Abigail Levis, Mezzo-Soprano
First Place Prize Winner - $15,000
Michael St. Peter, Tenor
Second Place Prize Winner - $7,500
Peter Scott Drackley, Tenor
Third Place Prize Winner - $5,000
Named “Debut Artist of the Year” by the Joy in Singing Foundation, Abigail Levis has emerged as one of the most exciting young singers of today. Critics the world over have described her artistry as “fearless,” “impressive,” “witty” and “breathtaking” in styles as diverse as Monteverdi, Mozart, Britten and Leonard Bernstein.
As a professional singer, Ms. Levis has appeared as a soloist with the Toronto Symphony, the Handel and Haydn Society, Florida Symphony, Philharmonia Baroque, Portland Baroque, American Symphony Orchestra, Utah Opera/Symphony, Opera Parallele, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Wolf Trap Opera, Opera Philadelphia and Ars Lyrica Houston. This year she will sing Flora in La Traviata in Dallas, Texas.
She is also a prize winner of several competitions both at home and abroad including the Klaudia Taev Competition, the William Mattheus Sullivan Foundation, the New York Oratorio Society Competition, The Classical Singer Competition, The Gerda Lissner Competition and the William C. Byrd Concerto Competition.
A native of Portland, Maine, Ms. Levis holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, The University of Houston and Bard College. She has completed residencies at Utah Opera and Los Angeles Opera.
Tenor, Michael St. Peter received his Bachelor’s degree from the Julliard School and is currently in his last year of Graduate School at Manhattan School of Music where he studies with Marlena Malas. Previous credits include Le Petit Vieillard in Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortileges and Mercurio in Cavalli’s La Calisto. (Juilliard Opera). Mr. St. Peter has also performed the roles of Schmidt in Massenet’s Werther, Lurcanio in Handel’s Ariodante, Monostatos in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Borsa in Verdi’s Rigoletto and Peter Quint in Britten’s The Turn of the Screw. (Chautauqua Institution School of Music)
Credits with Manhattan School Music include Schoolmaster in Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, Ottokar in Johann Strauss II’s The Gypsy Baron and most recently he performed Le Prince, in Cendrillon, the rediscovered opera by Nicolo Isouard.
Michael was a finalist and recipient of an Encouragement Award from The Gerda/Lissner Foundation Lieder/Song Competition. Future engagements include the final round of the Joan Ades and Alan M. Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music and joining Opera Theatre of St. Louis as a Gerdine Young Artist.
Lauded by Opera News as having “showed vocal confidence […] his luminous head voice blooming with expansive and penetrating phrases,” Peter Scott Drackley has performed such roles as Rodolfo (La Boheme), Alfredo (La Traviata), Duke of Mantua (Rigoletto), Macduff (Macbeth) and Justice Scalia in Derrick Wang’s Scalia/Ginsburg, a role he performed in concert at the Supreme Court and was featured on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered.
Mr. Drackley also frequently performs concert work, including Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Beethoven’s Mass in C, Missa Solemnis and Ninth Symphony, Mozart’s Requiem and Schubert’s Mass in G in which he appeared as a soloist at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Drackley studied at Peabody Conservatory, was a Studio Artist with Sarasota Opera where he covered Avito (Montemezzi’s L’amore dei Tre Re), and an Apprentice Artist with Santa Fe Opera where he covered Edgardo (Lucia di Lammermoor) and Alfredo (Die Fledermaus). He debuted Riccardo (Un ballo in maschera) with Opera in the Heights, and Nemorino (L’eslisir d’amore) with Winter Opera St. Louis.
Mr. Drackley looks forward to performing the tenor solo in Verdi’s Requiem with Helena Symphony in Montana, Turiddu (Cavalleria Rusticana) with Boheme Opera in New Jersey and Fernando (La Favorita) with New York City’s New Amsterdam Opera.
Chonghwa Kim, Tenor
Milburn Male Encouragement - $2,500
Brittany Nickell, Soprano
Female Encouragement - $2,500
Korean baritone, Chonghwa Kim won First Prize in the 15th OSAKA International Music Competition in 2014, Second Prize in the La Bella Concorso di Canto Lirico in 2015 and First Prize in the T and B International Artist Concourse in 2015. He was a Finalist in the 2017 Premiere Opera International Voice Competition and received the Finalist Award in the 63rd annual Washington International Competition for Voice in 2016.
In 2012 Mr. Kim received a Diploma from Accademia di Arena. He earned a Bachelor of Music from Seoul National University in 2015. Currently he is working on a Master of Music degree at Mannes College of Music.
His opera experience includes singing the role of Belcore in L’elisir d’amore with Volkskammer Opera, Papageno in The Magic Flute and Marcello in La Boheme at the Bethesda Summer Festival.
Soprano Brittany Nickell is a graduate of Jacksonville University where she received her Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance and the Manhattan School of Music where she obtained her Master of Music and Professional Studies degrees. In October 2017 Brittany was awarded The Opera Index Award, a top prize at The Opera Index Competition in New York City. Miss Nickell was also seen as a finalist for the inaugural Premier Opera Competition also in New York City. January of last year brought her Carnegie Hall debut in the Song Continues series under the tutelage of Marilyn Horne. In the 2016 season, Brittany was one of four soprano fellows with the Music Academy of the West where she performed Ludmilla in The Bartered Bride and Elizabeth in Second Nature an opera written and conducted by Matthew Aucoin.
Previous credits include Madame de Volanges in the Manhattan School of Music opera theatre production of Dangerous Liaisons under the baton of Maestro George Manahan, Lady Macduff in Bloch’s Macbeth, Helen in Three Sisters and Sancta Susanna in Susanna, all with the Manhattan School of Music opera theatre. Other credits include Street Scene (Anna Maurrant), The Gondoliers (Fiametta) and Der Vampyr (Emmy Perth) all with Jackson University.