Reminder: American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition is Oct. 11 to 13

UW-Green Bay Music presents American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13, 2019 at Fort Howard Hall in the Weidner Center. The competition features a first place prize of $5,000. Admission is free. Below are the specific dates and times of the competition.

Friday, Oct. 11: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 12: 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 13: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

More information can be found here. Questions can be directed to Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston at meredits@uwgb.edu.

American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition is Oct. 11 to 13

UW-Green Bay Music presents American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition from Oct. 11 to Oct. 13 at Fort Howard Hall in the Weidner Center. The competition features a first place prize of $5,000. More information can be found here, as well as the application form. Admission is free. The deadline for sending the application form is Monday, September 23, 2019. Questions can be directed to Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston at meredits@uwgb.edu. If you are willing to host one of the performers, please contact Meredith Livingston.

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).

Winners of the Czech Slovak Voice Competition

Chancellor Gary L. Miller and Georgia Miller (far left) celebrated with the top finishers in the Czech Slovak Voice Competition at UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts in mid-October. With the Millers, from left to right, Lucie Kankova, Czech Republic (second place, $2500); Grace Kahl, Ohio (first place, $5000); Nicholas Davis, Kentucky (fourth place, $1500); Leo Radosavljevic, Illinois (sixth place, $500); Olivia Johnson, Michigan (fifth place, $1000) and Benjamin Sieverding, Minnesota (third place, $2000).

 

‘Premium octane singers rev up’ at UW-Green Bay says Gerds

Critic-at-large Warren Gerds reviewed the American International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition at the Weidner Center last weekend. Here’s, in part, what he had to say, “In the finals Sunday morning in Fort Howard Hall, six singers stood before seven judges and interested listeners and demonstrated wonders of the human voice as an instrument.

The listening at the event was a treat. Again.

There’s nothing quite like hearing humans who have honed their voices with years of training and experience in a hall that was built to let the singing voice breathe and be subtle or soar.

The humans in the competition operate in a kind of aural stratosphere high above mere mortals who sing at the sink, in the shower or to the dog.”

This weekend’s Czech/Slovak Voice Competition is getting press coverage

Critic-at-large Warren Gerds headlines his column this week with a story on the American International Czech/Slovak Voice Competition at Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center. The public may attend. Admission is free. Preliminary judging starts at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 13. Semi-finals start at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 14. Finals start at 10 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 15.

Meredith Livingston in Europe to judge competition

Sarah Meredith Livingston, professor of Music, is currently in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, as an invited juror at the 50th anniversary edition of the International Czech Slovak Voice Competition taking place November 11-22.  More than 75 singers entered the event, which is among the longest running voice competition sin the world. Well-known Czech/Slovak singers such as Gabrielle Benachkova, soprano, and Peter Dvorsky, tenor, are also members of the 11-member jury.  Meredith Livingston is the only American judge; she brought the first American singers, UWGB students, to the competition in 1997.

 

Soprano from Mexico takes top prize at International Vocal Competition on campus


The International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition lived up to the “international” part of its name over the weekend at the Weidner Center’s Fort Howard Hall. The top six prizes went to vocalists from Mexico, Canada, the USA, Canada, Spain and USA, respectively. UW-Green Bay Music Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston, director, shares the following results:
• Tie for 1st place — Alejandra Sandoval, soprano, Mexico, and
 Sasha Djihanian, soprano, Canada;

• 3rd — Nicholas Davis, baritone, USA;

• 4th — Brigitte O’Halloran, soprano, Canada;

• 5th — Suzanne Taffot, soprano, Spain:
• 6th — Ian Toohill, tenor, USA
The French Prize (best interpretation of a French work) went to Djihanian, and the Kaprolova Prize (best interpretation of a Vítězslava Kaprálová art song) to Davis. The 2015 edition of the every-other-year competition is the 13th since its inception in Montreal, Canada, in 1991. This is the first year Green Bay hosted the finals, after successfully hosting opening rounds six straight times since 2003. Meredith Livingston, along with community patron Sharon Resch, producer, organized the weekend’s events.

Gerds covers vocal competition


It’s a competition that showcases the beauty of the Czech-Slovak repertoire while giving promising young singers a serious opportunity to pursue big-time career success in opera and classical music. Local arts critic Warren Gerds writes about this year’s version of the UW-Green Bay-hosted competition — its high level of excitement, the impressive range of talent and the substantial cash awards — at his WeAreGreenBay.com TV-5 blog.

UW-Green Bay welcomes ‘amazing singers’ for International Vocal Competition, Oct. 9-11

vocal-competition-imageLovers of opera and classically trained vocal performance will have the opportunity to hear top young talent from across the nation and beyond when the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay hosts a prestigious international music competition Friday through Sunday, Oct. 9-11.

The International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition takes place in Fort Howard Hall of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, located on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive, Green Bay. Admission is free, and the public is welcome to attend at any point during the competition’s three rounds — opening, semifinal and final.

The 2015 edition of the every-other-year competition is the 13th since its inception in Montreal, Canada, in 1991. This is the first year Green Bay will host the finals, a change based in part on a history of success as a preliminary venue. UW-Green Bay has hosted opening rounds six straight times since 2003.

“We’re thrilled to welcome the finals to Green Bay. This competition has a great history, and our audiences have really enjoyed being able to hear amazing singers from around the world,” says UW-Green Bay Music Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston, director, who with community patron Sharon Resch, producer, is organizing the weekend’s events.

The competition schedule (subject to change) is as follows:

• Friday, Oct. 9 — Preliminary Round 10 a.m. – noon
• Saturday, Oct. 10 — Semifinal sessions beginning at 10 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
• Sunday, Oct. 11 — Finals, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (closing reception, 3 p.m.)

“This is a competition that showcases the beauty of the Czech-Slovak repertoire,” Meredith Livingston says. “It also provides a chance for promising young singers to further their careers, and it demonstrates to our local voice students what can be possible when talent, training and dedication come together.”

A total of 19 male and female vocalists have entered to take part in the Green Bay preliminary rounds. (Preliminaries will also take place in Montreal, earlier the same week, with contenders vying to advance to Green Bay for the semifinals.)

The list of entrants here includes vocalists from New Jersey, California, Ohio and Massachusetts as well as several each from Michigan and Illinois, and one from Kronberg, Germany. Competitors from Wisconsin are Sarah Butler, soprano, Milwaukee; Talia Nepper, lyric soprano, Franksville; Elena Stabile, soprano, Appleton; and Ian Toohill, tenor, Shorewood.

The winner of the International Czech and Slovak Voice Competition will receive $5,000 Canadian and be featured in recital at a later date at the U.S. Embassy in the Czech Republic. The event offers a total of seven cash awards including $2,500C for second place and $2,000C for third.

The first-place finisher in the 2013 competition, Ukrainian-born soprano and University of Michigan graduate Antonina Chekhosvkya, now tours professionally as an opera, symphony and solo recitalist. Within months of her 2007 title, Simone Osborne, now with the Vancouver and Canadian Opera companies, became one of the youngest winners (at age 21) of the famous New York Metropolitan Opera auditions. The 2003 top prize winner, Jan Martiník, is today a featured performer with the Berlin State Opera.

The distinguished panel of international jurors for the 2015 competition includes Alois Jezek, artistic director of the Dvorak International Voice Competition, Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic; Ales Kanka, Prague Conservatory; Prof. Victor Yampolsky of Northwestern University; Maestro Gildo Dinunzio, assistant conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, New York; and Alain Nonat, artistic director of Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20,, Montreal, and the competition’s founder. Also serving as jurors will be UW-Green Bay’s Meredith, herself an accomplished vocalist and Fulbright honoree for her performance and academic work primarily in the Czech-Slovak repertoire, and Seong-Kyung Graham, music director and conductor for the Civic Symphony of Green Bay.

Singers will be accompanied, for the seventh consecutive time at the Green Bay site, by pianist Tim Cheek, a professor, Czech diction specialist and vocal coach at the University of Michigan.

Nonat and others created the Montreal competition in 1991 to commemorate the 150th celebration of renowned composer Antonin Dvorak’s birth. Today, the event continues to promote the Czech and Slovak vocal repertoire for young singers, while fostering exchanges of young musicians and specialists between North America and the Czech Republic, as well as Slovakia.

It is expected that Bořek Lizec, counsel general of the Czech Republic in Chicago, will be on hand for the presentation of awards at the reception following the Oct. 11 finals.

The final round begins at 10 a.m. in the Weidner’s Fort Howard Hall, only a few hours ahead of that day’s noon kickoff across town at Lambeau Field, where the Green Bay Packers will host NFL rival the St. Louis Rams.

“People everywhere know about Green Bay and world championship performances in football,” Meredith says. “It’s nice to be able to add to that, in our own way, by bringing an international competition in music to this community, and showcasing these talented vocal performers.”

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