With a flurry of high C's, tenor Juan Jose de Leon, 28, of Corpus Christi, Texas, won the 2nd Mildred Miller International Voice Competition, run by the Opera Theater of Pittsburgh on Saturday and Sunday at Mellon Institute in Oakland. The tenor won with "Ah! mes amis," an aria from Donizetti's "The Daughter of the Regiment" that sports nine high C's.
Mr. DeLeon is a current member of the Pittsburgh Opera's resident artist training program, and two alumni of the program took second and third place: soprano Shannon Kessler Dooley, 33, of Pittsburgh and mezzo-soprano Stephanie Lauricella, 27, of Long Island, N.Y. An honorary certificate was given to soprano Lara Lynn Cottrill, 30, of Pittsburgh. In addition to a cash prize, the winners will be offered leading roles in Opera Theater's 2013 Summerfest productions taking place June 28-July 16, at the Twentieth Century Club in Oakland. The judges were Mildred Miller, Maryanne Cornetti, Jane Eaglen, Eugene Perry and Robert Croan.
A second contest held simultaneously, Opera Theater's Opera Champion Amateur Competition, was won by Sabina Balsamo, 18, Jeannette, a student at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.