The competition, which is open to Texas-based singers aged 18-30, concluded March 3 in the Gooch Auditorium at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and awarded a total of $19,250 in prizes.
A recent graduate of Southern Methodist University, Valerie Vizant performed the Gavotte from Massenet's Manon and "V'adoro pupille" from Handel's Giulio Cesare. Vinzant is continuing her studies at Indiana University with Carol Vaness and will sing at Wolf Trap this summer.
The Constance A. Klemow Founder's Award for second place, worth $5,000, was presented to 24-year-old soprano Dee Donasco, a soloist and cantor of Corpus Christi Cathedral (in the South Texas city) who studies with Flicka Rahn. She sang selections from Offenbach's Les Contes d'Hoffmann and Carlisle Floyd's Cold Sassy Tree.
For the first time in the history of the competition, there was a tie for third place: the $3,000 Bayne Blankenship Award will be split between tenor Eric Barry of Amarillo and baritone Brian Shircliffe of Houston.
This year's $1,000 "Encouragement Award" was presented to 22-year-old mezzo-soprano Catherine Martin, who sang selections from Britten's The Rape of Lucretia and Bizet's Carmen during the finals.
The remaining finalists were each presented with a check for $250 by the Dallas Opera Guild.