YPO Voice Competition Awards $46K to Young Singers

MIAMI – April 30, 2013 – Young Patronesses of the Opera (YPO), in conjunction with Florida Grand Opera (FGO), held the 27th edition of YPO Voice Competition, awarding $46,000 in prizes to young singers from around the country. The Finals Concert and Awards Ceremony were held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on Saturday, April 27, 2013.

“Past winners of this competition – which include Michael Fabiano, Nadine Sierra, and Elizabeth Caballero – have gone on to successful international careers, singing leading roles at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, and more,” said Lucie Spieler, chairman of the YPO Voice Competition. “We’re excited to welcome a new generation of young artists into this distinguished group.”

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YPO Senior Young Artist Awards:

  • Grand Prize (Junior Opera Guild) - Brittany Ann Reneé Robinson, soprano
  • First Prize (Troy Moss Memorial Award) - Adam Lau, bass
  • Second Prize - Kathryn Leemhuis, soprano
  • Third Prize - Matthew Newlin, tenor
  • Fourth Prize (Marvin A. Fink Memorial Award) - Ryan Milstead, baritone

YPO Junior Young Artist Awards:

  • Grand Prize - Steven LaBrie, baritone
  • First Prize (Judy George Award) - Alyssa Martin, soprano
  • Second Prize - Sergio Cepeda, tenor

Additional Honors:

  • Thomas Swartz Memorial Honorable Mention Award - Viktor Antipenko, tenor
  • Charlette Seidel Honorable Mention Award - Hye Jung Lee, soprano
  • Irene Patti Memorial Award - Hye Jung Lee, soprano
  • Audience Favorite Award - Hye Jung Lee, soprano

The competition began with hundreds of applicants, which were narrowed to 10 finalists who performed in Saturday’s concert before a group of esteemed judges that included: Andrew Bisantz, music director of Eugene Opera and an American conductor with extensive credits leading national orchestras and opera companies throughout the country, most recently FGO’s Magic Flute; Gerald Martin Moore, pianist, conductor, and vocal coach who works with several notable singers, including Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, and Rolando Villazón; Maria Zouves, soprano, founder and director of V.O.I.C.Experience in Tampa, and associate director of Opera Tampa.

The YPO Voice Competition, held in Miami every other year, was founded in 1972 by Irene Patti Swartz Hammond. In 1988, YPO joined forces with Florida Grand Opera to create a truly prestigious national competition, awarding some of the highest prizes in the category. The chairman of the event is Lucie Spieler with co-chairmen Charlette Seidel and Renée Fink.

Funds for the competition are provided by Young Patronesses of the Opera, with ongoing support from Junior Opera Guild, Dr. and Mrs. Phillip George (the Judy George Award), Ms. Renée Fink (the Marvin A. Fink Memorial Award), the Irene Patti Swartz Hammond Memorial Award fund, and several individual donors. Donors who underwrite an award have the opportunity to name that award and present it to the winner on stage. For more information, please contact Lucie Spieler at (305) 854-1643, ext. 1521, or at

About Young Patronesses of the Opera

Since 1956, the Young Patronesses of the Opera’s (YPO) has been offering expansive education programs include: a fully staged In-School Opera for elementary school children; Girl Scout Workshops, which enable young scouts to earn an Opera Patch; and a Teacher’s Workshop that prepares more than 1,000 South Florida teachers each year to include opera in the classroom and offers continuing education credits. In addition, the YPO is nationally recognized for its Voice Competition and its “Opera Funtime” publication, which tells the story of an opera by using illustrations, poetry, puzzles and a short musical score.  This dynamic group of women from the Miami area has also provided major support to FGO for over 50 years. For more information, please visit, or contact

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