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Jacobs School of Music

Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010

IU Jacobs School of Music alumnus wins international opera competition

July 21, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Ljubomir Puskaric, an alumnus of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, received the gold medal in the Ondina Otta Opera Competition June 12 in the National Theater of Slovenia. The award includes a prize of 4,000 Euros and a performance with the Slovenian National Opera.

Ljubomir Puskaric and Angela Kloc in IU Opera Theater's February 2010 production of "Lucia di Lammermoor."

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"Winning First Prize at the Ondina Otta international competition was a great experience for me," said Puskaric. "Not just because I won the prize, but because it is more proof that my work with Professor Robert Harrison as well as with my accompanist, Davis Hart, has paid off. The knowledge I acquired during my two years at the Jacobs School is immense, and now I feel completely prepared for any challenges that will come in my future."

"The stars had to have been in rarely seen perfect alignment the day Ljubomir was born to be a singer," said Harrison. "The first time I heard his voice, on a CD that he sent to me from Croatia, I heard a voice of such rare, competitive beauty -- one that was connected profoundly to words and music, the type of which one hears few of in a teaching career. I liken his voice to legendary baritones such as Leonard Warren, Robert Merrill and John Charles Thomas -- voices that contained the finest balance of brilliance and warmth."

As a May 2010 recipient of a Performers Diploma from the Jacobs School, Puskaric is represented worldwide by Alec Treuhauf and Jack Mastroianni of IMG Artists.

"Jack and I are very pleased to have Ljubo on the IMG Artists roster," said Treuhaft. "We seldom encounter singers so young who have the technique and sense of style necessary to make an international career today. Even more, we are both struck by his integrity to the text and music, reflective of a real depth of character -- a trait which we think will not surprise members of the IU community who are fortunate enough to know him. There's little doubt he's on his way to genuine and well-earned success."

The Croatian baritone is currently resting before preparing for his next big job -- singing Enrico in Lucia di Lammermoor with Seattle Opera in October. He credits singing the same role with IU Opera Theater with opening the door to the Seattle stage as well as many others.

While a student at IU, he coached with Davis Hart, participated in opera workshops with Carol Vaness and studied voice with Harrison, with whom he continues to mentor online.

Puskaric and his wife, Antonija, reside in Zagreb, Croatia.

For more about the Jacobs School of Music, visit