Townsend Opera provides an exciting opportunity for the region’s finest young singers to vie for cash awards in a vocal competition
Modesto, California – January 29, 2018
Townsend Opera is pleased to announce that the Kristina Townsend Memorial Competition will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018. The competition will be judged by local professional singer Liisa Davila, Dr. Deborah Kavasch, Principal Conductor Ryan Murray and one additional judge TBA.
The annual vocal competition honors the memory of Kristina Townsend, daughter of founder Erik Buck and Erika Townsend, who passed away of leukemia days before her thirteenth birthday. Kristina loved music and loved to sing and our purpose is to encourage and inspire emerging talented young singers in her name.
The competition will be open to singers ages 15-22 from 11 counties throughout the Central Valley. There are three age categories for the competition, with a cash prize for the winner of each category: $500 for the 20-22 year old category, $300 for the 18-19 year old category, and $100 for the 15-17 year old category. Each winner will also receive the opportunity to sing at a Townsend Opera event later in the year.
Participants must be prepared to sing three selections, with those over 18 years of age singing in at least two different languages. An accompanist will be provided, or participants may bring their own accompanist if they prefer. There is a $25 application fee for the competition; scholarships available upon teacher’s request. Participants will be scheduled to perform on a first come, first served basis and location details will be provided. Special time requests will be considered, but are not guaranteed. Applications for entry are available on the Townsend Opera website.
About Townsend Opera
Townsend Opera was founded in 1983 by Modesto native Erik Buck Townsend, a graduate of Modesto High School, who had a successful international career as an opera singer. Buck Townsend worked tirelessly to lead the company for 25 years directing, conducting, teaching, and singing in performances, building sets and doing virtually every other job to keep the company operating. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2007, Buck and then-Board President Carl Bengston led an initiative to establish second-generation leadership that would ensure the Company’s future beyond his lifetime and allow it to thrive in its new home at the Gallo Center for the Arts. In February, 2008, the board appointed Matthew Buckman as the Company’s first Executive Director and Ryan Murray as Music Director. Mr. Buckman and Maestro Murray both worked with Buck until his passing in September, 2008, helping to secure the Company’s place in the community and in the opera world.
As its artistic profile has expanded over the past decade, the Company has been fortunate to welcome to our community some of the greatest artists and personalities in the field, including legendary composers Jake Heggie (Dead Man Walking) and Ricky Ian Gordon (The Grapes of Wrath), author and advocate Sister Helen Prejean, singers like Leah Crocetto and Irene Roberts, who are now gracing the stages of the finest opera houses in the world, and some of the leading stage directors working today. Townsend Opera is committed to providing the community with access to innovative operatic experiences as well as to the most popular and well known operas in the repertoire.
Townsend Opera Contact:
1214 11th St., Suite 3
Modesto, CA 95354