Meadows graduate voice student Audra Methvin wins $10,000 first prize in Dallas Opera Guild Voice competition
Graduate student Jeawook Lee also places as a finalist in this year’s competition
Audra Methvin, first place winner. Photo by Luke McKenzie, Dallas Opera
Meadows graduate student Audra Methvin, 27, a soprano pursuing a Performer’s Diploma in voice with Professor Virginia Dupuy, won the $10,000 first prize in the 26th Annual Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition held this weekend at the Winspear Opera House. She wowed the crowd in the final round with “Ah! non credea…Ah! non giunge” from Bellini’s La sonnambula and “No Word from Tom…I Go to Him” from The Rake’s Progress by Igor Stravinsky.
Methvin won third place in last year’s Guild competition (and was a finalist the year before), and was the first place winner in the 2012 Vocal Artistry in Song Competition. She has performed on several occasions with the Boulder Symphony, AIMS Orchestra (Graz, Austria) and the Colorado Symphony and was a Studio Artist at Central City Opera. She also won first place in the Meistersinger Competition in 2013 and received the 2014 Woman’s Voice Award presented by the Women’s Chorus of Dallas.
Meadows graduate student Jeawook Lee was a finalist in this year’s competition.
The distinguished panel of judges included:
- Michael Heaston (Director, “Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program,” Washington National Opera and Director, Young Artists Program and Head of Music Staff, Glimmerglass Festival)
- Roberto Mauro (Artistic Administrator, Canadian Opera Company)
- Andreas Melinat (Director of Artistic Administration, Lyric Opera of Chicago)
- Evans Mirageas (Artistic Director, Cincinnati Opera and Vice-president of Artistic Planning, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)
- And from The Dallas Opera, Artistic Director Jonathan Pell, who also acts as artistic advisor to the annual competition.
Meadows Associate Professor and Chair of Voice Clifton Forbis, a world-renowned tenor who recently starred in the Dallas Opera’s Tristan und Isolde, served as one of the judges for the early preliminary rounds of the competition. And Jason Smith, an accompanist and faculty vocal coach at Meadows, served as an accompanist for the singers in both the semi-final and final rounds on March 15.
“Previous winners have built upon the encouragement and financial support they received to earn spots in prestigious young artists’ programs and advance in their studies at leading vocal institutes,” explained Vocal Competition Co-Chair Dr. Sharon Bird Stupp. “Many who received early recognition here have gone on to stellar international careers, award-winning roles on Broadway, and prestigious debuts and teaching positions.”
Past Meadows Winners
Several Meadows graduates have won the competition in the past.
Clifton Forbis, winner of the second annual Vocal Competition in 1990, has forged a dynamic international career. He sang the title role of Samson in Samson et Dalila at San Francisco Opera and San Diego Opera, and Siegmund in the Canadian Opera Company’s 2006 production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen to open their new Four Seasons Opera House. He also performed Act I of Die Walküre in January 2006 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center. Forbis has sung Otello at La Scala and in numerous productions at the Metropolitan Opera and other important theaters around the world and – most notably – brought his interpretation of the role to open the new Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Center for the Performing Arts in October of 2009 and returned in one of the title roles of Tristan und Isolde in a critically acclaimed new Dallas Opera production.
The first place winner in 2011, 26-year-old countertenor John Holiday, Jr., earned a Bachelor of Music degree in 2007 from Meadows, where he was a student of Barbara Hill Moore. Holiday earned a master’s degree at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music in 2012 and made his Carnegie Hall debut that fall as a soloist in Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Critics praised his “expressive” singing (New York Times), “gorgeous tone” (Oberon’s Grove) and “crystalline and pure” voice (Atlanta Music Critic). Next season he will debut with the Los Angeles Opera.
For more information, see the Dallas Opera press release