Contact:  Lynn Stewart, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

Centenary Alumna Wins in Met's Grand Finals in New York; Public Radio to Air Competition April 27

Twyla RobinsonSHREVEPORT, LA -- Centenary alumna Twyla Robinson emerged victorious and won $15,000 in the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Grand Finals Auditions April 21 in New York City. A native of Denham Springs, La., she is a 1993 Centenary graduate and former voice student of Centenary's Dr. Horace English and Dr. Gale Odom.

This competition will be broadcast locally on the Red River Radio network Saturday (April 27) at 12:30 p.m. 

For the Met finals, she sang "To this we've come" from The Consul by Gian-Carlo Menotti and "Das wahr sehr gut" from Arabella by Richard Strauss.  Her performance was praised by The New York Times in its article "Trimming 2,000 Down to a Valiant 4" on Wednesday (April 24). Writer Anne Midgette wrote: "Twyla J. Robinson offered the most complete package of the afternoon, from her elegant appearance to her cool, artful, seamless voice, well suited to Strass's Arabella ... To this ear, it accentuated a thinness and coolness in her voice, but it brought the audience to its feet."

Ms. Robinson earlier was the winner from the Pacific region of the Metropolitan Opera auditions, one of 20 regions in the Opera competition.  All regions send winners to the national competition in New York City.  The first round of the New York competition was on April 14. From that round, 10 singers were chosen to perform and compete in a public concert, called the Grand Finals, on the Met stage on April 21. 

While at Centenary College, Ms. Robinson first studied horn under Thomas Hundemer before gradually moving to vocal studies with Drs. English and Odom. She is currently a student of Constanza Cuccaro, who is a professor of music at Indiana University. 

Ms. Robinson returned to Centenary last year for a March 25 vocal recital and to conduct a workshop with Centenary voice students. At that time, she was an Adler Fellow at the San Francisco Opera, having been chosen from 600 applicants for the fellowship.

As a 1999 Merola Opera Program participant, Ms. Robinson was seen at San Jose's Villa Montalvo as Donna Anna in Don Giovanni. Later reprising Donna Anna and adding the role of Donna Elvira, she went on to visit 31 cities with the 1999 Western Opera Theater National Tour. In April of 2000, Ms. Robinson was the San Francisco Opera Center's overbearing Lady Billows in Britten's comedy Albert Herring, and later that month 
performed in the prestigious Schwabacher Debut Recital Series for an afternoon of all Brahms--both performances meeting with critical acclaim. 

Ms. Robinson has earned notices in several competitions, including the Eleanor McCollum Concert of Arias competition at Houston Grand Opera, the National Association of Teachers of Singing Artist Awards, and the San Francisco Opera Center's National Auditions. She has received invitations to participate in the Tucker Foundation Awards and the inaugural year of the Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London.