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Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition Education News

Congratulations to the Wood Advancement Grant recipients!

The New Orleans Opera Association is proud to announce the winners of the Fall/Winter 2020 Wood Operatic Advancement Grant:

Imani Sarai Francis and Lindsey Reynolds

Imani was the Second place female winner of the Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition (2015-2016). She was also the 2019 Fall/Winter recipient of the Wood Operatic Advancement Grant.

Lindsey received honorable mention at the Donald W. Wood, Sr. Vocal Competition (2015-2016) and was also the recipient of the 2020 Spring/Summer Wood Operatic Grant.

Imani Sarai Francis, B. M. , Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music.

Imani is a proud 2020 graduate of Boston Conservatory at Berklee School of Music. Recently Imani was accepted to the Louisiana State University Graduate School of Music where she will pursue a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance. Her plans include studying under the very capable tutelage of Dr. Loraine Sims. Imani requests financial assistance for this upcoming school year of 2020-2021 and is very grateful to the Wood Foundation through the New Orleans Opera Association for their continuous support of her career goals and aspirations. Imani graciously writes: “This organization is truly God sent and I have been blessed by your genuine concern and generosity for me and other aspiring young artists.”

Lindsey Reynolds, a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Music degree at the Curtis Institute of Music.

Lindsey is studying under the tutelage of Julia Falkner at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She also holds a Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music. She is a versatile young artist and her favorite roles include Zerlina Don Giovanni, Adina L’elisir d’amore, Giulietta I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Miss Wordsworth Albert Herring, and Monica The Medium. She is the recipient of many awards and accolades, including first place in the Camille Coloratura Awards: Student Division, James Toland Vocal Arts Competition: Tier 2, Junior Division of the Young Patronesses of the Opera/Florida Grand Opera National Voice Competition, Hal Leonard Vocal Competition, and the National Association of Negro Musicians Vocal Competition.

Last summer, Ms. Reynolds was a Gerdine Young Artist at Opera Theatre Saint Louis where she was to premiere the role of Lily in Awakenings written by Tobias Picker and Aryeh Lev Stollman (Canceled due to Covid-19). This October, Lindsey is very excited to be a featured artist in Lawrence Brownlee with Friends presented by Opera Philadelphia. It is her desire to have the funds to purchase equipment needed to accommodate performing and recording in this new COVID-19 world inside her one-bedroom apartment in Philadelphia and to purchase a camera, to rent professional space to make recordings, and to hire an accompanist. She needs this equipment to create the strongest videos possible for online auditions and competitions. All Young Artist Auditions are taking place online this fall, as are competitions. The Curtis Institute of Music, the Conservatory in which she is studying online as a first-year student in their Master’s Program, is not open to students or staff. No one can access their buildings. Such a strange new world in which we are residing. Lindsey confidently writes: “I hope to come out of this a stronger singer and performer!”

Congratulations to Imani and Lindsey!

Donations to the Wood Operatic Advancement Grant help finance and cultivate young vocal talent like Imani and Lindsey, please contact Gina Klein at the New Orleans Opera Office at (504) 267-9527 or write gklein@neworleansopera.org.