In accordance with Mme Ponselle's testamentary wishes, The Rosa Ponselle Charitable Foundation, Inc., established the BIENNIAL ROSA PONSELLE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION FOR THE VOCAL ARTS in l984, which was designed to recognize and encourage talented young developing aspirants through study grants, living stipends, cash prize awards and concert appearances. In l992, the first ANNUAL ROSA PONSELLE "ALL MARYLANDERS'" COMPETITION FOR YOUNG CLASSICAL SINGERS, who were residents of the State of Maryland, was initiated. The Competition was opened to the "young potential" with age ranges between l0 to 2l years.

The Rosa Ponselle Competition for "YOUNG CLASSICAL SINGERS" from Maryland and Washington, D.C., was intended to uncover the latest young and worthy talents and to sponsor and nurture the refinement of their art through study programs and a concert appearance in an Annual Winners "Showcase" Concert. It has been the hope of the Rosa Ponselle Charitable Foundation, Inc., that future generations of singers may be prepared to launch their careers in their early twenties, such as did Rosa Ponselle and many of her contemporaries and followers.

The Rosa Ponselle Foundation was initiated in the year l982.  Mme Ponselle named six directors in her last Will and Testament to carry out her wishes. Of these original directors, only two remain -- Miss Elayne Duke and Maestro Igor Chichagov. Of the other four appointees, two are deceased, one has retired and one director was removed.

Citing alarmingly high percentages of poorly trained singers resulting in a lack of artistic accomplishment over the past several years, The Rosa Ponselle Foundation has called a HALT to its INTERNATIONAL and "ALL MARYLANDER'" competitions, effective in the year 2001 and continuing until such time as the curricular planning within music institutions includes competent vocal training and artistic coaching, intensified in consistency and frequency, to meet the needs of developing young singers and the demands of the art.

The president of the Rosa Ponselle Foundation, Miss Elayne Reynolds Duke, has termed singers an ENDANGERED SPECIES threatened with EXTINCTION as evidenced in a serious decline in the art.  The Ponselle Foundation, which has expended over $3,250,000 during the 16 years of its INTERNATIONAL, "ALL MARYLANDERS'" and "YOUNG NEW YORKERS'" Competition presentments, has discontinued the cash awards, study grant programs and travel stipends through its Competition format until such time as music institutions meet the art at least halfway in their training practices of young voices.  Entrusted by its benefactress with an exemplary legacy to perpetuate, The Rosa Ponselle Foundation has resolved to no longer contribute the mediocrity in the art, as it currently stands, nor to forsake its fiduciary responsibility towards its endowment.  

Individual study grant awards shall continue to gifted your classical singers studying with competent private teachers who are willing to provide intensified training schedules without charging rapacious lesson fees.  Worthy young artists between the ages of 16 to 21 who can sight read and play either violin or piano are encouraged to apply to the Rosa Ponselle Foundation for live auditions.

For those wishing to contribute to the ongoing development of young talent, please contact the Rosa Ponselle Foundation.  Through the years, many donors have helped young singers develop to their full potential.

Home | Rosa Ponselle | Guest Book | Listening Room 
Competitions & Awards | Press Releases | What's New
Opera Links | Gift Shop

Copyright (C) 2001, The Rosa Ponselle Charitable Foundation
All rights reserved

The Rosa Ponselle Web Site was designed by Visions, Ink., Clinton, Maryland