Vocal Competition Final Round Concert

Date & Time: Sunday, March 29th @ 6:00 PM
(Doors open at 5:30 PM)

Venue: Chase Young Gallery | South End

Location: 450 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

Ticketing: $30.00/ticket (General Admission)

Your ticket includes a complimentary invitation to a wine and cheese reception following the performance in the Gallery, with the singers, judges, and MassOpera staff members and board members.

*** Please Note that the intimate seating capacity is only 40, so we encourage patrons to purchase their tickets as early as possible.

Finals Judges:  Penelope Bitzas,Tian Hui Ng, and Renée Tatum

Finals Pianist:  Yukiko Oba

Vocal Competition Final Round Concert

MassOpera is proud to bring back the Vocal Competition for Emerging Artists, last presented in 2018.  The Final Round Concert of the Vocal Competition will feature the top 8-12 finalists, competing for cash prizes.  Join us as we present some of the best singers in the United States, representing over fifteen states and three countries, in an incredibly intimate and beautiful setting.

What do the winners of the Vocal Competition Receive?
* 1st Place – $600 in prize money and free access to MassOpera educational programming for the entire next season
* 2nd Place – $400 in prize money
* 3rd Place – $300 in prize money
* Encouragement Award – $200 in prize money

What are the benefits for all singers competing?
* Every singer who applies is heard
* Every singer receives written feedback from the preliminary round judges, so as to readily apply the feedback to future performances and auditions

(Pictured above is soprano, Alicia Russell who appeared as Sylvie Davenport in MO’s New Opera Workshop Concert Performance of Dan Shore’s Freedom Ride, and to the left is soprano, Rachele Schmiege, previous Vocal Competition Winner and now Permanent Member of the Metropolitan Opera Chorus.  Photo Credit: Co Co Boardman)

FINAL ROUND JUDGES

Penelope Bitzas

Penelope Bitzas

Associate Professor of Music in Voice, Boston University

Bio

Mezzo-soprano Penelope Bitzas is an Associate Professor of Music in Voice at Boston University. Her solo performance career included opera, contemporary music, solo recital and orchestral performances under such notable conductors as Kurt Masur, Seiji Ozawa, Gustav Meier, Luciano Berio, Richard Westenberg and George Tsontakis.  She has concertized as a soloist in the United States, Germany, Cyprus, Turkey and Venezuela.  Ms. Bitzas was also a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a member of the Minnesota Opera Studio, the New Music Ensemble at the Banff Centre, the Blossom Music Festival and was a recipient of two fellowships to the Tanglewood Music Center.  With both a national and international reputation as a vocal pedagogue, her students have been winners and finalists of numerous competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, the George London Competition, the Jose Iturbi Competition, the Gerdna Lissner Foundation, Opera Index, the Reyfuss Competition, the Loren Zachary Competition, the Heida Hermanns Competition, the Montreal Competition and the Jensens competition.  Her students have gone on to perform roles with the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Florida Grand Opera, Chicago Lyric; Houston Grand Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Colorado, Minnesota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Michigan Opera Theater.​
Tian Hui Ng

Tian Hui Ng

Music Director, Pioneer Valley Symphony and Victory Players

Bio

Tianhui Ng is Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony, the Victory Players, a contemporary music ensemble supported by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, and resident conductor of the Boston New Music Initiative. An advocate of new music, he has assisted in and premiered new works by Pulitzer and Rome Prize winners Curt Cacioppo, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Sanford, and Joan Tower among many others. Since his first opera, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at age 20, he has conducted many new works including unusual firsts like the first Nigerian opera in Yoruba, Irin Ajo in 2018. His passion for inter-disciplinary and intercultural music making has led to a rich array of work for ballet, film, theatre, installation art, modern dance, animation, sculpture and even sand painting, in a career that spans Europe, Asia and North America. 
Renée Tatum

Renée Tatum

Mezzo-Soprano with the Metropolitan Opera and other Major Companies

Bio

 Noted for her “gleaming vocalism” (Opera News), mezzo-soprano Renée Tatum is an incredibly important artist of her generation. The 2019-20 begins as Flosshilde in Wagner’s Götterdammerung with The National Taichung Theater in Taiwan, followed by her role debut as Kundry in Parsifal. Ms. Tatum then returns to the Metropolitan Opera as Dritte Dame in The Magic Flute, and sings Azucena in Il Trovatore with Pensacola Opera. She joins the South Bend Symphony in Mahler’s Second Symphony, sings Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with The Masterworks Chorale, The Mother of Us All with the Rochester Philharmonic, Cornelia in Giulio Cesare with The Boston Lyric Opera, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with The Jacksonville Symphony and Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto. Last season, Ms. Tatum sang in Nico Muhly’s Marnie at the Metropolitan Opera, followed by her debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Ms. Tatum also retuned to the Metropolitan Opera as Waltraute and Flosshilde in Der Ring des Nibelugen, under the baton of Philipe Jordan. She sang Brahm’s Alto Rhapsody at Carnegie Hall, was the alto soloist in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with The Philadelphia Orchestra, and closed the season as Waltraute in Die Walkürie. Ms. Tatum is a proud graduate of the Juilliard School, The Manhattan School of Music and California State University Fullerton. Worldwide recordings include Flosshilde and Grimgerde in Der Ring des Nibelungen with The Seattle Opera, Amando in Le Grand Macabre with the New York Philharmonic, Emilia in Otello, Adonella in Francesca da Rimini, Waltraute in Die Walkürie and Second Wood Nymph in Rusalka, all with the Metropolitan Opera and released on Decca DVD.  

PRELIMINARY ROUND JUDGES & PIANIST

Cassandra Lovering

Cassandra Lovering

Producing Artistic Director, MassOpera

Bio

Cassandra Lovering is a Boston-based Elliot Norton and IRNE award nominated director, producer, dramatic coach, teacher, and dramaturg.  Her work examines gender roles and relationships with a particular focus on the experience of women.  As the PAD of MassOpera, she’s excited to head up new programming like the New Opera Workshop and to direct Die Fledermaus in the Spring. Some directing selections include: It’s not about my mother (new work) Little Dog Laughed (IRNE and Norton Nominated) Suor Angelica, Trouble in Tahiti, Miss Havisham’s Wedding Night and The Beautiful Bridegroom.  This winter she will be part of the National Young Arts Program’s creative team for the classical instrumentalists division.  She received her MA in Theatre from Villanova University with a focus on directing and dramaturgy.  She is a Lincoln Center Director’s Lab 2018 Alum. 
Daniel P. Ryan

Daniel P. Ryan

Conductor of Die Fledermaus & The Beautiful Bridegroom

Bio

 Maestro Daniel P. Ryan is a prized multi-hyphenate musician acclaimed for his creative interpretation, nuanced conducting, and adventurous spirit. Ryan’s season highlights include being a 2018 finalist for the American Prize in conducting, premiering seven short operas with Opera Bites (Boston Opera Collaborative), Die Fledermaus (MassOpera), and the 21st century premiere of the lost masterwork Pilgrims of Destiny (Clark University Choirs) #BringingBackBranscombe. Just before the season started, he was in Czech Republic conducting the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in selections from Bizet’s Carmen under the tutelage of world-renowned Russian conductor Alexander Polianichko. Other recent engagements include the workshop of White Snake Productions’ PERMADEATH, Brahms’ Requiem (Sine Nomine Choral Ensemble), MetroWest Opera, In Good Company Theatre, Berkshire Choral International, MITG&SP, and The Boston Conservatory. Additionally, Ryan currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and Opera Scenes at Clark University, Associate Conductor for VOICES Boston, Conductor for the Boston City Singers, and Faculty at Interlochen Arts Camp. www.danielpryan.com 
Dana Lynne Varga

Dana Lynne Varga

Founder & Artistic Director, MassOpera

Bio

 In addition to being the Founder and Artistic Director of MassOpera, Dana Lynne Varga is a sought-after soprano, voice teacher and career coach. Dana regularly presents vocal master classes as well as classes on business and entrepreneurship for singers all over the east coast, and publishes articles frequently in Classical Singer Magazine. She maintains a large private voice studio and is a member of the voice and opera faculty at the Longy School of Music. An avid concert soloist, Dana’s recent performances have includedBeethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Cantata Singers (Jordan Hall), Mozart’s Mass in C Minor and Haydn Lord Nelson Mass with Coro Allegro (Sanders Theatre), the Fauré Requiem with the Springfield Symphony, Amy Beach’s Mass and Handel’s Israel in Egypt with the Commonwealth Chorale, and the Bach B Minor Mass and Christmas Oratorio with the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra. Past concert highlights include both Vaughan Williams’ Sea Symphonyand Dona Nobis Pacem as well as the Brahms Requiem and the Dvořák Te Deum with the Metropolitan Chorale, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Granite State Choral Society, Dubois’ Seven Last Words with Coro Allegro, the Bach Magnificat, Mozart Requiem and Mendelssohn St. Paul with the Choral Art Society, and Beethoven’s Mass in C at Tanglewood (Ozawa Hall). Dana has amassed accolades for her numerous operatic roles, which include Musetta in La bohème, Fiordiligi in Cosi fan tutte, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Rosalinda in Die Fledermaus, Micaëla in Carmen, Alcina in Alcina, Hanna Glawari in The Merry Widow and First Lady in The Magic Flute. She has performed with Boston Lyric Opera, Odyssey Opera, PORTopera, Opera Boston, Boston Opera Collaborative, PANopera, Connecticut Lyric Opera, Commonwealth Opera, Boston Baroque, the Aldeburgh (Britten-Pears) Festival, and the prestigious Caramoor Festival in New York. 
Yukiko Oba

Yukiko Oba

Audition & Final Round Concert Pianist

Bio

Tianhui Ng is Music Director of the Pioneer Valley Symphony, the Victory Players, a contemporary music ensemble supported by the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts, and resident conductor of the Boston New Music Initiative. An advocate of new music, he has assisted in and premiered new works by Pulitzer and Rome Prize winners Curt Cacioppo, Aaron Jay Kernis, David Sanford, and Joan Tower among many others. Since his first opera, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress at age 20, he has conducted many new works including unusual firsts like the first Nigerian opera in Yoruba, Irin Ajo in 2018. His passion for inter-disciplinary and intercultural music making has led to a rich array of work for ballet, film, theatre, installation art, modern dance, animation, sculpture and even sand painting, in a career that spans Europe, Asia and North America. 

VENUE

Chase Young Gallery
450 Harrison Avenue, Boston, MA 02118.

If using public transportation, it is best to use:

  • Orange line to Tufts Medical Center (12 minute walk to the gallery)
  • Red Line to Broadway Station (10 minute walk to the gallery)
  • Green Line to Copley Square (20 minute walk to the gallery)
  • Or the Silver line (SL4 or SL5) to Washington Street @ East Berkeley Street (about a 2 minute walk to the gallery)

*** Please note: the Orange Line and Green Line are subway rapid transit (and both connect with North Station), AND The Red Line is also subway rapid transit, and the Silver Line is a bus rapid transit (and both connect with South Station).

If driving there is parking available at 365 Albany Street, adjacent to the gallery.