Violetta DuPont Competition Brings Opera Talent to Fairleigh Dickinson University in April

Madison, NJ – April 11, 2011 – Ten opera finalists are vying for recognition, prestige and prizes at the 23rd Violetta DuPont Opera Competition on Saturday, April 30 on Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham, 285 Madison Avenue, Madison, N.J. The competition, in Hennessy Hall, begins at 7 p.m. Admission is $30, $10 for students under 22. For ticket reservations, call 973-443-8620.

The ten finalists were chosen from a field of more than 50 applicants by preliminary judges Robert Butts, Musical Director of Opera at Florham, Michael Redmond, former music critic for the Star Ledger, and Richard Kopp, first vice-president of the Opera at Florham Board of Trustees and Director of the Vocal Competition.

In honor of Ms. Violetta DuPont, for her vision, support and tireless work on behalf of Opera at Florham, the Gerda Lissner Foundation has underwritten the first prize of $5000. The second and third prizes are $3000 and $1500.  In addition to the cash prizes, the competition’s goal is to support the growth and development of opera talent and to present an opportunity for singers to perform publicly with Opera at Florham. 

Members of the opera community, including Stephen De Maio, Pamela Gilmore, Mariana Karpatova, Patricia Leonard and Michael Redmond will serve as adjudicators at the competition.

Steve De Maio is the executive director of the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and president and trustee of the Gerda Lissner Foundation. Patricia Gilmore is Director of Opera at Rutgers University. She has taught on the faculties of Mannes College of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory, and the Bel Canto Foundation of Northwestern University.

Mezzo-soprano Mariana Karpatova, a previous winner of the Competition, serves as a faculty voice teacher at FDU, and also teaches privately. She has appeared with many opera companies in the United States, including the Metropolitan Opera’s production of ”Electra.”

Pianist and composer Patricia Leonard, an IBLA Foundation Prize for Distinguished Composers winner (2008), has appeared in Europe and Carnegie Hall and is a founding member of New York Composers Circle. Michael Redmond, currently with The Princeton Packet, is a former music critic for the Star Ledger.

Opera at Florham has planned a semi-staged production of “La Traviata” on Sunday, June 5 at 3 p.m. Admission is either $45 or $35, depending upon seating location. Dr. Richard Kopp will present an Operalogue on Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m. in Hartman Lounge. There is no admission charge for those who have purchased tickets for “La Traviata.” For more information about any of these events, call The Opera at Florham office, 973-443-8620.

For Immediate Release

The Mansion

FDU Public Relations
   (Metropolitan Campus Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
1000 River Road
Teaneck, NJ 07666

Dina Schipper
Director, University Public Relations

Melissa Payton

FDU Public Relations
   (College at Florham Office)
Fairleigh Dickinson University
285 Madison Avenue
Madison, NJ 07940

Scott Giglio
Assistant Director, Public Relations