Indiana University

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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Last modified: Tuesday, August 3, 2010

IU Jacobs School of Music student new ‘Opera Idol’

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Aug. 3, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Michael Match, a doctoral student at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, is America's new "Opera Idol."

The countertenor learned July 26 that he had won Cincinnati's second annual Opera Idol Competition with his rendition of "L'angue offeso" from Handel's Julius Caesar. He will receive a $3,500 contract with Cincinnati Opera.

"The entire experience has been wholly unique, unlike any audition or competition that I have done -- from the concept to the a cappella first audition (just like the TV show) to the quick camaraderie that all 10 final singers developed," said Match. "It really reinvigorated the passion and drive for the operatic repertoire that I developed while at IU.

"The guidance and support that I received from my teachers at IU, especially my voice teacher Patricia Havranek, has helped me immeasurably," he said. "Most importantly, I have learned that often one must consolidate all of his/her talents and abilities to make a life as a professional musician."

Nearly 60 amateur opera singers turned out to perform before a panel of professional judges in the competition's initial open audition in early June.

Through multiple rounds of voting, six finalists were chosen. Videos of those finalists in performance were posted on the Cincinnati Opera Web site, and the public was invited to view the videos and vote for their favorite. More than 4,500 total votes were cast.

Match, 31, began working in his church choir at age 11 by playing the organ but did not begin singing until high school. Originally from Niles, Ohio, he earned his B.A. in voice from Youngstown State University, and his M.M. from the Jacobs School of Music in 2004. During the 2007-08 season, he toured with the men's choral ensemble Chanticleer, singing first soprano. He is currently organist and music director at Saint Aloysius Gonzaga Church in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"Being a member of Chanticleer was an amazing opportunity, but being back in opera is really where my heart lies," he said. "I'm so grateful to Cincinnati Opera for making it possible to re-imagine my dreams."

For more information about the Jacobs School of Music, visit

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