For the past 32 seasons, the Annapolis Opera Vocal Competition has supported emerging artists, introducing them to our audience and a panel of esteemed judges as they compete for prize money.
This year’s competition was fierce, with semi-finalists selected from over 300 outstanding applicants from across the country, all of who submitted their virtual performances from their home states!
The final round featured eight to ten finalists competing for more than $15,000 in awards.
The finalists’ performances and live-streamed award presentations was held on April 11 at 3PM.
This event was made possible in part by a generous grant from the Helena Foundation.
Congratulations to our 2021 Vocal Competition winners!
First Prize – The Clarence and Adrienne Berenson Goldberg Memorial Award Danielle Beckvermit, soprano
Second Prize – The Marie E. Crump Memorial Award & The Director/Conductor Award Katherine Beck, mezzo-soprano
Third Prize – The Hughes Award Raven McMillon, soprano
Audience Choice – The Todd Duncan Memorial Award Véronique Filloux, soprano
The William W. Watkins Memorial Encouragement Award Blake Denson, baritone
The Professor William B. and Carrie Kellogg Ray Memorial Encouragement Award Edwin Davis, bass
The Jessica’s Voice Encouragement Award Shannon Keegan, mezzo-soprano
The Patricia A. Edwards Memorial Encouragement Award Véronique Filloux, soprano
The Cheryl and Richard Hack Encouragement Award John Park, tenor
The Melanie and Michael Teems Encouragement Award Elena Villalón, soprano
Congratulations to the 2021 Semi-Finalists!
- Veena Akama-Makia, Mezzo-Soprano
- Katherine Beck, Mezzo-Soprano
- Danielle Beckvermit, Soprano
- Chauncey Blade, Bass-Baritone
- Zarah Brock, Soprano
- Mandy Brown, Soprano
- Leah Brzyski, Soprano
- Michael Butler, Tenor
- Ryan Capozzo, Tenor
- Evgenia Chaverdova, Mezzo-Soprano
- Hyunho Cho, Tenor
- Edwin Davis, Bass
- Blake Denson, Baritone
- Véronique Filloux, Soprano
- Bryn Holdsworth, Soprano
- William Hughes, Baritone
- Shafali Jalota, Soprano
- Marcus Jefferson, Tenor
- Melissa Joseph, Soprano
- Shannon Keegan, Mezzo-Soprano
- Ji Hye Kim, Soprano
- Jaeyeon Kim, Soprano
- Ellen Leslie, Soprano
- Marie Marquis, Soprano
- Jacquelyn Matava, Mezzo-Soprano
- Bryce McClendon, Countertenor
- Raven McMillon, Soprano
- Raphaella Medina, Mezzo-Soprano
- Amber Monroe, Soprano
- Emma Nicholson, Soprano
- Elizabeth Novella, Soprano
- Amanda Palmeiro, Soprano
- John Park, Tenor
- Elizabeth Reeves, Soprano
- Ashley Robillard, Soprano
- Mikayla Sager, Soprano
- Yasmine Swanson, Soprano
- Catherine Swindle, Soprano
- Alina Tamborini, Soprano
- Elena Villalón, Soprano
Annapolis Opera, Artistic and Music Director
In the 2019-2020 season, Craig Kier made his Annapolis Opera debut, and was named the company’s Artistic and Music Director in January 2020. Maestro Kier continued his work as Director of the Maryland Opera Studio, a position he has held since 2014. Last season’s engagements included his San Francisco Merola Opera Center debut, Indianapolis Opera debut, a return to Opera Birmingham and Houston Ballet, and leading the year-long Kurt Weill Festival at the University of Maryland as Artistic Director, conducting performances of The Road of Promise, Mahagonny Songspiel, and Street Scene.
Recent season highlights include The Rape of Lucretia with Wolf Trap Opera, La cenerentola with Brevard Opera Center, Don Pasquale with Anchorage Opera, Madama Butterfly with Arizona Opera, Falstaff with Opera Saratoga, La traviata with Opera Birmingham, and since 2011, a relationship with Houston Ballet leading their Nutcracker production. From 2010-2013, Kier was Associate Conductor under Patrick Summers at Houston Grand Opera. During his time with the company he led performances of Madama Butterfly, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Die Fledermaus, Trial by Jury and the world premiere of Huang Ruo’s Bound.
Additional guest engagements for Kier include La bohème with Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Il barbiere di Siviglia with Atlanta Opera, Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars with the Glimmerglass Festival, The Sound of Music with Central City Opera, Thomas’ Hamlet with Opera Birmingham, L’italiani in Algeri with Opera Santa Barbara, and The Music Man at Royal Opera House Muscat, Oman.
Called “a voice for this historic moment” by The Washington Post, baritone Will Liverman continues to bring his compelling performances to audiences nationwide. The 2020 winner of the Marian Anderson Vocal Award, Will brings a breadth of genres to the stage with equal authority and beauty.
He will star in the Metropolitan Opera’s re-opening production of Terence Blanchard’s Fire Shut Up In My Bones in fall 2021, in addition to reprising his roles in Akhnaten (Horemhab) and The Magic Flute (Papageno) during the Met’s 21-22 season. In the 2020-2021 season, Liverman has appeared in a solo recital at The Kennedy Center and in Opera Theatre of St. Louis’ production of Highway 1 U.S.A as Bob. He will also curate OTSL’s Juneteenth Concert together with soprano Nicole Cabell. Will’s new opera, The Factotum, written together with DJ/recording artist K. Rico, was also developed in partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Ryan Opera Center this season.
Heralded by Opera News for her “absorbing, provocative staging,” Louisa Muller recently made her UK debut directing a critically-acclaimed new production of The Turn of the Screw for Garsington Opera, which won a 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Award and was named by The Guardian as one of the Top 10 Classical Music Events of the year.
This season she directs Porgy and Bess with the NDR Elphilharmonie Orchester at the Internationales Musikfest Hamburg and Don Giovanni at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp. Future engagements include a new production of Rinaldo for Pinchgut Opera, a return to LA Opera for Tannhäuser, Tosca for Lyric Opera of Chicago and Opera Colorado, and return engagements at Garsington Opera.
She received rich critical acclaim for her 2017 staging of Das Rheingold with the New York Philharmonic, which the New York Times named in its list of the Best Classical Music Performances of the year. At Wolf Trap Opera she has directed new productions of Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles, The Rape of Lucretia, Tosca, and Roméo et Juliette.
As a member of the Metropolitan Opera’s directing staff, Ms. Muller has helmed revivals of Don Giovanni, Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, L’elisir d’amore. She has also directed at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Houston Grand Opera, Minnesota Opera, Santa Fe Opera, and Opera Queensland.
She gives frequent master classes, maintains an active private coaching studio, and recently joined the guest faculty of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Ryan Opera Center.
Lee Ann Myslewski
Wolf Trap, Vice President for Opera and Classical Programming
Lee Anne Myslewski (Vice President, Opera and Classical Programming) joined Wolf Trap in 2006, and has since heard over 7,500 live auditions and participated in casting and programming more than a decade of WTO’s operatic productions. She conceived of the Untrapped series of programming in 2016 which has featured artistic partnerships with the Shakespeare Theatre, Taffety Punk, Halcyon, AMP at Strathmore, Children’s National Medical Center as well as ongoing partnerships with The Phillips Collection, the Library of Congress and the National Orchestral Institute. She oversees Wolf Trap Opera, the most venerated summer training program for emerging artists in the country. Alumni of this artist-centric program are not only singing in every opera house in the nation, but also in the most prestigious houses in the world – including The Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Vienna Staatsoper, Komische Oper Berlin, Sydney Opera House and Deutsche Opera Berlin.
Lee Anne also oversees the classical music programming for The Filene Center and The Barns. She created the Artistic Advisor position for Chamber Music at The Barns, and in addition to her work programming Chamber Music at The Barns season, she also serves as the executive producer and co-host of Center Stage from Wolf Trap, a nationally-syndicated radio program aired on public radio stations across the country.
Lee Anne holds degrees in opera performance from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Maryland, and currently serves on the board of Opera America.