UW-Green Bay to host international voice competition Nov. 21-22

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will serve as host for the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the 11th Czech and Slovak Voice International Music Competition of Montréal Nov. 21-22, 2011.

This prestigious event seeks 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. The final round of the competition, which occurs every other year, will be held in Montréal, Québec (Canada) Nov. 25-26.

Les Rencontres Musicales Tchèques et Slovaques and the Czech/Slovak International Voice Competition were created in 1991 during the 150th celebration of Antonin Dvorak’s birth, by Alain Nonat, general and artistic director of the Théâtre Lyrichorégra 20 in Montréal. The honorary chairman was Czech Republic President Vaclav Havel, with Karel Velan, chairman of Velan, Inc., serving as event chairman and honorary co-chairman with Josef Suk of the Montréal Antonin Dvorak Fund.

UW-Green Bay in 2003 became the first and only American site for the preliminary and semifinal rounds, thanks to collaboration between Nonat and Associate Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston, Arts and Visual Design, and community patron Sharon Resch. UW-Green Bay hosted first-round and semifinal competitions in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2009.

“The Czech and Slovak competition has a rich history of hosting incredible singers from all over the world,” Meredith Livingston said. “We are pleased and honored to be a part of this amazing tradition, and we thank all of our community sponsors for their enduring and steadfast support.”

As part of the competition, UW-Green Bay has hosted singers from across the United States, as well as the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Russia. The Sharon Chmel Resch Foundation of Green Bay supports a travel award for a designated singer to be chosen from participants in the Schneider-Trnavsky International Voice Competition, Trnava, Slovakia. Meredith Livingston serves as a guest adjudicator for the Trnavsky competition, which is held every two years.

The 2005 travel award recipient, baritone Jan Martinik of Ostrava, Czech Republic, won the entire competition in Montréal. The 2003 competition winner, soprano Kimberly Haynes of Ann Arbor, Mich., was a semi-finalist at UW-Green Bay. Simone Osborne of Canada won the competition in 2007, followed by the United States’ Melody Wilson in 2009.

The Czech and Slovak competition includes interpretation of Czech and Slovak vocal repertoire, art songs and operatic arias. The winner of the competition receives $5,000 Canadian and has the opportunity to travel to the Czech Republic and Slovakia for master classes with renowned teachers and coaches, as well to present recitals.

In addition to talented singers, the competition welcomes renowned guest adjudicators including distinguished singers, teachers, opera directors and conductors from the Slovak Republic, Czech Republic and the United States. Maestro Gildo Dinunzio, Metropolitan Opera, New York City; Dudley Birder, Green Bay; William Florescu, Florentine Opera, Milwaukee; Stan Cornett, Peabody Institute of Music, Baltimore, Maryland; Eva Blahova, mezzo-soprano, Bratislava, Slovakia; and Julius Klein, conductor of the Kosice Symphony, Kosice, Slovakia, are only a few of the many individuals who have served as distinguished jury members.

For more information on the competition, visit www.uwgb.edu/international/music/.


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