If you missed our 14th annual Quest for the Best vocal competition, now for the first time you can see, hear, and download all the graduate and undergraduate arias. If you prefer, you can hear and download all the graduate and undergraduate arias in uncompressed WAV audio format. You can also see the list of winners and amounts of the awards.
On March 11, 2017, the Opera Guild of Southern Arizona handed out checks totaling $11,050 to 17 student singers from the University of Arizona and Pima Community College. We had committed to award $10,000, but raised more, which was lucky, because the votes for first place among undergraduates and third place for graduates were too close to call. When that happens, we dig into our pockets and award the higher prize to both contenders.
Thanks to Judi Hasbrouck and her committee for a wonderful afternoon of singing and refreshments, and to our Board, membership and friends for supporting our efforts to help these young singers further their careers. Thanks also to Joseph Specter, President of Arizona Opera, for the generous donation of four orchestra seats to Rossini’s Cinderella which were raffled off at Quest.
Graduate winners from left: Ariana Iniguez, Michelle Perrier, Mark Hockenberry, Kristen Lucas
Undergraduate winners, from left: Antonio Cruz, Taylor Trolia-Giron, Clare Demer, Joseph Gouge
Graduate HD Videos
Ariana Iniguez, soprano: Carceleras, from Las hijas del Zebedeo, by Ruperto Chapí (1851–1909).
This lyric love song (romanza) has been a favorite of sopranos and mezzos, both Spanish and foreign.
Samantha Hornback, soprano : O luce di quest’anima, from Linda di Chamounix, by Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848).
Linda sings of her love for Carlo, the “light of her soul.”
Piper Pack-Smith, mezzo-soprano : Re dell’abisso, affrettati, from Un ballo in maschera, by Giuseppi Verdi (1813–1901).
The fortune-teller Ulrica calls upon the King of the Abyss to give her the power to see the future.
Michelle Perrier, soprano: Guilleaume Walzer, from Zehn Mädchen und kein Mann, by Franz von Suppé (1819–1895).
Jamey Wright, soprano : Ach, ich fühl’s, from Die Zauberflöte, by W. A. Mozart (1756–1791).
Pamina fears that the absent Tamino does not love her.
(tie) Mark Hockenberry, baritone: Votre toast, je peux vous le rendre, from Carmen, by Georges Bizet (1838–1875).
In the famous Toreador Song, Escamillo conveys the excitement of the bull ring and the reward—love!
(tie) Kristen Lucas, soprano: Glitter and Be Gay, from Candide, by Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990).
Cunegonde is surviving as a courtesan. She assuages her guilt and shame by reveling in her luxurious lifestyle.
Abigail Hart, soprano : Ah! Je veux vivre, from Roméo et Juliette, by Charles Gounod (1818–1893).
When others speak of marriage, Juliet sings that she prefers to live inside her dream, in eternal spring.
Soleil Oliva, soprano: Klänge der Heimat, from Die Fledermaus, by Johann Strauss II (1825–1899).
Rosalinda, disguised as a Hungarian countess, sings a rousing csárdás to prove her nationality.
2017 Graduate Audio Files
Undergraduate HD Videos
- Brianna Barnhart, soprano: Les oiseaux dans la charmille, from Les contes d’Hoffmann, by Jacques Offenbach (1819–1880)
Olympia, a mechanical doll, sings an aria that enchants Hoffmann, despite her needing to be wound up along the way.
- Dan Marino, tenor: A tenor, all singers above, from Utopia, Limited, by Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900)
Captain Fitzbattleaxe tells his love, Zara, that his passion is adversely affecting his singing voice.
Clare Demer, soprano: O quante volte, from I Capuleti ed i Montecchi, by Vincenzo Bellini (1801–1835)
Juliet expresses her longing for Romeo.
- Joseph Gouge, tenor: Vainement ma bien-aimee, from Le roi d’Ys, by Edouard Lalo (1823–1892)
Mylio, a young warrior, tries to convince his fiancée to join him in the wedding procession.
- Emily Garcia, soprano: Ach ich fühl’s, from Die Zauberflöte, by W. A. Mozart (1756–1791)
Pamina fears that the absent Tamino does not love her.
- Kristen Fabry, mezzo-soprano: En vain pour éviter,from Carmen, by Georges Bizet (1838–1875)
In the cards Carmen foresees death for both her and José.
(tie) Antonio Cruz, baritone: Come Paride vezzoso, from L’elisir d’amore, by Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848).
Sgt. Belcore is confident of success as he woos Adina, since no girl can resist the sight of a military uniform.
(tie) Taylor Trolia-Giron, soprano: Mi chiamano Mimì, from La bohème, by Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924).
Mimì describes her life as an embroidress in her tiny room overlooking the rooftops of Paris.
2017 Undergraduate Audio Files
Welcome back to our winter visitors! And a warm hug to our past members. You should all have received your Membership Directory for 2016-2017. We have around 30 new members, and we will need every one of you. For we have taken the plunge, and pledged that at the 2017 Quest for the Best (mark your calendar for March 11) we will award $10,000 in prizes, our largest prize money ever. Our Quest honoree will be Iris Arnesen, who writes The Opera Glass and has narrated many wonderful previews for us, sharing her expertise as a gift to the community. Iris is also the author of two highly regarded books on opera. Do read her superb chapter on Madama Butterfly in The Romantic World of Puccini. And Iris will narrate that preview on January 17 and 20!
This season we will also award $10,000 in grants and scholarships to UA voice students. So in total we will provide $20,000 in support of the next generation of opera stars. That’s a pretty significant amount in the Tucson cultural world. We run a lean operation, and your membership and donations determine the amount we can give our students. To the few who haven’t yet renewed your membership, please do so now.
Finally, please do come to our previews of Rusalka, the dark masterpiece of Antonín Dvořák, on November 9th in Oro Valley,or November 11 in central Tucson. The narrator will be Metropolitan Opera soprano Elizabeth Futral, now on the UA voice faculty. See my take on this rarely performed gem, including the insights of Renee Fleming, the most noted Rusalka of our time.
See you at the previews, and at the opera. And bring a friend!
Carol Garrard, President