The winners of the 2008 Irene Dalis Vocal Competition: where are they now?

Irene Dalis and Scott Bearden; photo by Bob Shomler, 2008

Opera San José subscribers cheered as Scott Bearden (baritone) took both 1st place and the Audience Choice award in the 2008 vocal competition. A former resident artist (2000-02), Mr. Bearden was also the Audience Choice in the inaugural 2007 competition. Following his departure from Opera San José in 2002, Mr. Bearden went on to sing lead roles with companies throughout the world, from Connecticut and Tennessee to Peru and Tel Aviv. Mr. Bearden’s 2012 engagements include Iago in Knoxville Opera’s production of Otello (April), and a return to Caramoor as Zambri in Ciro in Babilonia (July). Mr. Bearden can be heard as the Vicar in the Vox Classics recording of Britten’s Albert Herring, and he has recently released a solo recording of songs entitled A Piece of Art.

Arthur Espiritu (tenor), 2nd place winner in the 2008 competition, has since performed around the world with the Accademia of Teatro alla Scala, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Opera Fuoco, Theatre St. Gallen in Switzerland, Théâtre Champs-Élisées in Paris, France, the Learners Chorus in Hong Kong, and the Oulu Sinfonia of Finland. His recent and upcoming projects in the 2010-2012 season include making his role debut as Elvino (La sonnambula) and Oronte (Alcina) with St. Gallen, a company debut with the Israeli Opera in Tel Aviv, and reprising roles for Ashlawn Opera, Opera North (NH), Austin Lyric Opera and Washington Concert Opera.

While we are gathered at the California Theatre on May 19th for this year’s competition, 2008 3rd place winner Eugene Chan (tenor) will be singing Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Washington. Other 2012 engagements for Mr. Chan include Slook (La cambiale di matrimonio) for the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, and Figaro for Michigan Opera Theatre’s production of The Barber of Seville. He recently made his role debut as Hajny (Rusalka) with Theater Basel (Switzerland) and sang Dandini for Teatro Comunale di Bologna (Italy). He was a finalist in the Francisco Viñas International Competition in Barcelona (2012), the Geneva International Competition (2011) and the Elena Obraztsova International Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia (2011).

Scott Six (tenor) was the recipient of an award from the Wagner Society of Northern California in the 2008 competition. In 2010, he took first place in the Wagner Division of the Liederkranz Vocal Competition in NYC. He has been a part of the Evelyn Lear and Thomas Stewart Emerging Singer Program, under the auspices of the Wagner Society of Washington, D.C. since 2010. Recent appearances include Opera in the Heights in Houston, TX, and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Virginia. In January, Mr. Six returned to the west coast to sing Pagliacci in Stockton, CA, before performing his first Bacchus in Ariadne auf Naxos with Winter Opera St. Louis.

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