WHO WILL WIN THE 2019 GEORGE LONDON AWARDS?
Friday, February 22, 2019
The 48th Annual George London Awards Competition For Opera Singers Final Round And Awards Announcement Is Open To The Public – Friday, February 22, 2019, At 4:00 pm, At The Morgan Library & Museum’s Gilder Lehrman Hall
The panel of judges includes Harolyn Blackwell, John Hauser, Nora London, George Shirley, and Richard Stilwell (one of the first winners of the George London Award); Craig Rutenberg is the pianist.
Friday, February 22, 2019, at 4:00 PM
Gilder Lehrman Hall at The Morgan Library & Museum
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street, New York City
The George London Foundation for Singers Presents
The 48th Annual George London Foundation Awards Competition –
Final Round and Awards Presentation
Last February, the 2018 George London Award winners were announced: soprano Lauren Margison, mezzo-sopranos Raehann Bryce-Davis, Rihab Chaieb, and Emily D’Angelo, baritone Benjamin Taylor, and bass-baritone Lawson Anderson (pictured above with Nora London).
On February 22, 2019, some of the best young American and Canadian opera singers will perform with pianist Craig Rutenberg before a panel of judges and an enthusiastic audience at The Morgan Library & Museum. At the event’s conclusion, a few of them will be named this year’s winners of the George London Award, an honor that has been conferred upon hundreds of the best young singers since 1971. The award, currently a $10,000 prize, is named for the legendary Canadian-American bass-baritone, one of the greatest opera singers of 20th century.
This event is the final round of the 48th annual George London Foundation Awards Competition, one of the oldest and most prestigious vocal competitions in the U.S. and Canada. Over three days of preliminary auditions on February 18-20, approximately 90 singers will compete to reach the finals. On Friday, February 22, at 4:00 PM, at the Morgan’s Gilder Lehrman Hall, each finalist performs one selection, and the audience is invited to a reception while the judges deliberate. The audience is then asked back into the hall for the announcement of the winners.
This year’s panel of judges includes soprano Harolyn Blackwell, George London Foundation Executive Director John Hauser, George London Foundation President Nora London, tenor and voice professor George Shirley, and baritone Richard Stilwell (who won a George London Award at the first competition, in 1971). The competition pianist is renowned collaborative pianist Craig Rutenberg.
Many George London Award winners have gone on to international stardom – the list of past winners includes Christine Brewer, Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Catherine Malfitano, James Morris, Matthew Polenzani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Neil Shicoff, and Dawn Upshaw. (See list below.)
To round out the foundation’s season of events, the George London Foundation Recital Series, which presents pairs of outstanding opera singers, many of whom were winners of a George London Award, continues its 23rd year:
Anthony Dean Griffey, tenor, and Amy Owens, soprano, with Warren Jones, piano. Griffey, arguably the world’s reigning interpreter of the title role of Britten’s Peter Grimes, appears in the 2018-19 Metropolitan Opera U.S. premiere production of Nico Muhly’s Marnie. Amy Owens, who received critical acclaim when she stepped into the U.S. premiere of Milhaud’s La mère coupable with On Site Opera in New York City last summer, won a $5,000 prize at the 2018 George London competition, and was praised by New York Classical Review for the “steely, pinpoint-accurate rendition of ‘I am the wife of Mao Tse Tung,’” from Adams’s Nixon in China. Sunday, March 24, 2019, at 4:00 pm
Julie Adams, soprano, and Emily D’Angelo, mezzo-soprano, with Ken Noda, piano. Adams, a 2015 George London Award winner, starred in the West Coast premiere of Kevin Puts’s Silent Night with Opera San Jose last year, prompting Opera Today to say, “Her rich, creamy, agile soprano was of the highest quality, the kind that prompts excited ‘who-is-she?’ intermission chatter (and beyond).” D’Angelo won her George London Award earlier this year, and was praised thus by New York Classical Review: “D’Angelo [was] among the most impressive, with a sublime rendition of Rosina’s ‘Una voce poco fa’ from Barbiere di Siviglia, fitting her smoky mezzo-soprano over the contours of the aria like an impeccably tailored glove.” Sunday, May 5, 2019, at 4:00 pm
The Legacy of George London
The goal of the London Foundation, the support and nurturing of young singers, was an abiding interest of the great Canadian-American bass-baritone George London, who devoted a great part of the time and energy of his later years to this purpose. “Remembering his difficult road to success, George wanted to devise a way to make the road a little easier for future generations of singers,” said George London Foundation President Nora London. Initially created under the auspices of the National Opera Institute, the George London Awards program has been administered since 1990 directly by the Foundation as a living legacy to George London’s own exceptional talent and generosity. As The New York Times recently noted, “this prestigious competition … can rightfully claim to act as a springboard for major careers in opera.” Visit www.georgelondon.org.