Junior Ben Strong won the Demareus Cooper Encouragement Award from the Pittsburgh District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. The yearly competition is used to identify top talent or a career in opera.
The panel of distinguished judges were Natalia Katyukova of the Metropolitan Opera, Craig Terry of Chicago Lyric Opera, and Robert Boldin of Pittsburgh Opera.
This competition has been instrumental in launching the professional careers of many opera singers.
Ben was the youngest competitor at 21, facing off against singers who were as old as 29, many of whom traveled from around the country to Pittsburgh to participate.
Department of Music