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OCU Soprano Wins Young Talent Award in Lenya Competition
Margaret Dietrich, an undergraduate soprano at the Bass School of Music at Oklahoma City University, has been awarded the first-ever Young Talent Award at the 2010 International Lotte Lenya Competition. This year's competition attracted 230 contestants from 12 countries. "Although she did not make the finals, the judges were so impressed with her that they created this award and can't wait for her to come back next year," said Dr. Frank Ragsdale, Dietrich's voice teacher at OCU. Dietrich, a 20-year-old junior music theater major from Grand Rapids, Mich., also was awarded $500. Held annually by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music, the Lotte Lenya Competition is an international competition for singer-actors, aged 19-32, judged dramatically and musically convincing in a wide range of repertoire. Judging emphasizes the acting of songs within a dramatic context. Soprano Teresa Stratas, who has judged the competition nine times, has called it "one of the most important international competitions in the world." The Lotte Lenya finals will be held April 17 at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. Judges are Broadway and opera stars Timothy Nolen and Lisa Vroman, and Broadway and Encores! music director Rob Berman. A unique feature of the Lotte Lenya Competition is that, in addition to performing an aria and a song from the American musical theater, contestants must prepare two contrasting songs by Kurt Weill, Lenya's husband. For more information, visit