CCM alumni compete in Lotte Lenya Competition Finals

Victoria Okafor and Max Chernin to represent CCM at prestigious competition on Aug. 28

UC’s College-Conservatory of Music is delighted to announce that two of its alumni reached the finals of the Lotte Lenya Competition, one of the most prestigious vocal competitions for young artists. Victoria Okafor (AD Voice, ’21) and Max Chernin (BFA Musical Theatre, ‘12) were chosen to compete in a final round of 15 vocalists out of a record applicant pool of over 500.

Max Chernin

Max Chernin

Victoria Okafor

Victoria Okafor

In this year’s competition, all finalists were given $2,000 in an effort to help support struggling artists in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. The final round of the competition will take place on Saturday, August 28 in New York and will be livestreamed at

CCM is often well-represented at the Lotte Lenya Competition. Teresa Perrotta (AD Opera Performance, ’21; MM Voice, ’19) was a finalist in the virtual 2020 competition, during which no prizes were given because of the pandemic. In 2017, Paulina Villarreal (DMA Voice, ‘18; MM Voice, ’15) won third prize, while Jasmin Habersham (AD Opera, ‘15; MM Voice, ‘13) and Lisa Marie Rogali (MM Voice, ’18) each received prizes of $3000. Talya Lieberman (AD Opera, ‘16) took Third Prize in the 2016 installment of this prestigious international theatre singing contest, while Lauren Roesner (BFA Musical Theatre, ‘13) won Third Prize in 2013 and alumna Caitlin Mathes (AD Opera, ’10, MM Voice, ‘09) won First Prize in 2011.

About the Lotte Lenya Competition

More than a vocal competition, the Lotte Lenya Competition recognizes talented young singer/actors who are dramatically and musically convincing in repertoire ranging from opera/operetta to contemporary Broadway scores, with a focus on the works of Kurt Weill. Since its inception in 1998, the Lotte Lenya Competition has grown into an internationally recognized leader in identifying and nurturing the next generation of “total-package performers” (Opera News) and rising stars in both the opera and musical theater worlds. The roster of prizewinners has likewise grown to over 100, many of whom have gone on to major performing careers. Visit for more information about the Kurt Weill Foundation or the Lotte Lenya Competition.

Featured image at the top: Lotte Lenya competition graphic. 

Headshot of Alexandra Doyle

Alexandra Doyle

CCM Graduate Assistant , Marketing + Communications

Alexandra Doyle is a doctoral candidate studying clarinet performance at CCM. Alexandra’s master’s degree is also from CCM, and she holds bachelor’s degrees in clarinet performance and journalism from the University of Houston.

Additional Contacts

Curt Whitacre | Director of Marketing/Communications | UC College-Conservatory of Music

| 513-556-2683