The Tenor Places Second and Secures the Orchestra’s Choice honor at the “World Championships in Wagner Song” in Aalborg, Denmark
Last Saturday, October 31, Athlone Artists tenor Cameron Schutza was awarded Second Prize and Orchestra’s Choice awards at the Lauritz Melchior International Singing Competition (LMISC) in Aalborg, Denmark. This is Schutza’s second appearance at the competition. In 2017, the tenor won third prize at the “World Championships in Wagner Song.”
Schutza’s prize-winning performance included the heroic tenor arias “Romerzählung” from Tannhäuser and “Winterstürme” from Die Walküre.
It was a tremendous honor to win these two awards at the Lauritz Melchior International Singing Competition 2020,” said Schutza, “and incredibly special for me to have been awarded the orchestra prize by the Aalborg Symfoniorkester. This is truly a world class orchestra and I look forward to coming back in Aalborg again soon.”
The LMISC is known as the top Wagner competition in the world and this past weekend, in a refreshing break from the current pandemic-imposed lockdown on most of the performing arts world, musicians from all over the world gathered to perform songs from the composer’s operatic masterpieces with the Aalborg Symfoniorkester in the triennial competition.
The LMISC began early last week with 16 singers chosen from a pool of over 100 young Wagner singers The semi-finals were held Wednesday, October 28th with eight participants accompanied by piano. Saturday’s final concert was with full symphony orchestra accompanied by Ralf Weikert. The finals were attended by Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II who – along with all attendees – wore masks at Aalborg’s House of Music.
Along with second prize honors, Cameron Schutza was awarded 94.000 Danish kroner (about $15,000 US). Margrete Fredheim was the the winner of the competition. Third prize went to Philippa Cold from Denmark and fourth to Charis Johanna Peden from the USA.
Praised by Opera Magazine for his “clarity of tone, ringing high notes and clear German diction,” tenor Cameron Schutza’s “expressive spinto voice” (Opera Warhorses) has been heard in concert and opera worldwide.
Mr. Schutza was lauded for his company and role debut as Chairman Mao in the Princeton Festival’s production of Adams’ Nixon in China, with Bachtrack saying, “Cameron Schutza is the Heldentenor Adams imagined for Chairman Mao, a big voice with a ringing top.” Parterre Box admiring the tenor’s “freaky tessitura” and “unearthly beauty.” He performed excerpts from the title role of Siegfried for The Metropolitan Opera Guild’s Wagner Ring Showcase at Lincoln Center’s Bruno Walter Auditorium, and was a soloist for the Lorin Maazel in Memoriam Concert with the Castleton Festival.
Recent highlights for the tenor include his debut as Pollione in Norma with both Sarasota Opera and Opera in the Heights, and the role of Narraboth in Salome with the Orquesta Sinfònica Nacional at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City with Carlos Prieto conducting. He has sung the role of Manrico in Il Trovatore with both Portland Summerfest and the Astoria Music Festival alongside soprano Angela Meade and Don José in Carmen with the Walla Walla Symphony. He performed the role of First Prisoner in Fidelio at the Caramoor International Music Festival, where he also covered the roles of Florestan, Danieli in Les vêpres Siciliennes, Rustighello in Lucrezia Borgia, the title role of Don Carlos and the Duca in Rigoletto.
Mr. Schutza joined the Metropolitan Opera roster for its productions of Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Tannhäuser, and Salome. His other credits include Jaquino in Fidelio with Michigan Opera Theatre and, on the concert stage, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony at Carnegie Hall, Verdi’s Requiem with Houston Masterworks, and Mozart’s Requiem with the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. He has sung in recital with Rockport Music in a program celebrating 150 years of Strauss with soprano Elizabeth Blancke-Biggs and performed concert arias with the New Jersey Festival Orchestra.
The Texas native is an alumnus of the young artist programs of Santa Fe Opera, Arizona Opera and Palm Beach Opera. A 2016 recipient of the top prize Robert Lauch Memorial Fund Endowment Award from the Wagner Society of New York, Schutza has also been a two-time winner of the Arizona District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.