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American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition Returns to UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center

Green Bay, Wis.—The American International Czech and Slovak The American Czech/Slovak International Voice Competition returns to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Weidner Center, Friday through Sunday, Oct. 11-13, 2019. Each day’s performances begin at 10 a.m. in Fort Howard Hall, and are free and open to the public. This is the only voice competition featuring Czech and Slovak vocal repertoire in North America.

The international competition is hosted every two years since 2003 with the support of producer Sharon Chmel Resch, Sharon Resch Foundation (Green Bay, Wis.); Timothy Cheek, pianist and Czech music expert, University of Michigan; and UW-Green Bay Prof. Sarah Meredith, founder and artistic director.

The competition started as a collaboration with Alain Nonat, Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20, Montreal, Canada, but now takes place only in the United States.

Approximately $15,000 in prize money is awarded at each competition. Every competition invites an international jury of esteemed judges, including singers, teachers, opera directors and conductors from the Slovak Republic, Czech Republic and the United States, who adjudicate each round. Past judges have included Maestro Gildo Di Nunzio of the Metropolitan Opera, in New York City; Mr. Alois Ježek, artistic director and founder of the Dvorak International Voice Competition—the oldest voice competition in the world—in the Czech Republic; Prof. Eva Blahová, mezzo-soprano and voice professor, of Bratislava, Slovakia; and Prof. David Adams, of the Cincinnati Conservatory.

Support for the competition also comes from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor and Provost’s Offices, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Czech Consulate (Chicago), and various Green Bay community donors.

Free housing in private homes is arranged for those singers who request it, promoting Green Bay community involvement, while helping singers with their expenses.

“I founded the competition in 2003 after having spent 2001-2002 as guest professor at the Academy of Music and Dance in Bratislava, Slovakia,” Meredith said. “I was astounded at finding such beautiful vocal music
by Slovak and Czech composers that were not known to singers in the United States. I realized an international voice competition was the best way to promote the Czech and Slovak vocal repertoire to young singers.”

Meredith says the competition builds bridges between young American and European singers, creating unique performing opportunities and furthering their artistic growth.

“It also is a way to keep alive and spread music that was repressed during the communist era and create a spirit of internationalism,” she said.

The competition has received international recognition. Chmel Resch, producer of the voice competition and a former Broadway dancer who is of Czech heritage, was the recipient of the prestigious Trebbia Foundation Award in 2017, for her work with the Czech/Slovak Voice Competition. She was honored at a celebration and dinner at Prague Castle in March of that year, which was televised live on Czech national television.

For more information or to host a competitor, please contact Meredith at meredits@uwgb.edu or call 920-465-2637.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is a comprehensive public institution offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs to nearly 8,000 students with campus locations in Green Bay, Marinette, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Established in 1965 on the border of Green Bay, the University and its campuses are centers of cultural enrichment, innovation and learning. The Green Bay campus is home to one of the Midwest’s most prolific performing arts centers, a nationally recognized 4,000-seat student recreation center, D-I athletics, an award-winning nine-hole golf course and a five-mile recreational trail and arboretum, which is free and open to the public. This four-campus University transforms lives and communities through student-focused teaching and research, innovative learning opportunities, powerful connections and a problem-solving approach to education. UW-Green Bay’s main campus is centrally located, close to both the Door County resort area and the dynamic economies of Northeast Wisconsin, the Fox Valley region and the I-43 corridor. UW-Green Bay offers in-demand programs in science, engineering and technology; business; health, education and social welfare; and arts, humanities and social sciences. For more information, visit www.uwgb.edu.

About the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts
UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts is known for its elegant design and the acoustic excellence of its 2,000-seat main hall, Cofrin Family Hall. It also houses two smaller performance spaces, the Fort Howard recital hall and the Jean Weidner Theatre, along with a dance studio and Grand Foyer. The Weidner Center has a distinct benefit in being part of a leading institution of higher learning. The Weidner Center is home for UW-Green Bay Music and Theatre and Dance programs, community events and productions, and performances by visiting artists and touring companies. Beyond the large-scale touring productions that grace the stage, the Weidner Center also focuses on scholastic development, programming and an impactful education series — Stage Doors. For more information on the Weidner Center, visit www.WeidnerCenter.com, call 920-465-2726 or 800-895-0071, or follow ‘Weidner Center for the Performing Arts’ on Facebook, Twitter (@WeidnerCenter) and Instagram (@weidnercenter).