Opera Singers Warm Up for Final Round of Contest


First published in the Feb. 9 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

The Pasadena Vocal Competition will present its final round consisting of a national cast of eight young opera singers on Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. at the San Marino Community Church (1750 Virginia Road).
Each singer will be accompanied at the piano by Artistic Director Catherine Miller and will perform for three distinguished judges who are all professionals in the operatic world: Daniel Mallampalli, senior programming manager at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Maestro Kostis Protoprapas, music director for Opera Santa Barbara, and Alfrelynn Roberts, chorus mistress of Fort Worth Opera in Texas. The judges will decide how to distribute the $25,000 in prize money. The Pasadena Area Opera Trust funds the awards along with the support of the Barbera Foundation, led by Robert Barbera of San Marino.
The Pasadena Vocal Competition is a nonprofit arts organization, which promotes community interest in opera and financially supports the next generation of operatic talent.
Former first-place winners from 2021 and 2022, baritone Blake Denson and soprano Magdalena Kužma, are enjoying international careers on the world’s greatest stages. Denson, a graduate of the prestigious Houston Grand Opera Young Artist Program, was awarded a yearlong contract singing in Hamburg, Germany, and has made debuts with the Washington National Opera, the English National Opera and the Bayrische Staatsoper in Germany. Kužma is a young Artist in the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist program at the Metropolitan Opera and has made her debut as Pamina from “Die Zauberflöte” with Opera Orlando. In summer 2023, she will make her Santa Fe Opera debut as Frasquita from “Carmen.”
This year’s competition will be hosted by the PVC mistress of ceremonies, soprano Jamie Chamberlin, who will also entertain the audience during the judge’s deliberations. The final round is free and open to the public. For more information, visit pasadenavocalcompetition.org.