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New Jersey Verismo Opera Announces Competition Winners

Lucine Amara, Artistic Director of the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, has announced the winners and finalists selected in the company’s 29th Annual International Vocal Competition.

Soprano Yulan Piao, a finalist in Verismo Opera’s 28th Annual International Vocal Competition, received first place and a $2,000 award. According to the press release, Korean-Chinese soprano Piao impressed the judges with her beautiful voice and stage presence. She adds to her illustrious list of awards which include third prize in the 2017 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, first prize in the Five Towns Music and Arts Foundation, and an Encouragement Grant from Career Bridges. She has also received awards for the Super Finalist in Opera Connecticut’s “American Opera Idol 2017”, second prize in the IVAI Opera Idol Competition, and first prize in the Concurso Internacional de Canto Teatro Colón Korea regional round.

Meanwhile, tenor Peter Scott Drackley took home second place and a $1,000 prize, while tenor Taehwan Ku won third place and a $500 prize.

The competition also recognized a number of finalists with an honorable mention award for the first time. Among them were Hayan Kim and Carami Hilaire.

The other finalists included Xueyan Fan, Joseph Han, Kang Seok Hoon, Helaine Liebman, and Gyuyeon Shanel Shim.

The competition was judged by soprano Emily Pulley, who has performed with the Met Opera and NY City Opera,  Simón Saad, a lecturer and stage director affiliated with Ópera de Colombia, Teatro Colón, Teatro de la Zarzuela, and Ansonia Music Outreach and Lucy Arner, Principal Conductor/Music Director with the New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera.

The winners receive their awards and prizes at Verismo Opera’s debut of Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot” on Sunday, April 22, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. at the Bergen Performing Arts Center.

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