2022 UO Opera Scholarship Competition

The Opera department will be awarding three scholarships: the Ann & Wayne Lamon Musgrove Scholarship, the Thomas & Connie Kulick Scholarship, and the Kathleen Lacey Bezinover Scholarship. Thanks to the generous donations from Ann & Wayne Musgrove, Connie and Tom Kulick, and the Charles Bezinover family, these new scholarships will provide support to voice majors who display an exceptional talent for opera. The awards may be used to assist students with expenses related to attending the university, including but not limited to, tuition, fees, books, miscellaneous supplies, and room and board. The awards will be given the Fall, Winter & Spring terms of the 2022-2023 academic year.

The UO Opera Scholarship Competition will take place Sunday, April 24th at 2:00 pm in Beall Concert Hall. Three UO Voice students have the opportunity to win a part of the $8,000 gift. Winners will be decided by three outside adjudicators; Ruth Dobson, Erika Rauer & Richard Zeller (bios can be found below). Admission is free to the competition.

To register download the form below or pick up a form outside of Dr. Esquivel's office, 268 Frohnmayer Music Building. Upon completion, they can be turned in to Dr. Esquivel's mailbox at the reception desk by end of the day April 21st.  


Ruth Dobson

Ruth Dobson received the Governor’s Arts Award from the state of Oregon in 2007 for her distinguished work in the field of opera. After retiring as Professor of Music at Portland State University, where she taught voice, opera workshop, and song literature, she joined the adjunct voice faculty at the University of Oregon. Ms. Dobson was the director of the PSU Opera Theater, which she began in 1977. PSU productions of Le Nozze di Figaro in 2000 and Don Giovanni in 2003 were awarded first place in the opera production competition of the National Opera Association. She was Co-Founder of both the Astoria Music Festival and Portland SummerFestOpera in the Park. She holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Montana, and a Master's Degree in Vocal Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where she held a graduate fellowship as an opera coach/accompanist. Her current and former students are singing professionally throughout the United States and Europe, including Audrey Luna, Kelley Nassief, Clayton Brainerd, Siena Licht Miller, and many others. As a soprano, she has performed frequently throughout the Northwest and the US.

Erika Rauer

Erika Rauer is a soprano, arts administrator, and educator based in Eugene, Oregon. Her operatic credits include the title role of Salome at Oper Bremen in Germany, Abigail Williams in The Crucible with Opera Boston, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Tanglewood Music Festival, Dido and Aeneas with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Nico Muhly’s opera Dark Sisters with Opera Company of Philadelphia and Gotham Chamber Opera. Her symphonic repertoire includes Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 14 with the Franciscan Chamber Orchestra, Beethoven’s Mass in C Major with Albany Pro Musica and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Yale Philharmonia. Ms. Rauer received professional training at Glimmerglass Opera, the Tanglewood Music Festival, and the Steans Institute at Ravinia. She also has many years’ experience in arts administration at organizations including New York City Opera and the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall. She is currently the Executive Director of Eugene Opera. Ms. Rauer holds a BA from Swarthmore College in Religion and an MM from the Yale School of Music in Voice.

Richard Zeller

Richard Zeller is internationally acclaimed for his dramatic voice and consummate musicianship.

Mr. Zeller made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1989 and has appeared there for 11 seasons; in the 2002/03 season Mr. Zeller appeared at the Met in lead roles in three new productions; as Ernesto in Bellini’s Il Pirata; as the main lead role of Eddie in William Bolcom's opera, A View from the Bridge, and Chorebe in Berlioz's Les Troyens.

Zeller has appeared with the Chicago Lyric Opera, New York City Opera, Berlin Staatsoper, Hamburgische Staatsoper, Deutsche Opera am Rhein, English National Opera at the Barbican in London, the Edinburgh Festival and Vienna Festival as well as many other opera houses throughout the world.

On the concert stage, he has appeared with over 100 symphonies and orchestras in the US and abroad.  Performances include the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Chicago Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra and performances with the Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and many others.

Mr. Zeller has been Director of Opera at Biola University Conservatory of Music in LA and on Voice faculty at the University of Oregon and is now teaching at Portland State University. He maintains an active private studio at home and online; a more complete bio is available on his website richardzeller.com.