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Unprecedented Talent Showcased at the
20th Annual Lotte Lenya Competition!

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2017 LLC Prizewinners. Photo credit: MattWittmeyer.com / Gabrielle Plucknette
Bradley Smoak, 32, of Cary, NC, won First Prize in the 2017 Lotte Lenya Competition, sponsored by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music. Smoak took home $20,000, the largest single prize amount given in the competition’s nineteen year history.

Felipe Bombonato, 28, of Gainesville, FL, earned Second Prize of $15,000, and Paulina Villarreal, 27, of Torreón, Mexico received Third Prize of $10,000. The remaining eleven contestants each garnered a Special Award in the amount of $3,000 in recognition of the excellence demonstrated by all finalists: Curtis Bannister, Green Bay, WI; Gan-ya Ben-gur Akselrod, Tel Aviv, Israel; Molly Dunn, South Orange, NJ; Jasmine Habersham, Macon, GA; Michael Hewitt, Denver, CO; Philip Kalmanovitch, Ottawa, ON; Tony Potts, Fargo, ND; Marie Oppert, Paris, France; Taylor Raven, Fayetteville, NC; Katherine Riddle, Crownsville, MD; and Lisa Marie Rogali, Bergenfield, NJ. Fourteen prizes and awards were granted, the most in competition history, an indication of the unprecedented level of talent showcased at this year’s competition.

The group of fourteen finalists represented a diverse group of versatile performers hailing from eight states, as well as Mexico, Canada, France, and Israel, and fully spanning the boundaries of age eligibility from 19 to 32, including the youngest contestant ever to reach the finals, 19-year-old Oppert.

To learn more about the winners’ performances, read the complete press release.
Watch the winners’ performances on YouTube.

And save the date for next year’s finals: April 14, 2018!

2017 Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya Young Artist Sponsorships

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Michael Hewitt and Benjamin Dutton
Michael Hewitt, 2017 Lotte Lenya Competition Special Award winner, has been named the 2017 Kurt Weill/Lotte Lenya Glimmerglass Young Artist. Hewitt will perform the role of Jud Fry in Oklahoma! at the summer opera festival. Established in 2014 in partnership with the Glimmerglass Festival, the Weill/Lenya Young Artist Sponsorship is an extension of the Kurt Weill Foundation’s mission to nurture the careers of the next generation of music theater performers.

New this year, the Foundation has established a Weill/Lenya Artist Sponsorship with the College Light Opera Company in Cape Cod, MA, for a performer on the roster of CLOC’s summer musical theater festival who has been selected from previous finalists, semi-finalists, or winners of Emerging Talent Awards in the Lenya Competition. 2017 semifinalist Benjamin Dutton has been named the inaugural artist.
May Performances

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Tora Augestad. Photo credit: Thomas Olsen
Oslo Philharmonic performs Die sieben Todsünden with past Lenya Competition Award winner Tora Augestad as Anna I and conductor Joshua Weilerstein, 4 May. Violinist Daniel Hope performs excerpts from Song-Suite for Violin and Chamber Orchestra with the Zürcher Kammerorchester at the Berliner Philharmoniker Kammermusiksaal on 4 May.

Several repertory productions continue throughout the month including Oper Leipzig’s critically acclaimed LoveMusik; Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at Salzburger Landestheater, Oper Halle, and Staatstheater Cottbus; and Die Dreigroschenoper at Thalia Theater, Hamburg, and Saarländische Staatstheater, Saarbrücken. Two long-running productions of L’opéra de quat’sous are still on tour in France: Opéra Éclaté visits Yerres and Longjumeau 12 & 13 May; and La Comédie de Genève comes to Châtenay-Malabry 10 May.

For the complete list of performances coming up this month, view the performance calendar.
Upcoming Performances

Walt Whitman Songs
Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove 
Gregory Grabowski, conductor
2 May


Die sieben Todsünden
Oslo Philharmonic 
Joshua Weilerstein, conductor
Tora Augestad, Anna I
4 May


Berlin to Broadway
Syracuse University 
David Lowenstein, director; Brian Cimmet, conductor
5-13 May

Weill Songs
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Katonah 
Melissa Errico, vocals
6 May


Weill Songs
Vancouver Symphony Orchestra
Steven Reineke, conductor
26-27 May

KWF Performance Calendar