HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WHLT) – Leaders with the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) announced alum David T. Walker was awarded third place overall and won the Deborah Voigt Award in the Utah Vocal Arts Academy “Death by Aria” competition. His colleague, Amanda Charles, second year DMA Vocal Performance student at USM, was selected to be the director for the opera scenes program for the academy.
“Death By Aria” is an annual competition held by the Utah Vocal Arts Academy and sponsored by Utah Lyric Opera.
“It was such a great feeling to even place in the competition,” said Walker. “Everyone here is so talented, and that someone of great stature in opera like Ms. Voigt liking what I brought to the stage, was very humbling and affirming for me as an artist.”
In addition, Walker will be performing as Mercury in Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld and as Don Curzio in Mozart’s Le Nozze Di Figaro.
Charles will direct scenes from operas including Verdi, Mozart, Donizetti, Gilbert and Sullivan, Britten, and more. The performance is scheduled for July 23 at 7:00 p.m. MDT.
“I have really enjoyed getting to work with all of these wonderful singers in staging these scenes,” said Charles. “I have been so grateful for this opportunity to grow and learn as a director.”