Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition

Congratulations to the 2019 Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year

Duke Kim, Tenor

The 2018 Awards & Award Winners

The Mary Jacobs Smith Award

1st prize ($10,000)

Duke Kim

The Charles Maggio Award

2nd prize ($4,000)

Reginald Smith, Jr. 

The Robert J. Murray Memorial Award

3rd prize ($3,000)

Emmett O'Hanlon

The Lorena Bessey Mangin Memorial Award

4th prize ($1,000)

Anthony Ciaramitaro

The Jennifer White Memorial Award

5th prize ($500)

Leia Lensing

Honorable Mentions ($300 each):

The Katherine S. Tyrrell Memorial Award

Chelsea Miller

The Dr. & Mrs. Bob Robinson Award

WooYoun Yoon


The Glenn & Ginger Flournoy Award

Flora Wall


The Robert J. Petersen Award

Felicia Moore


The Dr. Melvin & Lea Johnson Memorial Award

Brandon Russell

The Opera Guild Audience Choice Award

Anthony Ciaramitaro

The Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year, tenor Duke Kim, pictured with the competition and grand prize sponsor Mary N. Smith. Mary sponsors the competition in memory of her mother who loved opera, Shreveport Opera, and was particularly passionate in supporting young artists and seeing them succeed.

The 10 finalists for 2019 Singer of the Year! 

The Charles Maggio Award winner, baritone Reginald Smith Jr., with Jodie Glorioso, who sponsors the 2nd place winner in memory of her grandfather.

The Lorena Bessey Mangin Award winner, tenor Anthony Ciaramitaro, with Geoff Mangin, who along with his wife Martha, sponsor the 4th place award in memory of Geoff's grandmother.

The Robery J. Murray Memorial Award winner, baritone Emmett O'Hanlon, with Cynthia Murray, who sponsors the 3rd place award in memory of her husband Robert who was the beloved general and artistic director of Shreveport Opera from 1980 - 1997.

Contralto Leia Lensing won the Jennifer White Memorial Award, and is pictured with Jennifer's parents, Shellye and Doug, who sponsor the 5th place award in Jennifer's memory.

About Singer of the Year

Annually, Shreveport Opera hosts The Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year Competition, Shreveport's only national singing competition. Opera singers from across the country travel to Shreveport seeking the title of Mary Jacobs Smith Singer of the Year, as well as the financial award that accompanies the title. Over the years, competitors have been seen and heard on some of the most famous opera houses in the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, the Chicago Lyric, Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera.


Roughly 150 singers go through the preliminary application process of the competition.  After careful review and adjudication of all applicants,  which is based on submitted recordings, between 20-26 singers are selected to participate in the semifinals in Shreveport. Judges from opera companies across the country hear all of the selected applicants on Saturday and determine the finalists. Those finalists then compete in the Finalists' Competition and Concert on Sunday.

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