Rising operatic baritone Sidney Outlaw is one of the winners of the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation’s International Competition. Outlaw, a native of Brevard, N.C., was awarded the second-place honor, which includes a $10,000 cash prize. Julia Bullock, a soprano from St. Louis, received the first place honor. Hyo Na Kim and Michael Kelly received honorable mentions.
The competition placement is a highlight for Outlaw, who is set to perform the title role in American Symphony Orchestra’s Moses later this month.
“I am pleased with how I finished,” said Outlaw, who will make his Atlanta Opera debut as “Figaro” in The Barber of Seville in April. The baritone is also set to cover “Mahmoud” in the Metropolitan Opera’s production of the The Death of Klinghoffer.
“One of the judges told me that my performance was ‘honest’ and I am always striving to be honest and true to the music, so that was just about the best compliment I could have ever received.”
The Naumburg Foundation, established in 1926, strives to pursue the ideals set forth by the foundation’s namesake, Walter W. Naumburg, who strived to assist young, gifted musicians in America through awards and competitions. The solo competition disciplines rotate from year to year, encompassing piano, violin and voice.
Outlaw wowed audiences in this season during his North Carolina Opera debut in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte as “Guglielmo,” a role his first played during his undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He also showcased his immense vocal talent with renowned pianist Warren Jones in the Christ Chapel Recital Series at the Riverside Church in New York City and Mozart: Requiem and Mendelssohn: Die erste Walpurgisnacht, both produced by the Oratorio Society of New York. In addition, he performed a solo in Ein deutsches Requiem with the Asheville Symphony Chorus in North Carolina. Most recently, he performed the bass solos in Handel’s Messiah with Musica Sacra NYC, which was produced by the Oratorio Society of New York.
Outlaw is no stranger to winning prestigious vocal competitions. He is a recent winner of Concurso Internatcional de Canto Montserrat Caballe. His other awards include earning second place in the 2011 Gerda Lissner Foundation Awards, national semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, semi-finalist in the Francisco Vinas International Singing Competition, finalist in the Concour International Musical de Montreal and George London Foundation, and grand prize in the Florida Grand Opera/YPO Vocal Competition.
Outlaw earned a bachelor’s degree in music performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He also earned a master of vocal arts from The Julliard School.
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