A Competition for Singers WHO CAN ENTERTAIN
For 2021, due to the pandemic, the Competition was replaced by the Light Opera Video Contest. The competition has concluded with the awarding of the following prizes:
1st Place— Sishel Claverie
2nd Place — James Young
3rd Place — Schyler Vargas
If permitted by control of the pandemic, the in-person Vocal Competition will resume in the spring of 2022. When possible, the date will be announced here and on YapTracker.com.
The 2022 Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition has no top age limit. It is open to all singers who are not professionally represented (under management) and who have not worked full-time as a professional singer. The competition is also intended to promote the variety of fine music produced by the composers of Light Opera. Singers can choose music from light classical sources that provide them a means to show their acting ability.
A video displaying poor quality video or audio will reduce your chance of winning. Typical problems include video “noise,” bad shot framing and boomy, distant audio.
Technical elements (zooming, multiple cameras etc.) will not increase a singer’s prospect of an award. A single camera placement showing the performer adequately, and clear sound, is all that is required.
Many classically trained singers are not as familiar with light opera as they are with grand opera. For a list of Light Opera Showstoppers, CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW.
Send video file to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submission text must include
Entries should be received by Saturday, March 20, 2021
For this contest only, selections must be from operettas or musicals that contain dialog. Italian opera arias will not be considered (for this contest only), as we are trying to encourage singers to go beyond typical school material. Videos must be specific to this contest; submissions made from university or professional performances featuring the singer, but part of a larger show or concert, will not be accepted.
Costumes, sets, and props may be used, but are not essential. The selection should be accompanied (by piano or other instrument)
The singer who submits the First Place video will receive a cash award of $2,000. Second Place will receive $750, and Third Place will receive $250. Singers whose videos receive honorable mention will also be recognized in Haugh Competition publicity material. The award will be announced by April 3, 2021
The contest will be judged by professional singers and educators.
Melanie Helton is professor of voice (soprano) and director of the MSU Opera Theatre at the Michigan State University College of Music. She has sung leading roles with the New York City Opera, Seattle Opera, New York City Opera, Teatro de Colon, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Washington Opera, and San Francisco Opera Center.
Thomas Petiet, baritone, Managing Director of the Comic Opera Guild, has produced more than 50 operettas. His vocal repertory includes lead roles in over 30 operas and operettas, and he has also worked as stage director and translator.
Nada Radakovich earned her living as a professional singer for 25 years in both the United States and Europe. She is co-author of the book, "Auditioning in the 21st Century". Nada completed two National Tours with Columbia Artists' Community Concerts series and was the recipient of the "Outstanding Young Artist Award 2001," Hamburg, Germany.
David Troiano, tenor, organist and choral director, has appeared in operas, oratorios and voice recitals throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, Bahamas, and Europe. He has been COG music director for five operettas and can be heard on the majority of the 40 plus recordings of the Victor Herbert Operettas and Jerome Kern Musicals.
Stephen West has appeared with many of the finest opera companies in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, the Bayreuth Festival, New York City Opera and Lyric Opera of Chicago, among many others. He has starred in 35 musicals and received the Drama-Logue magazine Critics Award for best actor in a musical. He is currently Professor of Music in Voice at the school of Music Theater and Dance at the University of Michigan.
John Guidinger, Board Member
Brad Rondeau, Former President of the COG board, has also served as stage director and performer.
Heidi Miles, former COG Board member
Margaret Counihan, professional accompanist, has also served on the Board, as well as performing onstage.
Thomas Petiet, Managing Director
Light Opera as a genre stretches over at least three centuries. The subject matter is typically humorous, romantic or a combination of both, and usually not tragic. Light operas for this contest must have dialog. Not only is this repertoire more suited to lighter or younger voices, but, in the acting skills it demands, it is preparation for attaining the highest dramatic level of opera. It is set apart from musical comedy only in the need for classical training in the singer. For purposes of the competition, selections from musical comedy may not be as effective if they do not require operatic vocal skills. The Comic Opera Guild is a resource for sheet music in the light opera genre.
Sample composers of the genre are given below. Keep in mind that not all compositions by these composers fall into the light opera repertory.
GERMAN/VIENNESE: Johann Strauss, Oscar Straus, Franz Lehar, Franz Von Suppe, Wolfgang Mozart, Emmerich Kalman, Otto Nicolai
FRENCH: Jacques Offenbach, Adolph Adam, Ambroise Thomas, Francoise Boieldieu, Charles Lecocq, Robert Planquette, Daniel Auber,
ENGLISH: Gilbert and Sullivan, Wm. Michael Balfe, Edward German, Alfred Cellier, William Shield, Leslie Stuart
AMERICAN: Victor Herbert, Sigmund Romberg, Rudolf Friml, Jerome Kern, John Philip Sousa, Louis Hirsch, Fritz Kreisler, Karl Hoschna,
SPANISH: Ruperto Chapi, Tomas Breton, Jose Serrano etc.
2000 COMPETITION WINNERS
Gary Moss, baritone “Oh, Better Far” Pirates of Penzance (Sullivan)
Marcia Porter, soprano “Meine Lippen...” Giuditta (Strauss)
2001 COMPETITION WINNERS
Michael Ryan, tenor “Fritz’s Rondo” La Grande Duchesse (Offenbach)
Pei-Yi Wang, mezzo-soprano “Una Voce Poco Fa” Barber of Seville (Rossini)
2003 COMPETITION WINNERS
Michael Gallant, tenor “Kleinzach” Tales of Hoffman (Offenbach)
Jessica Medoff, soprano “Czardas” Die Fledermaus (Johann Strauss)
2005 COMPETITION WINNERS
William Bennett, baritone “Largo al Factotum” Barber of Seville (Rossini)
Kimberly Dolanski, soprano “Glitter and be Gay” Candide (Bernstein)
2006 COMPETITION WINNERS
Sara Asmar, soprano “Olympia’s Song” Tales of Hoffman (Offenbach)
Nathan Brian, baritone “Come Un Ape” La Cenerentola (Rossini)
2008 COMPETITION WINNERS
Elizabeth Zharoff, soprano “Audition Aria” Die Fledermaus (Strauss)
Nathaniel Peake, tenor ”Dein ist Mein Ganzes Herz” Land of Smiles (Lehar)
2009 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Travis Pratt, tenor “It Ain’t Necessarily So” Porgy and Bess (Gershwin)
2nd– Adam Fry, bass “La Calunnia” Barber of Seville (Rossini)
3rd– Carrie Winter, soprano “Quel Guardo il Cavaliere” Don Pasquale (Donizetti)
Audience Choice Award Winner – Travis Pratt
Young Artist Winner– Janani Sridhar
2011 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Jenni Bank, mezzo-soprano “I Am Easily Assimilated” Candide (Bernstein)
2nd– Caitlin Cisler, soprano “Glitter and be Gay” Candide (Bernstein)
3rd– Kathryn Leemhuis, soprano, “What A Movie.” Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein)
Audience Favorite – Caitlin Cisler
2012 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st–Kate Tombaugh, mezzo-Soprano “Sexy Lady” (Moore)
2nd– Rainelle Krause, soprano “Olympia’s Song” Tales of Hoffman (Offenbach)
3rd–John Riesen,tenor, and Laura Strikling, soprano (tie)
Young Artist Winner - Christian Ketter
Audience Favorite – Johnathan Riesen
Jackson Symphony Contract Winner – Kate Tombaugh
2013 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– John Riesen, tenor “Story of Kleinzach” Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach)
2nd– Anne Slovin, soprano “A Simple Sailor” HMS Pinafore" (Sullivan)
3rd– Timothy Bruno, bass, “Ha! Wie Will Ich Triumphieren” Entfuhrung aus dem Serail (Mozart)
Young Artist Winner - Katy Early
Audience Favorite - John Riesen
Jackson Symphony Contract Winner – John Riesen
2014 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Edward Hanlon, bass “Son Imbrogliato” La Serva Padrona (Pergolesi)
2nd– Rachel Sparrow, soprano “Glitter and Be Gay” Candide (Bernstein)
3rd– Alan Palacios Chan, tenor, “A Wand’ring Minstrel I” The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan)
Young Artist Winner - Yazid Pierce-Gray
Audience Favorite - Rachel Sparrow
Jackson Symphony Contract Winner – Isaac Frishman, tenor
2015 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Kisma Jordan, Soprano "Ach, Ich Fuhl’s" -The Magic Flute (Mozart)
2nd– Heather Mc Callum, mezzo-soprano “Cruda Sorte" - L'Italiana in Algeri (Rossini)
3rd– Amy Louise Yekel "My Man’s Gone Now" - Porgy and Bess (Gershwin)
Young Artist Winner - Kyle White, baritone
Audience Favorite - Rachel Sparrow
Jackson Symphony Contract Winner – Kisma Jordan,sopran0
2016 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Ashly Neumann, sop. “Italian Street Song” Naughty Marietta (Herbert)
2nd– Emmett O’Hanlon, bar. “Ha! Gia Vinta” Nozze di Figaro” (Mozart)
3rd– Josh Lovell, ten. “Ah, Mes Amis” Fille du Regiment (Donizetti)
Young Artist Winner - Ryan Hurley, ten. “A Wand’ring Minstrel” The Mikado (G&S)
Audience Favorite - Conor Angell, bar. “Oh, Better Far” Pirates (G&S)
2017 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Josh Lovell, ten. “Ah, Mes Amis” Fille du Regiment (Donizetti)
2nd– Katy Clark, sop. “Chacun le Sait" - La Fille du Regiment (Donizetti)
3rd– Paulina Villareal, mezzo. “Carceleras" - Las Hijas del Zebedeo (Chapi)
Young Artist Winner - Leah Brzyski, sop. "Me llaman la Primorosa" - El Barbaro de Sevilla (Gimenez)
Audience Favorite -Nicole Joseph, sop. "Vilja’s Song" - The Merry Widow (Lehar)
2018 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Irina Medvedeva, sop., "Glitter and Be Gay” Candide (Bernstein)
2nd– Angela DeVenuto, sop., “Liebe, Du Himmel" - Paganini (Lehar)
3rd– Jessica Luffey, sop., “Czardas" - Die Fledermaus (Strauss)
Young Artist Winner - Jake Surzyn, bar., "Largo Al Factotum" - The Barber of Seville (Rossini)
Audience Favorite -Julie Gibreath, sop. "Poor Wand'ring One" - Pirates of Penzance (G&S)
2019 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Anna Montgomery, sop., "Adele's Audition Aria” -Die Fledermaus (Strauss)
2nd– Brian Major, bar,, "Stout-hearted Men" -New Moon (Romberg)
3rd– Isaac Frishman, ten., "Ah, Mes Amis" -Daughter of the Regiment (Donizetti)
Young Artist Winner - Madison Miller, sop., "Glitter and Be Gay" -Candide (Bernstein)
Audience Favorite -Rachel Blaustein sop., "Ach, Ich Liebe" -Abduction from the Seraglio (Mozart)
2020 COMPETITION WINNERS
1st– Catherine Goode, sop., "Glitter and Be Gay" -Candide (Bernstein)
2nd– Schyler Vargas, bar., "Largo Al Factotum" - The Barber of Seville (Rossini)
3rd– Lauren Nash Silberstein, sop., "Mein Herr Marquis” -Die Fledermaus (Strauss)
Young Artist Winner - Justine Alexander, sop., "Art is Calling for Me" -The Enchantress (Herbert)
Audience Favorite -Schyler Vargas