The 24-year-old Owens, a Virginia native who graduated from Baylor University, performed "Il est doux, il est bon" from Massenet's Herodiade, and "D'Oreste, d'Ajace" from Mozart's Idomeneo in the competition's first round on Friday, November 12.
On Saturday, November 13, in the second round, Owens sang "Es gibt ein Reich" from Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. In the final round, later that day, she reprised the Mozart aria, and sang "To This We've Come" from Menotti's The Consul.
This year, 155 aspiring singers applied to participate in the competition. Twelve applicants were selected to perform for a jury that included general, casting, and artistic directors from Texas companies, as well as the Florida Grand Opera, and artist managers from New York.
Owens took home $10,000. New York-based soprano Jacqueline Wagner won the second-place prize of $5,000; third place, $3,000, was won by Austin-based NaGuanda Miller-Nobles. Bass-baritone Jason Grant won the award for best male vocalist: in a field that featured nine sopranos, one tenor, one baritone, and one bass-baritone.
Previous winners include mezzo-soprano Vivica Genaux and baritone Richard Paul Fink.