Montclair State University and Metropolitan Opera Guild Host First Curtain Call Awards

Montclair, NJ—Montclair State University and the Metropolitan Opera Guild have partnered to host the first Curtain Call Awards, an opera vocal competition for New Jersey high school juniors and seniors, to be held on June 5 at 8 p.m. at the Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall on the Montclair State campus. Five finalists for the competition were recently announced and will be performing at the event.

“We are delighted to host this new competition and award for promising young artists. The Leshowitz Recital Hall within the John J. Cali School of Music is the perfect venue for their performance and will afford the best experience for the singers and the audience,” says Geoffrey Newman, dean of Montclair State’s College of the Arts.

Selected by a panel of Metropolitan Opera Guild judges, the finalists for the Curtain Call Awards are: junior Kaitlyn Blomquist and senior Andrew Ferrie of Point Pleasant Borough High School, junior Michaela Kovary of West Essex High School, senior Sarah Merten of Bernards High School, and junior Meg Orita of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North.

In addition to the recognition, all the finalists have the chance to attend a final dress rehearsal of a production at the Metropolitan Opera during the 2010-11 season and receive two passes for a backstage tour of the Metropolitan Opera House. The grand prize for the winner of the competition includes a coaching session with a noted vocal instructor, a photograph and mention in Opera News magazine, and a chance to attend a select evening performance of the Metropolitan Opera during the 2010-11 season.

Originally conceived and organized by students in Montclair State’s Department of Communication Studies, the Curtain Call Awards give aspiring opera singers a chance to showcase their talents in a prestigious setting. Harry Haines, chair of the Department of Communication Studies is anticipating continuing the event. “We are hopeful that these awards will become an annual event and will inspire more young artists to participate,” he said.

The Metropolitan Opera Guild actively pursues its mission to foster an active and engaged audience for opera. The Guild’s Education Department provides innovative music and arts-education programs to a broad community of learners that include students, teachers, and adults. 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.

Released: May 27, 2010