Free Opera Singing Competition Showcases Rising Stars in San Marino

The Pasadena Vocal Competition presents its final round of performances featuring a national cast of eight young rising stars of the opera world on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. at the San Marino Community Church, 1750 Virginia Road in San Marino. The event is free and open to the public.

Each singer will be accompanied at the piano by artistic director Catherine Miller and will perform for three distinguished judges – all professionals in the operatic world: Daniel Mallampalli, senior programming manager at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, maestro Kostis Protoprapas, music director for Opera Santa Barbara, and Alfrelynn Roberts, chorus mistress of Fort Worth Opera in Texas. At stake is $25,000 in prize money, which the judges will decide on how to distribute. The Pasadena Area Opera Trust funds the awards along with the support of the Barbera Foundation, led by Robert Barbera of San Marino.

The Pasadena Vocal Competition is a non-profit arts organization promoting community interest in opera and financially supports the next generation of operatic talent. Former first place winners from 2021 and 2022, baritone Blake Denson and soprano Magdalena Kužma respectively, are already enjoying international careers on the world’s greatest stages. Denson, a graduate of the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Program, was awarded a yearlong contract singing in Hamburg, Germany and has made debuts with the Washington National Opera, the English National Opera and the Bayrische Staatsoper. Kužma is a young artist in the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist program at the Metropolitan Opera and has made her debut as Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” with Opera Orlando. She will make her Santa Fe Opera debut as Frasquita from “Carmen” this summer.

This year’s competition is hosted by the PVC mistress of ceremonies soprano Jamie Chamberlin who will also entertain during the judge’s deliberations.

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