(January 24, 2011)

Contact: Rick DelaHaya, Centenary News Services, 318.869.5073

Centenary alumnus captures award in Opera Competition

SHREVEPORT, La. (Centenary News Service) — Baritone Vincent Turregano has won the $1,500 Robert J. Murray third place award recently in the Shreveport Opera's Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition.

Vincent Turregano

The competition was held January 22-23 in the Anderson Auditorium on Centenary's campus, with contestants traveling from across the country to vie for the title of Singer of the Year.

Turregano, who graduated with a BM Vocal Performance degree from Centenary's Hurley School of Music in 2010, sang "Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen Zagen" from Ariadne auf Naxos by Strauss and "The Clock's Aria" from L'enfant et les sortileges by Ravel in the competition.

Two other Centenary alumni sang in the semi-final round on Saturday, Jan. 22. Mezzo-Soprano Grace Long Brooks (BM '01) and soprano Nancy Carey (BM '09) were also among the 34 semifinalists, chosen from a field of 168 national entrants.

Shreveport Opera hosts the Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition annually, Shreveport's only national singing competition. An opera singer can increase his or her chance of being cast in the top opera houses in the world with the title of singer of the year. Over the past years, the grand prize winners have gone on to secure leading roles in some of the most famous opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

Singers in the competition must have performed at least one major role with a college or university, summer vocal program, or professional opera company to qualify. The contestants then go through the preliminary section of the contest, which is based on a professionally recorded CD containing three arias submitted by each applicant. From these applicants, 30 are chosen to participate in the semifinals, which requires each singer to sing one aria of his or her choice and one aria per the judge's request. The judges then choose ten finalists who compete in the Finalists Concert.

Prizes include the Grand Prize, The Mary Jacobs Smith Award of $3,000. Second prize is The Charles Maggio Award of $2,500. Third Prize is The Robert J. Murray Award of $1,500 and fourth prize is The Rae Selber Memorial Fund Award of $500. Also awarded are six Honorable Mention Awards of $250 each, and one Opera Guild Audience Choice Award of $250.

About Centenary College of Louisiana

Centenary College is a private, four-year arts and sciences college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Founded in 1825, it is the oldest chartered liberal arts college west of the Mississippi River and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Centenary is one of 16 colleges and universities constituting the Associated Colleges of the South and has been recognized as "One of the Best 371 Colleges" by the Princeton Review and one of "America's Best Colleges" and one of "America's Best Private Colleges" by Forbes.com. In 2008 Centenary College celebrated 100 years in Shreveport and Bossier City.