J’Nai Bridges to Host Final of Duncan Williams Voice Competition This February

By David Salazar
(Credit: Suzanne Vinnik)

The Duncan Williams Voice Competition Final is set for Feb. 3, 2023, at the Manhattan School of Music.

Hosted by J’Nai Bridges, the showcase will spotlight Black and Latinx singers. The competition is presented by the New York City Opera and Manhattan School of Music and features over $50,000 in prize money.

In the Developing Artist Division (Ages 18-25), the finalists include Maia Aramburú, Daniel Espinal, Elizabeth Hanje, Amia Langer, Eva Martinez, Benjamin Ruiz, Jazmine Saunders, and Jillian Tate.

In the Emerging Artist Division (Ages 26+), the finalists are Brandon Bell, Cierra Byrd, Kresley Figueroa, Lwazi Hlati, Jose Maldonado, Lawrence Mitchell-Matthew, César Andrés Parreño, Ardeen Pierre, Joseph Parish, Daniel Rich, and Gerardo de la Torre.

This year’s jury for the Duncan Williams Voice Competition features Denyce Graves, Gil Rose, Kenneth Overton, Ana de Archuleta, and Maggey Oplinger.

The competition was named in honor of baritone Todd Duncan and soprano Camilla Williams, who upon making their New York City Opera debuts, made history as the first African-American singers to sing with a major United State Opera company.