First Place: Blake Denson, baritone
Second Place: Kathryn Henry, soprano
Third Place: Sylvia D’Eramo, soprano and Sun-Ly Pierce, mezzo-soprano
People’s Choice Award (determined by audience vote): Blake Denson, baritone
Millions of people watch American Idol and The Voice. Why? Because it’s fascinating to see the best-of-the-best young talent compete for a shot at stardom. Now, opera fans can be in the house as some of the nation’s best young professional singers (many already performing with national opera companies) compete for major prize money.
Hear the eight finalists (chosen from more than 300 applicants!) perform with The Dallas Opera Orchestra — and watch as the panel of international experts, including Music Director Emmanuel Villaume, choose the winner!
You’ll be part of the action by voting in “The People’s Choice” category. All tickets just $10!
EIGHT FINALISTS SELECTED!
The finalists will each perform one aria for the final round performance. Click on the “CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM” tab below to read full bios.
Sylvia D’Eramo, soprano: “Song to the Moon” from Rusalka (Dvořák)
Kathryn Henry, soprano: “Al dolce guidami” from Anna Bolena (Donizetti)
Chasiti Lashay, soprano: “Io son l’umile ancella” from Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilèa)
Sun-Ly Pierce, mezzo-soprano: “Dopo notte” from Ariodante (Handel)
Efraín Corralejo, tenor: “Salut demeure chaste et pure” from Faust (Gounod)
Blake Denson, baritone: “Ja vas Lyublyu” from Queen of Spades (Tchaikovsky)
Evan Lazdowski, bass-baritone: “Quand la flamme de l’amour” from La Jolie Fille de Perth (Bizet)
Ricardo Ceballos de la Mora, bass: “Vous qui faites l’endormie” from Faust (Gounod)
Winners are selected by a distinguished panel of judges, chaired by The Dallas Opera’s Artistic Consultant David Lomelí and including Maestro Villaume; Afton Battle, General Director of Fort Worth Opera; Christina Scheppelmann, General Director of Seattle Opera; Jean Kellogg, Executive Director of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera; and Brian Zeger, Artistic Director of the Marcus Vocal Arts Department at The Juilliard School.
Health & Safety Protocols
Face masks are required for indoor performances when moving about the venue and when seated, regardless of vaccination status. Fall 2021 events will be limited to 50% capacity to allow for social distancing. Visit attpac.org/public-health for safety protocols and policies, including detailed information about ventilation and sanitization procedures. Visit dallasopera.org/covid for more details on how to prepare for your visit.
NOTE: This performance will be filmed for future distribution via digital stream on thedallasopera.TV.
Online sales close two hours prior to performance start time. Walk-up sales welcome at the Winspear Box Office, which opens 90 minutes before each performance.
View the full program here or in the Flip Book below. Programs and artists are subject to change.
The Dallas Opera National Vocal Competition showcases the talents of young singers aspiring to professional careers in opera.
The competition is open to residents of all 50 states and U.S. Territories. Competitors must be United States citizens or have the right to work in the U.S. There is no upper or lower age limit for the applicants, however, the competition is intended to focus primarily on individuals of 18-34 years of age at the start day of the competition. Exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Participants compete for prestige and monetary prizes during the event held in the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House. The finalists also have the opportunity to sing with The Dallas Opera Orchestra under the baton of Music Director Emmanuel Villaume.
The competition will award $10,000 for the grand prize, $5,000 to 2nd place, $2,500 to 3rd place, and $1,000 to the People’s Choice winners.
This year’s Dallas Opera National Vocal Competition is co-chaired by Dallas Opera Guild members Jana and Mac Irwin to honor the memories of Cecile Bonte and Connie Klemow, who were longtime leaders of The Dallas Opera Guild and enthusiastic supporters of The Dallas Opera’s young artist development programs. Please consider a gift honoring the memory of these extraordinary women by donating here.
Founded in 1957, the non-profit Dallas Opera Guild first established a formal program to support young singers in 1987, originally known as The Career Development Grant for Singers. That program evolved into The Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition.
Today, the competition’s classically-trained U.S. singers will compete once a year for industry recognition, career encouragement, the chance to perform on a world-class stage with Maestro Emmanuel Villaume and The Dallas Opera Orchestra as well as significant cash awards—all before a live audience and a panel of judges representing some of the most prestigious opera companies in North America.
At the judges’ discretion (contingent on available funding), cash awards may be given to First, Second, and Third place winners; Encouragement Awards may also be given. The annual People’s Choice Award is bestowed on the audience favorite, determined by a Secret Ballot vote following the final contestant’s performance.
Each year, funding must be raised anew to cover operating expenses and cash awards. Preparing for the annual event is a year-long process, organized and managed by Guild volunteers who donate hundreds of hours of their time, their talents, and their financial resources to help offset the costs. Loyal individuals and businesses in the community also underwrite many of the services, thereby increasing the amount of funding available to directly support these young singers.