The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will showcase talented young singers from across the United States and beyond on Nov. 23 and 24 when the campus hosts the preliminary and semi-final rounds of the Czech/Slovak International Voice Competition headquartered in Montreal, Canada.
UW-Green Bay is the only U.S. site for the every-other-year competition, which promotes the Czech/Slovak vocal repertoire to young singers and encourages cultural exchange between North America and Eastern Europe.
The public is invited free of charge to observe the competition in the Jean Weidner Theatre of the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts, located on the campus at 2420 Nicolet Drive.
Preliminary rounds will be from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 23 and semi-final rounds from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Three semi-finalists will be selected to travel to Montreal for the finals on Saturday, Nov. 28.
UW-Green Bay music Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston, the Green Bay competition director and founder, says observers have the chance to hear rising and, in some cases, world-class talent. The vocalists crowned champions at both the 2003 and 2005 Montreal finals were singers who competed at UW-Green Bay. The 2005 winner, Jan Martinik, went on to sing with the Prague Opera House, and he took top prize at The World Song Competition in Cardiff, Wales, earlier this year.
Nearly 20 competitors had registered as of early November, with more expected. Early entrants come from Ohio, Georgia, Texas and Midwest states including Wisconsin. Former UW-Green Bay vocal standout Kerry Kuplic will compete. The Sharon Chmel Resch Foundation of Green Bay is supporting a travel scholarship to the competition for Pavol Kuban of Bratislava, Slovakia, who was selected from the Schneider-Trnavsky International Voice Competition in Slovakia. Resch also serves as producer for the UW-Green Bay competition.
As many as three semifinalists will advance from Green Bay to Montreal. Then, one overall winner will be selected from the Montreal final round to receive $5,000 (Canadian) and an opportunity to travel to Slovakia and the Czech Republic to participate in master classes and present recitals.
An international panel of judges will adjudicate the Green Bay rounds. They include Prof. Eva Blahova, Academy of Dance and Music, Bratislava, Slovakia; Gildo Dinunzio, Metropolitan Opera, New York; Prof. Ales Brezina, director of the Martinu Museum, Prague, Czech Republic; Sarah Meredith Livingston of UW-Green Bay; Alain Nonat, Theatre Lyrichoregra 20 and founder of the competition, Montreal; and choral educator Dudley Birder of Green Bay.
Support for the Green Bay rounds of the competition comes from UW-Green Bay academic and international education funding; Arketype; Susan and Max Frost; and various community donors.
It’s the fourth time the competition has been held at UW-Green Bay and the 10th anniversary of the international competition.
Singers participating in the Green Bay round of the competition are offered free housing in private homes. Music educators, vocalists and others interested in hosting a singer for the several days of the competition may contact Prof. Sarah Meredith Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org.