(January 18, 2007)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Singers to Compete for Spot on Shreveport Opera Stage

WHAT Singer of the Year Competition
WHEN 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday 1/19/2008;
2 to 7 p.m., Sunday 1/20/2008
WHERE Hurley Music School, Centenary College, 2911 Centenary Blvd., Shreveport
COST free, Saturday; $5, Sunday

SHREVEPORT, La. — Thirty contestants from across the world will compete this weekend for the title of Singer of the Year. The contest is put on by the Shreveport Opera and allows young singers the opportunity to showcase their voices and gain early exposure. The competition takes place at the Hurley School of Music on the Centenary College campus.

The Singer of the Year competition begins at 5 p.m. today and continues through Sunday. Most singers are between the ages of 18 and 35; however singers don't reach their full vocal range until the age of 30 to 35.

Grand prize winners receive the Charles Maggio Award of $2,500 — $1,500 as a cash prize and a $1,000 contract to perform in a major Shreveport Opera main stage production.

Grand-prize winners have gone on to leading roles in some of the most famous opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Singers in the competition must have performed a leading role with a university, summer vocal program or professional opera company. To make it through preliminary rounds, singers must submit a professionally recorded CD containing three arias.

The field is narrowed to 30 and semifinalists sing one aria of their choice and one aria per the judges' request. Eight finalists then compete for the grand prize Sunday.

This year's judges include Jonathan Pell, director of artistic administration for The Dallas Opera; Eric Dillner, general and artistic director for Shreveport Opera; Scott Altman, artistic director for Opera New Jersey; Steve Aiken, general director for advancement for Nashville Opera; and Daniel Biaggi, director of artistic operations for Palm Beach Opera.

About Hurley School of Music

The Hurley School of Music, a professional music school within a liberal arts college, has as its mission the training and development of undergraduate music students in the Bachelor of Music and the Bachelor of Arts curricula. The School of Music is an integral part of Centenary College and embraces and affirms the college's liberal arts philosophy, while at the same time supporting the intensive specialization required for the Bachelor of Music degree. It provides opportunities for all segments of the college and the community to experience the art of music through class offerings, applied music study, ensemble participation and the presentation of concerts.