The Rosa Ponselle Foundation

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News Releases

February 26, 1998


As a centerpiece to the 7th Annual Rosa Ponselle "ALL MARYLANDERS"' Competition, The Rosa Ponselle Foundation will feature its Winners' "Showcase" Concert with General Director of the Boston Lyric Opera Company, Mme Janice Mancini Del Sesto, as the event's Mistress of Ceremonies.

The Concert will be presented at Goucher College's Kraushaar Theater on Saturday, March 21, 1998 at 8:00 P.M. At the request of the late Rosa Ponselle, tickets are to be offered on a complimentary basis to the Baltimore audience attendees.

Guest artists will include lirico spinto soprano, Irine Ratiani, who is the 1997 Verdi Singer-of-the-Year Awardee from the famed Busseto-Verdi Competition. The 25-year old native of Tblisi, Georgia, who has already launched a successful operatic and concert career in Italy, Europe and Japan, made her American debut in September at Morgan State University during the postal stamp dedication to Rosa Ponselle.

The two medalists from the 9th Biennial Rosa Ponselle INTERNATIONAL Competition for the Vocal Arts, Kenneth Roberson and Michael Maniaci, will debut in the Concert as well. Gold Medalist, Kenneth Roberson, a 24-year old lirico spinto tenor, in transition from baritone, was granted a $25,000 cash award by the Ponselle INTERNATIONAL Competition jury members last November to enable him to initiate his training into the tenor vocal category in Italy. Michael Maniaci, a 21-year old male soprano, who was the Bronze Medalist recipient of a $10,000 award in the INTERNATIONAL Competition, currently studies at the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music.

A special featured artist for the evening will be Mary Amanda Gosíer, who was a Silver Medalist in the 1995 "ALL MARYLANDERS'" and a Finalist in the Rosa Ponselle INTERNATIONAL Competition of November 1997. Mlle Gosíer, a student at Catholic University, has recently returned from a year of study in Rome, Italy with famed Italian diva, Antonietta Stella.

The 1997 Gold Medalist in the 7th Annual Rosa Ponselle "ALL MARYLANDERS"' Competition, Cristina Nassif, from the University of Maryland, will be featured in the Concert, along with Peabody's Silver and Bronze Medalists, tenor Daniel Holmes and mezzo-soprano Tameika Lunn.

The Silver Rose Awardees from the 1997 "ALL MARYLANDERS"' Competition to be introduced in their "Showcase" Concert debuts are Brandi Burkhardt, Erin Frisby, Stacey Mastrian, Jennifer O'Loughlin, Joshua Saxon, Jessica Simmons, Colleen Sklamm, Kevin Thompson and Amanda Zalenski.

The piano artist who will accompany the singers is renowned recording artist, William Lewis.

Musical programming and Concert preparation is by Music Director of The Rosa Ponselle Foundation, Maestro Igor Chichagov.

The 1998 Rosa Ponselle Teacher-of-the-Year Award presentation of a Gold Medal will be given to Prof. Jean Carter of Catholic University. Prof. Carter has consistently trained and presented with distinction, many of the fine singers who have been award recipients in the "ALL MARYLANDERS"' Competitions. Jean Carter is the wife of the internationally-renowned choral director Dr. Nathan Carter of Morgan State University where The Rosa Ponselle Foundation's first Gold Medalist Teacher-of-theYear Awardee, Prof. Betty Ridgeway, serves as a faculty member.

The 7th Annual Rosa Ponselle "ALL MARYLANDERS'" Competition will be open and free to the public. It will be held at the Kraushaar Theater at Goucher College on the following dates and times:

Wednesday, March 18 at 2:00 P.M.
An audio-visual slide, film and recorded presentation on the life and career of the legendary Ponselle. The two-hour presentation has been featured throughout the U.S.A., Canada, England and Italy under the auspices of The Rosa Ponselle Foundation. The lecturer, Miss Elayne Duke, is the former "Villa Pace" Museum director and currently serves as president of The Rosa Ponselle Foundation. Miss Duke collaborated with James Drake on the material used in his two biographies of Ponselle, and with Mary Jane Phillips Matz on her recent Ponselle biography. Miss Duke, who is one of the oldest and last of Ponselle's closest living personal friends, served as the diva's personal representative for the last 15 years of her life was named by Ponselle as the Director of the "Villa Pace" Museum in the diva's Greenspring Valley estate.

The public is invited to attend the general seating presentation at no cost and need not make reservations.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 19, 20, 21 from 12:00 Noon to 4:00 P.M.
Auditions for the 7th Annual Rosa Ponselle "ALL MARYLANDERS'" Competition. General Seating/NO CHARGE.

Saturday, March 21 - 8:00 P.M.
"Showcase" Concert. TICKETS ARE REQUIRED General Seating/NO CHARGE.

Sunday, March 22 from 2:00 P.m. to 6:00 P.M.
Awards Announcements and Evaluations. General Seating/NO CHARGE.

Concert attendees may receive up to two complimentary tickets by mailing a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

The Rosa Ponselle Charitable Foundation
Stevenson, Maryland 2ll53-9999
Telephone: (4l0) 486-46l6 - Fax: (4l0) 486-0495

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Updated: 9/19/99
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