Centenary music students win prestigious opera scholarships

Clockwise from left: Zipphora Hyman, Cindy Sadler, Carlos Romero, Cory Wikan, Victoria Sundin, Sierra Worman

SHREVEPORT, LA — Four Centenary College students have been awarded full scholarships to the 13th annual summer season of the prestigious Spotlight on Opera training program based at Centenary’s Hurley School of Music. The new scholarship competition was inaugurated in 2019 and is designed to allow incoming, current, or recently graduated Centenary students to attend the professional development program.

Hurley School of Music artist-in-residence Cindy Sadler founded Spotlight in Opera in 2007 as a one-week summer program. It now attracts students from all over the United States and foreign nations such as Canada, Taiwan, and Kenya. Spotlight alumni go on to distinguished programs and performing careers. Sadler brought the Spotlight on Opera program to Centenary in the summer of 2018.

“Spotlight on Opera’s inaugural year on the beautiful Centenary campus was a huge success,” says Sadler. “Spotlight and Hurley are really a match made in heaven as far as we are concerned. Having been on faculty as artist-in-residence and director of the Singers’ Workshop for the past two years, I have seen firsthand the quality of student who chooses the Hurley School of Music for their all-important undergraduate education. As executive director of Spotlight, I know these are the types of student who will excel in our program as well.”

The 2019 Spotlight on Opera scholarship winners are senior Victoria Sundin (soprano) and juniors Zipphora Hyman (soprano), Carlos Romero (baritone), and Sierra Worman (soprano). In addition to receiving scholarships to study at Spotlight this summer, each singer has also been offered a mainstage role in the 2019 Spotlight on Opera summer season. The students all went through the same application and audition process as any other applicant to the program and were cast on merit alone.

Sundin will sing Fiordiligi and Romero will sing Gugliemo in Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Hyman will sing the role of Dorabella the Cat in the touring children’s opera, John Davies’ The Bremen Town Musicians, while Worman will sing The Foreign Woman in The Consul and cover Despina in Così fan tutte. All four scholarship winners will sing in the chorus for Spotlight on Opera’s professional gala fundraising concert performance of Aida on July 28.

The summer program focuses on artistic entrepreneurship and professional development for singers at all stages of their careers, both those who are working toward professional careers in opera and those who want to sing for fun and personal enrichment. The intensive program includes classes in the business of singing, finances, acting, movement, mental preparedness and performance psychology, and social media as well as master classes with prominent practitioners in the opera world. Participants have the opportunity to perform in scenes, concerts, and full opera productions during the course of the program.

“Centenary’s Hurley School of Music is fortunate to host Spotlight on Opera, which offers an exemplary breadth and depth of training to vocal artists,” says Dr. Cory Wikan, acting dean of the Hurley School. “The scholarships make it possible for Hurley students to maximize their educational experience on Centenary’s campus. I’m so pleased that our students have the opportunity to refine their skills, develop an understanding of the performing business, and expand their resumes through Spotlight. I expect this summer’s program will be a great success both on campus and in the Shreveport-Bossier City community.”

The Spotlight on Opera summer scholarships are worth $9,600 each and are sponsored by Spotlight on Opera in partnership with the Hurley School of Music and Centenary College.