From Development server
25 August 2006

Soprano Miriam Murphy and Baritone James Rutherford Win First International Wagner Competition

Soprano Miriam Murphy of Ireland and baritone James Rutherford of England are the two winners of Seattle Opera's first International Wagner Competition, which took place August 19th in Seattle's Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.

Selected from among eight finalists by a panel of five judges - mezzo Stephanie Blythe, former Bayreuth Festival executive Dorothea Glatt, outgoing Bayerische Staatsoper Intendant Peter Jonas, Seattle Opera Young Artists' program director Peter Kazaras and stage director Stephen Wadsworth - the two winners were each awarded $15,000 by seattle opera general director Speight Jenkins.

Murphy's aria selections were "Ewig war ich" from Siegfried and Isolde's Narrative and Curse from Tristan und Isolde, while Rutherford's pieces were Fliedermonolog from Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and "Die Frist is um" from Der Fliegende  Holländer

Rutherford was also announced as the winner both the "Audience Choice" Award and orchestra favorite. He was presented with a plaque by Susan Hutchison from the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences.

Future plans for Murphy include a performance with the Royal Philharmonic in the fall, as well as the role of the Woman Convict in Covent Garden's September performances of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, while Rutherford will take part in a September performance of Meistersinger at the Edinburgh Festival.

The finals of the International Wagner Competition will be broadcast in entirety on 98.1 Classical KING FM in the Seattle area and streamed on its website at www.king.org on Saturday, August 26, at 7 pm Pacific time.

More information can be found at Seattle Opera's International Wagner Competition.

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