The Concert of Arias, hosted by mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade, was held last Thursday (February 8) in the Cullen Theater in Houston's Wortham Theater Center. Serving as jurors were von Stade, HGO general director Anthony Freud and mezzo Joyce DiDonato, who just finished starring in the company's production of Rossini's La Cenerentola.
Taking both the $5,000 second prize and the $1,000 Audience Choice Award was James J. McKee, a 24-year-old baritone currently studying at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. Jamie Barton, 25 years old and a student at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music, won the $3,000 third prize. Each of the remaining five finalists took home $1,000.
Among previous winners of the McCollum Competition are sopranos Mary Dunleavy and Ana Mar‹a Mart‹nez and mezzo Margaret Lattimore.