Meet our Judges


Clare Burovac

Clare Burovac was appointed director of artistic operations at Portland Opera in 2008, where she oversees casting, the Portland Opera Resident Artist Program, and all community engagement programs. Burovac serves as Portland Opera’s primary management liaison to both the AGMA and the AFM artist unions. She is also a frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Prior to moving to Portland, Burovac spent 14 years at Seattle Opera serving in a variety of demanding roles, including production stage manager and production coordinator of the world-renowned Ring Cycle. She received an OPERA America Fellowship in Opera Production in 1993 and served as guest stage manager for San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Glimmerglass Opera among many others. Clare received a bachelor’s degree in violin performance from Bowling Green State University, and in addition to teaching violin and viola, she has performed with the Toledo Symphony, Ohio Light Opera Orchestra and numerous other professional ensembles in the Cleveland area.


Kay Paschal Freeman

Kay Paschal Freeman’s career as an international soprano has taken her to opera houses around the world from New York to Germany. Her concert successes include performances with many leading orchestras throughout the United States. Freeman starred in the Easter Saint Paul Sunday Morning NPR broadcast of Poulenc’s Gloria with the Kansas City Philharmonic and she won the prestigious National Institute of Music Theatre award, presented by Beverly Sills and Hal Prince at the Kennedy Center. Freeman served as principal voice teacher at Opera in the Ozarks and as stage director for Madama Butterfly at Springfield Regional Opera. She served as acting coach for Rising Star Vocal Works (Indiana) and presently serves on the voice faculty of La Musica Lirica, Novafeltria, Italy. Kay received a Bachelor’s in Vocal Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master’s in Opera Performance from Oklahoma City University. She currently serves on the faculty of Georgia State University and previously taught voice and acting to Master of Fine Arts students at the University of Tennessee. She leads frequent masterclasses for NATS, the Des Moines Metro Opera apprentice program, Opera in the Ozarks and La Musica Lirica.


Michael Lane Sylvester

Michael Lane Sylvester is a celebrated American operatic lyric-spinto tenor. Over the span of a successful 25-year operatic career, he has performed leading roles in many world-famous opera houses, including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, La Fenice, the Paris Opera, and London’s Royal Opera House. He made his professional singing debut as the tenor soloist in Verdi’s Requiem in 1975 and his operatic debut as Riccardo in Ballo in Maschera. This 1986 Metropolitan Opera National Council winner later debuted at the MET in 1991 as Rodolfo in Luisa Miller. Sylvester has also directed professional opera most notably with the staging of Aїda for the Indianapolis Opera in 2001. He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Voice at Wichita State University previously serving on the faculty at DePaul University School of Music. Sylvester is also Co-Founder and Co-Director of the San Miguel Institute of Bel Canto San Miguel de Allende, with Joseph McClain. Michael received a Bachelor of Music from Westminster Choir College and a Master of Music from Indiana University, where he studied under Margaret Harshaw.











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Buy Tickets

First Round
Saturday, October 20, 2018
11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Mayo Clinic
Taylor Auditorium
Scottsdale, Arizona

Second Round
Sunday, October 21, 2018
12:00 to 5:00 pm
Mayo Clinic
Taylor Auditorium
Scottsdale, Arizona

Finals Concert
Sunday, November 11, 2018
2:00 pm Matinee
Orpheum Theatre
Phoenix, Arizona

Contact: John Massaro
Phone: (623) 308-5293