cropped_web CSU Vocal Students win top prizes at the Denver Lyric Opera Guild annual competitionImage of

CSU Vocal Students win top prizes at the Denver Lyric Opera Guild annual competition

On March 3, 2012, fifteen finalists competed for top prizes in the annual Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition. Two vocal performance graduate students from Colorado State University won top honors: Kimberli Render, student of Dr. Tiffany Blake, won first prize and a $6,000 cash prize; Gene Stenger, student of Dr. Todd Queen, received Honorable Mention.

According to the Guild’s website, the “main objective of the Denver Lyric Opera Guild is the encouragement and support of Colorado’s young singers between the ages of 23 and 32. The Competition is an exciting event for these aspiring singers, and the Guild is proud to provide experience, opportunity and support to these young performers.”

Competitors each sang an aria of their choice, followed by a request from the judges.

 About the winners

Kimberli Render is in the Master of Music Degree in Voice Performance program at Colorado State University. She graduated from the Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music earning degrees in both Music Education and Vocal Performance where she studied voice with Dr. Michelle DeBruyn. A highlight in Ms. Render’s undergraduate career came the summer of 2009, when she was invited to participate in Si parla, si canta in Urbania, Italy coaching with the highly regarded Benton Hess, Bob Cowart, and Hugh Murphy. Ms. Render’s hard work has earned her continued success as a vocal artist. She has consistently been recognized as a finalist and semifinalist in state and regional NATS, MTNA, and other competitions held throughout various states in the Southeast. Some of her performance credits include Lucinda from Sondheim’s Into the Woods, soprano soloist in Mozart’s Coronation Mass, First Lady in excerpts from The Magic Flute, and Countess in The Marriage of Figaro. In addition, she is a certified K-12 Georgia music educator, who enjoys sharing her passion for music and life with children. Ms. Render never ceases to find musical inspiration, whether it is through teaching or performing.

Gene Stenger is completing his Master of Music Degree in Voice Performance at Colorado State University where he has performed the roles of Marco Palmieri (The Gondoliers), Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro), and Adolfo Pirelli/The Beadle (Sweeney Todd). As an Opera Fort Collins apprentice artist, he performed the role of Remendado (Carmen) at the city’s newly renovated Lincoln Center, Prince Yamadori (Madama Butterfly), and partial roles of Camille (The Merry Widow) and Karl (The Student Prince) for the 2010 OFC Viennese arias concert. During the summer of 2011, Mr. Stenger made his international debut performing in an Opera Scenes Exchange Program with students of East China Normal University in Shanghai, China, and in the role of Ferrando (Cosi fan tutte) with Opera Orvieto in Orvieto, Italy. After returning from Italy, he made his regional debut with The Fort Collins Symphony as the tenor soloist in “A Night at the Movies: Circa 1918.” Mr. Stenger completed his Bachelor of Music Degree in Voice Performance from the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory of Music. Additional opera credits include the role of the Stage Manager (Our Town), Orpheus (Orpheus in the Underworld), Deputy Governor Danforth (The Crucible), Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas),and the title role in Albert Herring. He has also performed the title role (Albert Herring) with Opera in the Ozarks Young Artist Program, Beppe (Pagliacci) with Opera per Tutti, and Bill (Hand of Bridge) with The Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival. His upcoming engagements as an OFC Apprentice Artist include King Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors) and covering the role of Count Almaviva (Il Barbiere di Siviglia).