Houston Grand Opera Announces Concert of Arias 2019 Semifinalists

By Francisco Salazar

The Houston Grand Opera has chosen the semifinalists for the 31st  annual Eleanor McCollum Competition for Young Singers Concert of Arias.

This year’s semifinalists are sopranos Anna Dugan, Kathryn  Henry, Yunuet Laguna, Rebecca Pedersen, Alexandra Razskazoff, and Elena Villalón; mezzo-sopranos Katherine DeYoung, and Mary Beth Nelson; and tenors Andres Acosta, Elliott Paige, and Angel Romero. Additionally, bass-baritone Nicholas Newton and basses William Meinert and William Guanbo Su were among the semi-finalists.

The competition received 525 applications from singers around the world and semi-finalists were chosen from November and December auditions.

Some past winners include Jamie Barton, Joyce DiDonato, Ana María Martínez, Ryan McKinny, and Tamara Wilson.

The finals will be held at the Wortham Theater Center on Feb. 1, 2019, at 7 p.m. with a live stream on Facebook and YouTube. The judging panel will be led by HGO Artistic and Music Director Patrick Summers and HGO Managing Director Perryn Leech with guest judge Lawrence Brownlee.

For the fifth year, soprano Ana María Martínez will select a finalist to receive her encouragement award. Audience members will also have the opportunity to participate in the evening’s events when they cast their votes for the Audience Choice Award.