This internationally-recognized vocal competition engages impressive young operatic talent from all over the world.
The Cooper-Bing Competition aims to encourage emerging artists and celebrate the next generation of opera stars.
Join us and cast your vote as singers compete for a top prize of $10,000! You don’t want to miss this experience!
MEET OUR 2021 FINALISTS
Matheus Luduwig Coura
Brazilian-American countertenor Matheus Luduwig Coura is a passionate performer of all repertoires. Most recently, Coura performed the title role in Handel’s Ottone with SFCM Baroque and Alto Soloist in Messiah with the Reading Choral Society. Upcoming engagements include Giuliano in Cavalli’s Eliogabalo with West Edge Opera Festival and the Finals of the St. Petersburg Opera Guild and Bienniel Bethlehem Bach Competitions.
Highlights for Coura include Teucro in Porta’s Ifigenia in Aulide with Ars Minerva, Alto Soloist in The Mass in B-Minor, Featured soloist in Handel’s Utrecht te Deum with American Bach Soloists, Alto Soloist in Elgar’’s Sea Pictures at Palms Presbyterian Church, Countertenor Soloist in Handel Arias with the San Francisco Ballet; Andronico in Handel’’s Tamerlano and Bertarido in Rodelinda at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Matheus holds a Master’s Degree in Voice, and Professional Studies Diploma in Historically Informed Performance Practice from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Korean-American mezzo-soprano Alice Chung is rapidly being recognized for her “operatic tonal glamour” (Parterre). Ms. Chung has sung with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Central City Opera, Chautauqua Opera, and Tulsa Opera. Few of her role credits include Ježibaba (Rusalka), Die Hexe (Hänsel und Gretel), Larina (Eugene Onegin), and La zia Principessa (Suor Angelica) as well as her acclaimed excerpted portrayals of Azucena (Il trovatore), Gertrude (Hamlet), and Santuzza (Cavalleria rusticana).
Off the main stage, Ms. Chung has been seen with the Kansas City Symphony, Bucks County Symphony, and, most recently, San Francisco Opera, for her Schwabacher Debut Recital.
Ms. Chung has been the recipient of numerous awards from the Shoshana Foundation, Mildred Miller International Vocal Competition, Gerda Lissner Foundation, Orpheus Vocal Competition, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Currently based in Philadelphia, Ms. Chung is in her third year of residency at the Academy of Vocal Arts.
Praised for her “big, beautifully projected voice with an attractive edge and sparkle” (Arts Knoxville) soprano, Adia Evans is quickly establishing herself as an up-and-coming operatic talent. During her tenure in Knoxville, Evans has been featured as Adina in University of Tennessee Opera Theater (UTOT)’s production of L’elisir d’amore, Laetita in Old Maid and the Thief (UTOT), La Zia in Knoxville Opera’s production of Madama Butterfly. Last season, Evans was awarded Second Place and Audience Choice in the 2020 Harlem Opera Theater Vocal Competition.
Evans currently studies at the University of Tennessee Knoxville with Dr. Kimberly Roberts. Evans holds is a proud alumna of University of Maryland College Park and the Baltimore School for the Arts. Evans, devoted to social action and advocacy, works in nonprofits when she is not on stage. This spring, Evans will be featured as Ms. Dara in An Embarrassing Position (UTOT).
Edwin Jhamal Davis
Edwin Jhamal Davis is a proud native of Utica, MS. He’s an alumnus of Jackson State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with dual minors in Chemistry and Music. In 2014, while studying voice with soprano Phyllis Lewis- Hale, he made his professional debut with the Mississippi Opera singing Simone in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. He is a Master’s Degree recipient of the Manhattan School of Music where he studied with well-acclaimed baritone and bass-baritone, Mark Oswald and James Morris, and has participated in numerous professional and academic engagements in the concert and opera repertoire. He was crowned the national winner of the Marian Anderson Vocal Arts Competition hosted by the National Association of Negro Musicians in its centennial celebration and is also a Metropolitan Opera Eastern Region award winner. He is currently serving as Bass in Residence with the Portland Opera Association, for the 2020-2021 season.
Joseph Leppek, described as a tenor with “clarity and enormous charm” (KC Independent), is originally from Novi, Michigan. He is currently completing his first year as a resident artist with the Minnesota Opera Resident Artist Program, and was seen in Minnesota Opera’s digital Albert Herring as well as their web-series Apart Together. He is a graduate of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s Resident Artist Program and performed Pedrillo in Die Entführung aus dem Serail and Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor. Joseph starred as Tony in Francesca Zambello’s new production of West Side Story, as a young artist with the Glimmerglass Festival. He is also a past Apprentice Artist with Central City Opera, where he sang Maintop in Billy Budd. Joseph was a national Semifinalist with the Metropolitan National Council Auditions in 2020. He is a graduate of the prestigious Rice University and DePauw University.
MEET OUR 2021 JUDGES
Barbara Lynne Jamison
Barbara Lynne Jamison has established herself as a successful arts programmer with a proven record of strategic and fiscal leadership, with a focus on increasing breadth and depth of community impact by connecting people to, and through, the arts.
Barbara became the sixth General Director in Kentucky Opera’s 67-year history in August 2018. Prior to her appointment as Kentucky Opera’s chief executive and artistic officer, she served as Director of Programs and Partnerships at Seattle Opera and Director of Programs at the Metropolitan Opera Guild (NYC). A builder by nature, she has sparked multiple new initiatives, including a highly acclaimed chamber opera series, creative placemaking projects, and opera commissions and productions for all ages — providing meaningful experiences for people not traditionally served by opera. In her first two years with Kentucky Opera, she has introduced new programming and a unique approach to producing mainstage opera that centers the voices of the community through partnerships and participation. Such projects have successfully demonstrated the power of opera as a vehicle for seeking and inspiring beauty, truth, and reconciliation in a community.
Her degrees include a BMus in vocal performance form Florida International University, MMus in vocal performance from Manhattan School of Music, and additional doctoral work as Dean’s Scholar at Boston University. Prior to her administrative career, Jamison was an accomplished professional soprano and conductor.
Evans Mirageas is in his sixteenth year as The Harry T. Wilks Artistic Director of Cincinnati Opera. It is America’s second oldest opera company and celebrated its one hundredth anniversary in 2020. In addition, he maintains a roster of private artistic consulting clients, both institutions and individuals.
Evans was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1976. His varied career in classical music has embraced record retail, radio production with the nationally renowned WFMT in Chicago, symphony administration as Artistic Administrator with the Boston Symphony and artistic leadership as Senior Vice-President of The Decca Record Company.
He is a frequent record producer, adjudicator, panelist and guest lecturer for The Metropolitan Opera, Opera America, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Dallas Opera, Mostly Mozart, The St. Louis Symphony among others. His board affiliations have included The Sullivan Foundation and The American Composers Forum.
Kelly KuoArtistic Director, Oregon Mozart Players and Associate Artistic Director, American Lyric Theatre
Praised by the Cincinnati Enquirer as “a leader of exceptional musical gifts, who has a clear technique on the podium and an impressive rapport with audiences,” Kelly Kuo brings a dynamic versatility and nuance to a diverse repertoire, which includes over 80 operas and an expansive symphonic repertoire. Currently Artistic Director of Oregon Mozart Players, recent engagements include productions with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, Madison Opera, Tulsa Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Brevard Music Center, and Anchorage Opera and concerts with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and Ballet Fantastique.
Under the leadership of Irma M. Cooper, Opera Columbus launched its vocal competition in 1983, two years after the company was founded. Ms. Cooper believed a vocal competition would help fill young singers’ need for exposure to, and constructive feedback from, well-respected professionals from the opera industry. The competition has helped to launch the careers of many singers, including world renowned mezzo -soprano Denyce Graves and Metropolitan Opera artists Dina Kuznetsova, Richard Paul Fink, Lucas Meachem, Nicole Heaston, Richard Zeller, Susan Foster, and Alyson Cambridge. Several of Columbus’ performance venues have hosted the event, including the Palace Theatre (1983–1991), the Ohio Theatre (1992), Mees Hall at Capital University ’s Conservatory of Music (1992–2003), Weigel Hall Auditorium at The Ohio State University (2004–2012) and our current venue and new home of Opera Columbus, the Southern Theatre (2013–present). In addition to being a co-founder of Opera Columbus, Ms. Cooper was Director of the Opera Columbus Vocal Competition and served on the Opera Columbus Board of Trustees, where she was honored as a Life Trustee. In 2014, thanks to a generous donation from Arthur and Hetty Bing that will help to ensure the future sustainability of the competition, the name of the event has been changed to the Cooper-Bing Vocal Competition. The competition is also supported by six life trustees and others who made major financial commitments to endow our competition including, Sheldon and Becky Taft, Dr. Henry Sauls, the Ruth and Dick McNeal Fund, Katie and Willie Grové, Lyman Leathers, Johanna Destefano, Polly Lindeman, and Charlie Warner.