Presented by The Gailliot Family Foundation
Eleven finalists were chosen from a field of 26 semi-finalists (from 222 contestants) who competed on November 1–2, 2014 in the fourth annual Mildred Miller International Voice Competition in Oakland. Opera Theater of Pittsburgh presents the annual contest in honor of its founder Mildred Miller Posvar, whose career at the Met ran for several decades before she founded the Pittsburgh arts organization in 1978.
An esteemed panel of judges, including Mildred Miller Posvar, Robert Chafin, Dr. Robert Croan, Kevin Glavin, Eugene Perry, and Maria Spacagna, selected three winners.
Ralph Zitterbart First Prize
The Ralph Zitterbart First Prize of $5,000, named for the long-time voice coach at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, was funded by an anonymous donor, and awarded to Soprano Karen Ho, 31, of Taiwan. Ho also receives a $3,000 contract for a solo role at SummerFest 2015, underwritten by Peter Geissler.
Drs. Michelina Fato and Carl Snyderman Second Prize
The Drs. Michelina Fato and Carl Snyderman Second Prize of $3,000 was awarded to Baritone Edward Nelson, 26, of Valencia, CA. Nelson also receives a $3,000 contract for a solo role at SummerFest 2015, underwritten by Phyllis J. Sidwell.
Robert Chafin Third Prize
The Robert Chafin Third Prize of $1,000, funded by the Grambrindi Davies Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation, was awarded to Bass-Baritone Josh Quinn, 25, of Tampa who is now living in Boston. Quinn also receives a $3,000 contract for a solo role at SummerFest 2015, underwritten by the Grambrindi Davies Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation.
Certificate of Commendation
Soprano Jasmine Muhammad, 26, of Virginia, was honored with a Certification of Commendation by the judges.
Audience Favorite Award
The audience of 120 voted to select Alexandra Loutsion, 31, a Canonsburg native, as its favorite, receiving a $500 award from donor Jamini Vincent Davies. Loutsion, who is living in New York, also received a Certificate of Commendation.
Each of the top three winners will be offered operatic leading roles in the fourth SummerFest, which will feature works by Mozart, Strauss, and Gilda Lyons at The Twentieth Century Club, Oakland, during July 2015.
The 2014 Competition in Photos
Photographs by Amy Crawford