Lauren Michelle reaches final round of
2015 Singer of the World Competition
Lauren Michelle performing in the final round of the competition. Photo: BBC
Since winning First Prize in the 2015 Lotte Lenya Competition in April, Lauren Michelle has been on a hot streak. A scant three weeks after wowing the judges in Rochester, she made her Carnegie Hall debut in the world premiere of the English-language version of Weill's The Road of Promise with The Collegiate Chorale. Less than six weeks after that, she advanced to the finals of the prestigious BBC Cardiff Singer of the World contest, having won her qualifying round over four other singers on 16 June. On 21 June, she competed for the title against Amartuvshin Enkhbat (Mongolia), Nadine Koutcher (Belarus), Oleksiy Palchykov (Ukraine), and Jongmin Park (South Korea). Although Koutcher took first prize, making it into the top five is an incredible achievement.
The biannual Singer of the World is one of the globe's leading competitions for young opera singers. An initial field of over 350 aspirants is narrowed to twenty, each of whom represents his or her home country. Several world-famous singers have taken the top prize, including Karita Mattila, Dmitri Hvorostovsky, and Bryn Terfel.
Showing no signs of letting up, Lauren joins Brian Stokes Mitchell and Nicole Cabell (Lys Symonette Award, 2002 Lenya Competition) in the cast of The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess on 8 July for one night only at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. Bobby McFerrin conducts the concert version. Do not take your eye off Lauren Michelle as her career continues to skyrocket.
Philip Headlam, principal conductor and co-artistic director of The Continuum Ensemble
Swept Away FestivalThe whirlwind “Swept Away” festival given by the Continuum Ensemble in London has come to a close. The festival featured works by Weill, Ernst Toch, and other composers driven out of Germany by the Nazis along with a series of lectures on music and culture of the Weimar era. The packed program featured five concerts and five talks in just over 48 hours. It was a hit! London’s critics offered nothing but praise for the conception and the execution of the festival. Here are samples from The Telegraph and The Times, along with an informative preview in The Guardian written by none other than Toch’s grandson. Congratulations to artistic directors Philip Headlam and Douglas Finch for pulling off such a rich, ambitious program.
Die Dreigroschenoper, 10 July.
Photo: Staatsschauspiel Dresden
Upcoming Performances - Highlights
One Touch of Venus
Steven Daigle, director; Steven Byess, conductor
25 June - 8 August
Friederike Heller, director; Thomas Mahn, conductor
The Threepenny Opera
Gilad Kimchi, director
11 July - 8 August
Die sieben Todsünden
Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor