The Music Academy Voice Competition has been suspended for the 2018 year but hopes to return in the future. Please check back for updates!
Results for the 3rd Annual Voice Competition
Please join us at The Music Academy for the FREE masterclass on December 10th at 5:00 pm featuring the competition winners! Our clinician will be nationally recognized stage director and mezzo-soprano, Fenlon Lamb (read bio below).
2nd place: Kennedy Talton, student of Stephanie Foley Davis
Honorable Mention: Abigail Efird, student of Megan Cleaveland
2nd place: Sasha King, student of Dr. Dorthea Taylor
Honorable Mention: Amber Romero, student of Melinda Whittington
POLLY BUTLER CORNELIUS, soprano, is an international performer of opera, oratorio, chamber music, music theatre, and song recitals. In 2008 and 2010, she was invited to perform recitals of American music at the Universita per Stranieri and San Dominica Auditorium in Umbria, Italy with Victoria Fischer Faw, piano. She has created a niche for herself by performing American Art songs written by living composers. Dr. Cornelius performed a recital of songs by Libby Larsen at the Duffy Composers Institute in June, 2010, and music by Paul Bowles with the Norfolk Chamber Consort in 2011. She has premiered several works by Steve Heitzeg. In June, 2011 she was invited to perform at the French Embassy in Washington D.C. with the Imaginary Friends Ensemble, and most recently performed as a guest artist with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and with Zeitgeist in Minneapolis, MN (2013). She has previously received awards and recognition from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (Artist Award), the Orpheus Vocal Artist Competition, the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, the Fort Worth Opera Company, and Shreveport Opera. Leading roles have been performed with The Opera Company of North Carolina, Greensboro Opera Company, the Piedmont Opera Theatre, Brevard Music Festival, and Opera Carolina. She has been a featured soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony Orchestra, American Institute of Musical Studies Orchestra in Graz, Austria, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival, and in the Duke Chapel. She has sung under the baton of distinguished conductors Robert Moody, Ted Taylor, Evan Rogister, Valery Ryvkin, Benton Hess, Ricardo Muti, and Rodney Wynkoop. Her solo cd, WILD SONGS, was released on the Innova label in April, 2012, and has received many accolades from Gramophoneand other prestigious classical music journals.
A dedicated voice teacher, Polly is a Senior Lecturer of music and Coordinator of Vocal Studies at Elon University. Her students are performing leading roles on Broadway, off-Broadway, on the hit-television series Glee, in regional theatres and opera houses, and with National equity and non-equity touring companies. Her pupils also continuously win national, state, and regional vocal competitions, and are chosen to participate in masterclasses throughout the United States. Other former voice students are performing in professional choirs, singing leading roles with professional opera companies, performing as soloists with regional symphonies, and teaching music in public and private schools throughout the United States.
Piedmont Opera’s General Director and Artistic Director is JAMES ALLBRITTEN. He is the former Artistic Director of the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute at the UNCSA. To have an Artistic Director of this quality who also is a full time resident of our community is very unusual for a company of PO’s size. He studied at Indiana University where he worked under a number of renowned conductors. Allbritten is a gifted teacher, conductor, and singer who won the award for teaching excellence during his tenure at UNCSA. Our visiting artists often comment on his high artistic standards and how much they learn from working with him. This reputation allows the company to attract artists with nationally and internationally recognized careers to perform in our productions. Mr. Allbritten has conducted all of Piedmont Opera’s productions since 2004.
The Music Academy is proud to announce is Voice Competition Master Class clinician, FENLON LAMB. The master class will feature the winners of the competition and will take place on December 10 at 5:00 pm in the Performance Hall.
Opera News called Fenlon Lamb “moving and convincing” and Seen and Heard International complemented her “well-honed theatrical sensibility.” Ms. Lamb brings these qualities of experience and perspective as an outstanding singing actress to her work as a stage director.
Most recently, Fenlon directed the world premiere of Riders of the Purple Sage with Arizona Opera in a production that BroadwayWorld.com called “epic” and “memorable…literally and figuratively blazing trails.” She led Dayton Opera’s Carmen and directed the oratorio To Be Certain of the Dawn (Stephen Paulus) with the Lexington Philharmonic. Fenlon and her artistic partner, Jeff Ridenour, created a unique production of The Juliet Letters with the Resident Artists of Lyric Opera Kansas City which the Kansas City Star hailed as “a successful, intimate show [that] delighted the audience in a noteworthy production.” In another collaboration with Jeff, she debuted with Finger Lakes Opera this past summer directing a new production of La Traviata. Fenlon made her company debut with Opera Santa Barbara directing a double-bill of Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi and returned to Palm Beach Opera for her fourth season to direct a “delightful, energetic” Don Pasquale.
Ms. Lamb is the Director of Opera at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance where she has directed Die Zauberflöte,The Turn of the Screw and Suor Angelica/Gianni Schicchi along with Cendrillon and Little Women. Currently, she is also the Director of Opera and Vocal Programming at Bar Harbor Music Festival. She has designed and directed engaging productions of Carmen, L’Elisir d’Amore, Madama Butterfly, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Le nozze di Figaro, La Bohème, La Cenerentola and Don Giovanni while she continues to program innovative recitals and pops concerts each summer.
In recent seasons, Fenlon made her debut at Dayton Opera directing The Pearl Fishers, joined Mobile Opera for Werther with Gran Wilson in the title role and returned to Arizona Opera as stage director for a “grand and gripping” Rigoletto. She directed the young artists of the Crested Butte Music Festival in a production of Don Pasquale and a new production of Hansel and Gretel for Nightingale Opera Theatre that was hailed as “fresh and alluring from curtain to curtain.” For Palm Beach Opera’s 2013 International season Fenlon directed a “fizzing and delightful” Il Barbiere di Siviglia “displaying theatrical ingenuity and artistic taste.” Ms. Lamb also directed Our Town and Alcina with the young artists of that company to critical acclaim. She returned to Opera Carolina as Stage Director for Der Fliegende Holländer with Greer Grimsley in a production lauded for its “intriguing visuals, startling set contexts and projections…balancing operatic polish, romantic beauty and feminist critique.”
Upcoming, Fenlon returns for Bar Harbor Music Festival‘s 51st season in the role of Producer of the Pops Concert “He Said, She Said” with Janinah Burnett and David Cushing and Don Pasquale directed by Joseph DeSota. She also returns to Finger Lakes Opera for her first Tosca in a new prodution created with her artistic partner, Jeff Ridenour. They continue their collaboration in the fall for a new production of Hänsel und Gretel at UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. In 2018, Fenlon returns to Palm Beach Opera for her 5th season to direct Tosca and makes her company debut with Opera on The James. In the spring she directs a tryptic of operas entitled “Women on the Verge” for UMKC including 7 Deadly Sins, La voix humaine and The Old Maid and the Thief.