Classical Idol


I love opera. I love musicals. I love the idea of singers being fluent in both worlds, and I admire that this vocal competition requires from each applicant one aria and one Broadway number. I’m a lot less enthusiastic about the concept of “crossover,” which 49 times out of 50 indicates sub-Webber Eurocheese; or the fact that the press release invokes Il Divo as a model to emulate; or the name they picked (formally, it’s the Sun Valley Opera International Vocal Competition), though someone was bound to use “Classical Idol” at some point for something. But the judges—Seattle Opera conductors Dean Williamson and Phil Kelsey and singers Melvyn Poll and Jane Eaglen—are definitely to be trusted. And last year’s audience choice winner, Edlyn de Oliveira, had been one of the more affecting Countesses I’ve ever seen in the 2005 Marriage of Figaro staged by Seattle Opera’s Young Artists Program. The finals are open to the public; come hear the Countesses, or the Eliza Higginses, of tomorrow.

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