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Loyola alumnus wins second prize in international vocal competition

April 27, 2012

2012 Lotte Lenya Competition winners (left to right): Matthew Grills, Jacob Keith Watson, Justin Hopkins, Megan Marino. Photo courtesy of the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.

Justin Hopkins ’06, a Loyola University New Orleans alumnus from the College of Music and Fine Arts, won second prize in the finals of the 2012 Lotte Lenya Competition, held in April at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. A bass-baritone from Philadelphia, Pa., Hopkins tied with Jacob Keith Watson, tenor, for second place prizes of $10,000.

Inaugurated in 1998 to celebrate the centennial of actress-singer Lenya’s birth, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international theater singing contest that recognizes talented young singers and actors who are dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire. The competition is unique in its equal emphasis on singing and acting, and contestants must present fully acted, idiomatic performances of repertoire ranging from opera to contemporary musical theater.

“Justin showed great promise from the very beginning of his studies at Loyola. He has a voice of fine grained quality and sings with so much heart,” said Philip Frohnmayer, voice professor and coordinator of vocal activities at Loyola. “A strong background in piano gave him an excellent platform for growth, and I truly looked forward to his lessons.”

While at Loyola, Hopkins performed leading bass-baritone roles in three operas: “The Magic Flute,” “Lakme” and “Romeo and Juliet.”

Judges for this year’s competition were three-time Tony Award nominee Rebecca Luker, Broadway and “Encores!” music director Rob Berman, and Theodore S. Chapin, president of the Rodgers and Hammerstein Organization and chairman of the board of the American Theater Wing. Matthew Grills, tenor, won the $15,000 first prize and Megan Marino, mezzo-soprano, was awarded the third prize of $7,500.

The Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, which sponsors the competition, distributed a record $58,500 in prizes this year. The foundation is dedicated to promoting understanding of the life and works of composer Kurt Weill and preserving the legacies of Weill and his wife, Lotte Lenya.

For more information, contact Jess Brown in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at jlbrown@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.

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