FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 19, 2008
CONTACT: Julia Sheridan, 503-295-3508
2008 ELEANOR LIEBER AWARD
They came from as far away as New York to vie for $25,000 in prize money. Eleven finalists, selected from over 30 singers heard in the Saturday preliminary round, entertained an appreciative house in the Portland Opera Studio at The Hampton Opera Center on Sunday, May 18.
After an exhilarating weekend of singing, soprano Angela Meade from Philadelphia walked away with the first prize and the check for $10,000. Ms. Meade, aged 30, currently studies at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia and was one of the six winners of the national level 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
The second and third place prizes were combined to create two second place prizes of $4000 each. The winners were 29-year-old mezzo soprano Margaret Gawrysiak from Geneseo, IL and 26-year-old soprano Elizabeth Baldwin from Bloomington, IN.
It was a good day for the Portland Opera Studio Artists. The Audience Favorite Award of $1000 went to tenor Brendan Tuohy. Soprano Sharin Apostolou and bass Jeffrey G. Beruan both received an Encouragement Award of $1000 each.
The Eleanor Lieber Awards were begun in 1980 to provide cash study awards for outstanding young vocalists between the ages of 23 and 35. Originally open to singers from the Northwest, the Awards have been expanded to include all U.S. citizens. Through Ms. Lieber’s vision and generous patronage, an endowment fund was created to provide continuing support for the development of opera singers well into the future. Established upon her death in 1990, the fund is managed by the Oregon Community Foundation.
Judges for this year’s Eleanor Lieber Awards were American baritone Richard Zeller, artist manager Robert Gilder, and General Director of Tacoma Opera, Kathryn Smith.