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                                    We encourage singers young and old to join us!

The Happy 208th Birthday

Guiseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner

Vocal Competition and Grand Fete' is cancelled again...


                                    CANCELLED AGAIN!!!!!

                                                          October 9, 2022

Professional singers, former professionals and amateurs alike are heartily welcomed to join us for a day filled with great music! Haven't sung in 10, 20 or more years? Who cares. C'mon, you have 18 months to dust off and polish the chords.

Top a little shaky? No top? We don't care. DO IT FOR VERDI AND WAGNER !!! Let's have fun. Even Richard hopes to sing sometime during the weekend of festivities, though not as a competitor. Jonquil and I purr when he sings. He says that's not a good sign. He says the proper production and placement of his voice would be hurting our little ears.

Semi-Finals:  45 entries will be invited to perform at the Semi-Finals /Birthday Party on October 9th, 2022, though we welcome all Wagner/Verdi admirers to join in the festivities. Great singing, great food, the beauty of the Hudson River Valley in Autumn. You haven't lived until you experienced the Walkway over the Hudson.

To register, please answer the the questions below in a word document or in the body of the email, and email to:

Or, if you would prefer, you may snail-mail your interest/application to OCE, Inc. c/o Richard Sonnenschein, PO Box 3121, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603. Please include S.A.S.E, if you would like questions answered.

Above: Konrad Knoll Statue of Wolfram von Eschenbach.Wehlenberg, Germany

Photo: WikiMediaCommons contributor, Jarlhelm 

1. Your name(s), email address, telephone number and entry category ( i.e. soloist, duet, trio, quartet, quintet, sextet, chorus). If entry is a duo, etc., please list the names of all who will perform. If you won't know for sure for awhile, that's fine. Let us know when you can. Individual performers may collaborate with entrants in other categories (i.e. you are entered in the soloist category, but have friends wanting you to be part of their trio entry, and yet another friend desiring you join him/her in a duet entry. JUST GREAT! However, performers may participate only once in any given category.

2. Voice Type(s)

3. Entrant's three preferred performance selections, listing first the one which you would most like to be asked to perform; and the time of day, given semi-finals will run from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday, October 9th, 2022, you would prefer to sing?

4. Are you and/or others joining you in an ensemble category ?

5. Accompanists will be provided for all performances. Please tell us if you plan on bringing your own accompanist, so we don't make unnecessary arrangements for one in your case.

6. Let us know, If you would want rehearsal time with an accompanist. We'll refer you to available pianists* in our area.

7. Should you be among the three entries to win the competition, what would you most like your prize to be? Go ahead. You never know. * NOT INCLUDED IN ENTRANCE FEE.

8. A video will be produced that will include the documenting of singers as they prepare for the Verdi/Wagner 205th Birthday celebration and 'Saengerkrieg.'  Might you be interested in participating?

The semi-final round offerings will be judged by seasoned singers and operatic coaches/pianists who have performed or coached Verdi and Wagner roles in opera houses here in the United States and/or abroad. AND BY YOU AND OUR AUDIENCE!!!

The cost to participate in the party/competition will be $100.00 per entry (soloists and ensembles alike, to be paid upon arrival at Semi-Finals/Party sign-in on October 9th, 2022). This will include an all-day pass to the Semi-Final performances/Party, admission to the Final Concert/Party, voting privileges* for both events, and free access to the fabulous all-you-can-eat victuals that will be available to singers all day.* To be detailed later.



Sing the work of another composer both Wagner and Verdi

admired greatly...


Is that reasonable, or what?

Eschenbach statue. Abenberg.Germany

PhotoSource:Wikimedia Commons

We hope to have ensemble entries: There's safety in number! And it's more bring the whole family to sing!


VerdiWagner2013 by Rengaw&Idrev Erodai (available on greeting cards, mugs and T-shirts)

Wagner and Verdi only, of course! (Unless you MUST sing the works of other composers both Verdi and Wagner much admired.)

Please be sure to list for us, when registering for the preliminary, three pieces from which judges may choose the one they would like you to perform in Semi-finals. The first one on your the list should be the one you would most like to sing. 

The earlier you register, the more likely it is you will be asked to present your preferred selection at a time of day you would most prefer.

Right: Juniper and Jonquil at Piano. by R.S.

Richard says, “Think of the Saturday Semi-Finals round as a rehearsal for a possible Saturday evening Finals Concert performance.” He’s a real sage, that’s for sure…purr…DON’T FORGET TO BRING BALLOONS!!

Participation makes us winners. We're all winners simply for entering the competition and coming up to sing during a party celebrating the births of the iconic Giuseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner. Come to have fun, and to commune with fellow singers/lovers of the phenomenal music created by these men.

  "...Libiamo, libiamo ne'lieti calici..."             "...Wolfram von Eschenbach, beginne..."

Below: Gustav Eberlein sculpture of Wagner in Berlin; Photo:Manfred Brueckels

Left: Luigi Secchi statue of Verdi, in Busseto. Photo:



COSTUMES? Costumes not required, though your providing some visible hint of the Verdi/Wagner character(s) will add immeasurably to the festivities. A spear or a helmet? Muddy boots, anvils, veils, castanets, daggers, fans?

Semi-finalist musical selections requested by judges and their performance times will be assigned no later than August 15, 2022 (for the Semi-Finals on Oct.9th, 2022, from 11:30-4:30 p.m.). Final concert & Awards Party will be that evening, October 9th, 2022, from 6:30-9:00 p.m. The 12 Entries chosen to advance to the Final Concert will be announced at 5:30 p.m. (perhaps, sooner) following Saturday's Semi-Finals. Finalists may, if they choose, opt to repeat for the Final Concert the musical selection offered by them in Semi-Finals. Now, If that doesn't make you purr...

Please address all questions related to the Wagner/Verdi Birthday Tribute to: Please do not use the OldCatsEnterprises site or its email address to do so. We’ll hiss if you do.

Please look for the answers to your questions in updated copy or the “Questions and Answers” section below the “Hisses, Purrs and IdSpills” section on the "Contact" page of the OldCatsEnterprises site. It's a lot of scrolling, we know, but think of it as scrolling for Verdi and Wagner. Answers may take time, but will be provided as soon as possible. Please, be patient. Remember, we have 18 months to prepare.

Basket full of Hudson Valley goodness.Photo by RS

Party, Eat, Drink, Sing/hear the genius of Guiseppe Verdi and Richard Wagner.

There will be great food, both hot and cold, and drink (soft) available to all singers throughout the entire day of semi-finals, Saturday, October 9th, 2022. Come in good voice, and with a great appetite! Come and go throughout the day, to eat, drink, and to support your fellow singers, whether you have already sung or are not scheduled to sing until very late in the day. Just don’t tire yourself out before your performance. Talk to people, socialize, network by all means, but don’t talk too much, unless you’ve already sung; and especially not on a phone. It’s not good. No charge for this advice.

Singers and Audience, too, may judge! 12 entries advance to Final Concert !

All Saturday Semi-final Round performances will be heard by an appreciative audience as well as judges; and all semi-finalists may attend as well, not only to enjoy and to support fellow singers, but to cast their VOTES! Audiences will also be asked to cast votes for those entries they believe should advance to the to the evening Final Concert. Their choices, along with yours, and those of the judges, will factor into determining which entries are invited to sing in the Final Concert. Since overuse has rendered them totally meaningless, standing ovations and interminable applause for Semi-Final and Final Concert performances will be discouraged. Let's all stand together applauding Verdi and Wagner at appropriate times. These times will be signaled.

"...Libiamo, libiamo ne'lieti calici... "                                        "...Wolfram von Eschenbach, beginne..."

There were many fabulous concerts and celebrations worldwide in 2013 to honor the 200th Birthdays of Richard Wagner and Guiseppe Verdi. Let's celebrate their 208th. Participate in it LIVE, with us in Poughkeepsie, on stage or in the audience. You'll have the time of your life. Who knows? You might even meet the singer of your dreams, and fall in love...

The 3 Winners of the Final Concert will be announced at 9 p.m. toward closing of the party. We have some very special prizes in mind, in addition to those first, second and third place winners of $1,000, $500 and $250 respectively.

We can't wait for October 9th, 2022

Richard Wagner. Liebestod

Rebecca Radcliffe and Siegfried Sonnenschein. Last recital. Seattle.1973

00:00 / 05:59

Suzanne thinks the competition should not be limited to Verdi and Wagner. What do you think? 

Un bel di.From Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini.

Suzanne Sonnenschein, soprano; New York City Opera Orchestra; Judith Somogi, baton. 1981

00:00 / 04:38

Design by Idrev and Rengaw Erodai. 2013

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