UT School of Visual & Performing Arts

Archive for May, 2015

Voice Scholarship Winners

Devon Desmond, Vocal Performance Student, University of ToledoVoice students Devon Desmond, Nadia Oselsky and Meridian Prall placed first, second and third, respectively, in this year’s Barbara Rondelli Perry Scholarship Competition for Superior Achievement in Voice Performance.

Devon Desmond (baritone) is a senior at The University of Toledo, majoring in Vocal Performance. He has been in many UT opera productions, appearing in the title role in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, as Toby in Menotti’s The Medium, Top in Copland’s The Tender Land, Bob in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief, and Tom/John from Mollicone’s The Face on the Barroom Floor. Devon has also performed a junior recital and in many opera gala’s and choir concerts. Devon also performed at Bottom in the UT Theatre & Film Department production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for which he was nominated to compete in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) competition. Devon also competed at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Ohio competition last spring in which he won 3rd place. Devon has studied voice under Carolyn Seeman, Don Bernardini, Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini, Kim Buhler, and Micah Graber.

Nadia Oselsky, Vocal Performance Student, University of Toledo

Nadia Oselsky (mezzo-soprano) is currently in her fourth year as a Vocal Performance major at The University of Toledo, studying under Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini. For her junior recital, she performed songs that focused on Slavic Repertoire, as part of her degree requirement. Last summer Nadia studied in Sansepolcro, Italy for three weeks, where she performed the role of La Ciesca in Giacomo Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi as well as participating in voice coachings and taking Italian lessons. After Italy, she traveled to Czech Republic for the Moravian Master Class and spent almost two weeks there. She worked with three different coaches on a daily basis on Antonín Dvořák’s Gypsy Songs. Nadia also had the privilege of studying Czech diction with Mirka Zemanová, the founder of the program. Nadia’s most recent performance was with The University of Toledo Opera Ensemble in Gianni Schicchi as Ciesca. Last fall, she was in An American Triptych: A Salute to American Opera, in which she played the role of Sally in A Hand of Bridge by Samuel Barber, and 2nd Barista in Seymour Barab’s A Game of Chance. Nadia’s previous operatic roles include Zita in Gianni Schicchi, and Jane in Patience by Gilbert and Sullivan.

Meridian Prall, Vocal Performance Student, University of ToledoMeridian Prall (soprano) is currently a Freshman Vocal Performance major studying with Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini at UT. She has previously been involved in different programs hosted at UT, including the Toledo Art Song Festival, and the Marilyn Horne Master Class which took place in October of 2013. Ms. Prall has been to Italy twice with different summer opera programs, including a program with The University of Toledo and North Carolina Young Artists Project over the summer of 2014 where she performed as Serpina in Cimarosa’s La Serva Padrona. In the fall of 2014, she played Knitter I in A Game of Chance by Seymour Barab with the UT Opera Ensemble, and most recently as Zita in its production of Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi. She is also active in classical singing competitions. In May of 2014, Ms. Prall placed third at the national Classical Singer Competition in San Antonio, Texas.


UT Music Student Wins Emerging Artist Award

Nnenne Edeh, Voice Student at The University of Toledo

Nnenne Edeh, Voice Student at The University of Toledo

Nnenne Edeh, a junior majoring in voice at The University of Toledo won first place in the local 2015 Vocal Arts Competition for Emerging Artists. She will go on to compete in Detroit this summer at the regional finals, and if successful, to the national competition in New York in July.

Contestants had to perform an opera Aria, foreign-language Art Song, an Art Song in English, a selection from oratorio, and a Spiritual or piece by a black composer. The competition is presented annually by the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, Inc.

Nnenne is a member of the UT Opera Ensemble and has performed roles in many of its productions. She was Zita in Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (Spring 2015), a role she also performed in the summer of 2014 in Italy during a study abroad experience. She was Mrs. Nolen in UT’s production of Menotti’s opera The Medium and Proserpina in its production of Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo.