Arias of Excellence from Queens College’s Music School

FLUSHING, NY, March 23, 2012 – The National Opera Association (NOA), an organization that supports university opera programs and promotes opera appreciation and education, is singing the praises of Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music: its production of Postcard from Morocco received third-place honors in its division of NOA’s annual opera production competition. In 2009 QC took a first- place tie with Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.

More than 50 schools and small companies entered this year’s contest, submitting DVDs or videotapes of a live performance (or a dress rehearsal before an audience). Participants were assigned to one of six categories based on a variety of factors, such as budget and, if the opera was presented by a college or university, whether the performers were undergraduate or graduate students. In Division 4, ACSM’s production of Postcard—a chamber work in which graduate students or postgraduate artist diploma candidates held most of the seven roles—was ranked behind entries from the University of Houston and Miami University of Ohio, which also have highly regarded opera programs.

“Winning a first place award in the 2009 National Opera Association Opera Production Competition put the ACSM opera program on the map,” says QC Opera Studio Co-director David Ronis, who directed Postcard. “Winning two awards within three years has confirmed QC’s position among the nation’s finest opera-producing institutions.” Praising the production, ACSM Director Edward Smaldone cites the collaborative effort of the entire opera studio faculty, including James John, who conducted Postcard, Bruce Norris, who co-directs the Opera Studio, and Sherry Overholt, who teaches voice and recruited many of the singers. “The School of Music’s opera department prepared a musical meal that left nothing lacking,” Smaldone concludes.

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Contact: Phyllis Cohen Stevens
Deputy Director of News Services

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services