each sings a work of his or her choice, with the adjudicator picking the second aria. The top three winners will be announced at the end of the recital and will receive prizes totaling $2,250. The first prize of $1,000 is the Lynne Clarke Vocal Prize, donated by Friends clof Eastman Opera founding member John Clarke in memory of his wife. A reception open to everyone will be held on the Cominsky Promenade following the competition.

Since his debut in 1989, Nadler has led more than 60 performances at the Metropolitan Opera, including Die Zauberflöte this season. He has conducted stars such as Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, Karita Mattila, Bryn Terfel, Renee Fleming, and Anna Netrebko. In concert he has collaborated with soloists such as Garrick Ohlsson, Emannuel Ax, Misha Dichter, and Glenn Dicterow. Internationally, Nadler’s operatic and symphonic conducting includes the Opera de Montréal in performances of Puccini’s Tosca, the Iasi and Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestras in Romania, Orquestra de Navarra in Spain, Switzerland’s Verbier Festival, Orchestra Sinfonica Siciliana, and the Hong Kong Opera, among others.

The Friends of Eastman Opera is a volunteer group that supports Eastman opera students, programs, and productions, and promotes Eastman Opera Theatre in the Rochester community.

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