Brent Turner, a 32-year-old tenor from Florida, won the $15,000 first prize in the 2016 McCammon Voice Competition on Saturday afternoon. He was chosen from a field that included 23 semifinalists Friday and 12 finalists Saturday.
Other winners in the finals, which were held in Bass Hall:
▪ Second prize ($7,500): mezzo-soprano Olivia Vote, 32, of St. Mary’s City, Md.
▪ Third prize ($5,000): soprano Melinda Whittington, 31, of Charlotte, N.C.
▪ Audience favorite award ($2,500): tenor Galeano Salas, 27, of Houston.
▪ Encouragement award for a male voice ($2,500): bass David Leigh, 28, of New York City.
▪ Encouragement award for a female voice ($2,500): soprano Elizabeth Sutphen, 25, of Syracuse, N.Y.
Other finalists included soprano Maren Weinberger, 26, of Houston; baritone Tim Renner, 28, of Woodbridge, Va.; soprano Felicia Moore, 27, of Princeton, N.J.; soprano Sarah Tucker, 28, of Houston; mezzo-soprano Claudia Chapa, 32, of Laredo; and soprano Alexandra Loutsion, 32, of Pittsburgh.
In addition to his first prize of $15,000, Turner earns a future role with the Fort Worth Opera. The 2014 McCammon winner, baritone Joo Won Kang, will take the leading role in the company’s upcoming Barber of Seville as part of his award for winning the competition.
Turner, whose hometown is Oviedo, Fla., was impressive in music by Wagner and Weber, displaying both dramatic power and lyric grace. His performance of a number from Weber’s Der Freischuetz was especially gripping.
The competitors were accompanied by two alternating pianists, Keith Chambers and Eric Malson. The jurors were Darren K. Woods of the Fort Worth Opera, Ana de Archuleta of ADA Artists Management, Melissa Wegner of the Metropolitan Opera, Michael Heaston of the Washington National Opera and Keith Wolfe of Opera Birmingham.