Once considered a Chicago-only singing competition, Opera Idol at the North Shore is now attracting a higher level of talented performers from further afield. The buzz is out among aspiring young opera singers who compete to win invaluable training with opera greats such as baritone Sherrill Milnes and soprano Maria Zouves, according to 2011 contest winner Elda Peralta.
“The competition is becoming a lot more recognized,” Peralta said, noting that she faced off with singers from as far away as Ohio in last year’s annual competition at the North Shore Retirement Hotel, located at 1611 Chicago Avenue in Evanston, IL. “Knowing that Sherrill Milnes is part of it makes (Opera Idol) really prestigious,” the young lyric mezzo-soprano said. Peralta will also be making a special performance at the Opera Idol Finals, when the 2012 Opera Idol at the North Shore winner will be crowned. The final competition is slated for this Friday, March 30th at 7PM.
The North Shore Retirement Hotel will be welcoming back six finalists who performed for an audience and a panel of judges during three preliminary rounds. To enter this once-in-a-lifetime competition, all contestants must be working with a voice coach or enrolled in a vocal music program. The winner of the 2012 Opera Idol contest receives a full ($2,750) scholarship with airfare to attend the nationally recognized two-week workshop directed by baritone Sherrill Milnes and the non-profit V.O.I.C.Experience in Orlando, FL. Attending Opera Idol finals will be Milnes, conducting the competition in a Master Class format.
Milnes, a celebrated American baritone, founded the non-profit V.O.I.C.Experience Foundation in 2001 with Maria Zouves, its executive director. As the organization’s Artistic Director, Milnes works “to provide performance and study opportunities for young singers, while creating an outreach of opera and musical theatre to the communities of the world.” This exceptional opportunity to work with Milnes, Zouves and other world-renowned coaches, theater and operatic personalities at V.O.I.C.Experience provides the Opera Idol winner with coaching, lessons, master classes, outreach programs and a special “Mission: Audition” project.
Good luck to the six finalists who will be singing their heart out this Friday!
For further information or to attend this competition, please call the Opera Idol coordinator at the North Shore Retirement Hotel at 847.864.6400, ext. 622 or visit www.retirementhotel.com under Program/Events for more information.