The Metropolitan Opera Guild and Montclair State University (MSU) have partnered to host the first Curtain Call Awards. The Curtain Call Awards, an opera vocal competition, is available to talented high school juniors and seniors in New Jersey. They will start accepting submissions now for a March 29 deadline, and finals for the top five high school singers will take place at the new Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall at Montclair State in June.
Metropolitan Opera Guild Communication Director Jesse Cohen explains the purpose of the talent competition: “We hope the Curtain Call Awards will offer a stepping stone to young talented singers, by showcasing their talents in a highly prestigious and public venue. Our hope is to make the Curtain Call Awards an annual event and ultimately help many young singers realize their musical dreams.”
Paul Hostetter, Director and Interim Chair of MSU’s John J. Cali School of Music, comments on the inaugural event: “The John J. Cali School of Music is delighted to be hosting the Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Curtain Call Awards in the newly opened Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall. This space is an ideal environment for singers and will allow young artists to perform to their potential. Beyond that, we are excited by the opportunities the Guild is continuing to provide for young artists and we are honored to be associated with them in this endeavor.”
Students must submit a basic application form including a recommendation letter and a video recording of an aria, which can be mailed on either DVD or CD to the judges at Montclair State University. The form can be downloaded from the University and Guild web sites (see below). Music education professionals will judge and select the top five finalists to be announced on May 1, 2010. On June 5, these finalists will perform their arias at the newly opened John J. Cali School of Music. The winner will receive a prize to include a coaching session with a noted vocal instructor, a photograph and mention in Opera News magazine, and attendance at a select evening performance at the Metropolitan Opera House during the 2010-11 season (subject to availability).
Applications for the Curtain Call Awards are being accepted now until March 29, 2010 and are available on both web sites: www.metguild.org/education and www.montclair.edu/arts. Hard copies will also be sent to high schools in the NJ area. For questions, e-mail CurtainCallAwards@metguild.org.
The Metropolitan Opera Guild actively pursues its mission to foster an engaged audience for opera. The Guild’s Education Department provides innovative music and arts education programs to a broad community of learners. These programs include rehearsals as well as performances at the Metropolitan Opera, family education programs to introduce children to opera, an adult lecture series, school residency programs, professional development courses for teachers, and research collaborations with institutes of higher learning and other arts organizations.
Montclair State University celebrated its centennial in 2008 and was recently named “Best Public University in New Jersey” by Forbes magazine. Its Communication Studies Department, which will help promote the Curtain Call Awards, won the 2006 United States Postal Service Executive Public Relations Challenge competition, performed public relations for 2006 and 2007 Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, Lorena Ochoa, and, this past semester, performed public relations for the fifth annual Andy Kaufman Award.