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Rossini Awards


$7,500 awarded last year

The second annual Peggy Cravens Rossini Award auditions were held in Los Angeles and soprano Liv Redpath was selected to receive the prestigious First Place award at the Guild’s annual Vocal Competition on December 4, 2016 at the Helene Galen Performing Arts Center in Rancho Mirage. Peggy Cravens underwrote the First Place Award of $5,000 and Bill Galliker underwrote the Second Place Award of $2,500, in memory of Michael Cressey which was presented to baritone Michael Aiello. The panel of judges included legendary tenor and Rossini expert Rockwell Blake, acclaimed tenor Henry Price, Director, Flora Thornton Opera Program at Pepperdine University, Andrew Eisenmann, Guild Artistic Director and Guild President Bruce Johansen. Pepperdine voice instructor David Wilkinson was the accompanist and music coordinator.

Liv Redpath just finished her Master of Music at The Juilliard School as a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. This fall, she joined the Los Angeles Opera as a Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist. In LA Opera’s upcoming season, Liv will sing an Apparition in Macbeth, a compilation of works curated by Matthew Aucoin for Nosferatu at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, and cover Blonde in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Olympia in Les contes d’Hoffmann. She will join the Santa Fe Opera for their 2017 season as an Apprentice Singer, covering the Queen of Shemakha in The Golden Cockerel. Roles at Juilliard include Thérèse in Les mamelles de Tirésias, Königin der Nacht in Die Zauberflöte, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro, and Diane in Iphigénie en Aulide with MET + Juilliard. Liv was also recently invited to sing Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier for the scenes workshop with James Levine and the Met Orchestra at the end of this year’s Lindemann Young Artists season. In the summer of 2016, she sang Echo in Ariadne on Naxos with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Héro in Béatrice et Bénédict with Aspen Opera Theater Center. Prior to her time at The Juilliard School, Liv completed her studies in English at Harvard College, where she sang with various companies in Boston and received the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts upon graduation. With Lowell House Opera, she sang Cunégonde in Candide, Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the title role in Lakmé. She portrayed Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro, Adele in Die Fledermaus, and La Fée in Cendrillon with Dunster House Opera, and sang Belinda in Dido and Aeneas with The Harvard Early Music Society. In addition to these roles sung, Liv has also covered Fiorilla in Il turco in Italia, Lisette in La rondine, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, India in Shalimar the Clown, and the title roles in Iphigénie en Aulide and Snegurochka. Liv has worked with Barbara Hannigan on Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2 for Juilliard’s ChamberFest and tackled Babbitt’s Philomel for the Focus! Festival. She was featured in the New York Festival Of Song’s “At Home” concert after a week of residency at the Caramoor Center for the Arts. Additionally, Liv had the privilege to sing a traditional Chinese song for Mme Peng Liyuan, the First Lady of China, at The Juilliard School’s unveiling of their plans for a campus in China. With Juilliard415, she sang the Angelo in Handel’s La resurrezione under William Christie. Liv debuted at Carnegie Hall in Poulenc’s Gloria and Vaughan-Williams’ Hodie; she returned to Carnegie this season to sing Handel’s Messiah. With the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra she has worked with George Benjamin on his A Mind of Winter. Liv has spent her summers with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Wolf Trap Opera, The Aspen Music Festival and School, Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artists’ Vocal Academy, and SongFest. Roles sung in scenes throughout include Zdenka in Arabella, Norina in Don Pasquale, Maria in West Side Story, Nannetta in Falstaff, Sifare in Mitridate, Euridice in Orfeo ed Euridice, Tina in Flight, Frasquita in Carmen, and Giuletta in Les contes d’Hoffmann. Liv is the second place winner of the 2016 Western Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, was a grant winner with the Licia Albanese Puccini Competition and was awarded the Novick Career Advancement Grant and the Richard F. Gold Award from The Juilliard School. Liv is a native of Edina, Minnesota where her spirit animal–Mimì the Yorkie-Poodle–resides, along with her parents and younger brother. In her free time she enjoys reading, running, and dreaming her parents would bring Mimì to visit LA.

American baritone Michael Aiello is a promising new fixture of opera. This past summer, he was an opera fellow at the Aspen Opera Center where he sang the role of Jules in William Bolcom’s A Wedding, and was given the opportunity to study with Dr. Stephen King. Other recent performances include the title role in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Marcello in Puccini’s La Boheme with Point Loma Opera Theater in San Diego, CA. Michael has also enjoyed success in performances of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutti as Guglielmo with the Toronto Opera Summer Workshop. Michael attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for his graduate studies where he performed in Igor Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress as Nick Shadow, Mark Adamo’s Little Women as Friedrich Bhaer and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro. In addition to his work with CU Opera, Mr. Aiello has had the distinct privilege of working with many contemporary American composers such as Jake Heggie on his chamber piece Here and Gone as well as scenes from his opera Three Decembers. Michael also has worked with other composers such as Libby Larsen in her new opera, A Wrinkle in Time, Lori Laitman on her recently debuted first act of Ludlow; with Herschel Garfein in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead as the headlining Guildenstern; and with Kirk Meacham in Pride and Prejudice as Mr. Bennett. In tandem with his operatic roles, Michael has also achieved success on the concert stage. He has appeared as the baritone soloist for Handel’s Messiah and Faure’s Requiem, both with the choir and orchestra of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, Colorado. At his home in Salt Lake City, UT, Michael performs regularly with Cathedral of the Madeleine Choir School where he most recently was the baritone soloist for Vespro della Beata Vergine by Monteverdi under the direction of Dr. Craig Jessop. Mr. Aiello graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder, where he completed his Masters of Music degree in Vocal Performance. Michael also holds his Bachelor of Music degree cum laude in Music Education from the University of New York Fredonia. He currently resides in Salt Lake City, Utah with his partner and their beautiful baby pit-bull.