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Apr 7 2024

Vocal Vision Awards

classical, opera
Lani Hall View Program

Join the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music for the 2024 installment of the Vocal Vision Awards Competition!


Designed to reward excellence for singing in English, this competition features both graduate and undergraduate Vocal Performance majors, in a thrilling and varied program of opera, art song, and Broadway hits. The Vocal Vision Awards were conceived by Suzanne Weiss Morgen, as a way of honoring the lifelong love of singing instilled in her by her mother and grandmother.



Meet the judges for this year's installment of the Vocal Vision Awards:


Priti Gandhi

Priti Gandhi is a leader in opera administration, innovative casting, and a passionate artist advocate in the field. She recently joined the artistic department of the Metropolitan Opera as Associate Director of the Laffont Competition – an annual nationwide search for new talent in the opera industry. Among her credits, she is a frequent speaker on industry panels regarding artist advocacy and diversity in casting, a member of the artistic advisory council of the Asian Opera Alliance, and advisor on grant panels for new works (such as the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts Midwest, and Opera America). After a long international opera career that included performances with companies like Seattle Opera, Théâtre du Châtelet, UNAM in Mexico City, the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Opera, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, she then transitioned into artistic administration with San Diego Opera, Minnesota Opera, and Portland Opera. She is a graduate of the American Express Women in Leadership Music Academy, an alumna of the Opera America leadership programs, and a frequent judge for competitions such as The Richard Tucker Awards, the Friends of Eastman School of Music Vocal Competition, and the Belvedere Competition. She is a sought-after audition master class instructor and career guest lecturer for young artists, with schools like the New England Conservatory, University of Portland, University of California at San Diego, and young artist programs around the country.




Daniel Mallampalli

Daniel Mallampalli currently serves as Associate Director of Programming for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is responsible for programming and administration of the LA Phil’s Hollywood Bowl classical series as well as casting for vocal/operatic projects across all venues and management of the Dudamel Fellowship program. Mallampalli’s work involves managing and producing complex artistic projects, operas, and multi-disciplinary initiatives from inception to performance. He serves as part of the LA Phil’s programming team to design, coordinate and support cross-genre programming for festivals and projects.

Since joining the Philharmonic in 2019, he has provided key artistic oversight of the LA Phil’s operatic productions, including fully staged performances of Die Sieben Todsünden, Fidelio, Die Walküre, Tristan und Isolde, and Das Rheingold. During the 2019-2020 season, Mallampalli joined the orchestra on tours to Edinburgh, Mexico City, London, Boston, and New York. In 2022, he cast and produced a groundbreaking new production of Beethoven’s Fidelio in collaboration with Deaf West Theatre, an innovative landmark work which incorporated operatic singing and sign language choreography, making the art form accessible to deaf audiences for the first time ever. The production will tour Europe in the spring of 2024.

Mallampalli’s duties include creating concert programs, engaging guest conductors and soloists, managing creative teams and coordinating vocal casting. He is responsible for administering the LA Phil’s annual Dudamel Fellowship program, which provides mentorship, career development and assistantship opportunities for the next great generation of world’s finest conductors.

Prior to joining the Los Angeles Philharmonic in March 2019, Mallampalli held artistic positions with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra May Festival, and the Vienna State Opera. He earned a Bachelors degree in piano from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Masters degree in orchestral conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.



Paul Hopper

Paul Hopper recently joined LA Opera as Senior Director, Artistic Planning. His duties include overseeing all casting for the company and serving as the artistic and strategic head of the company’s Domingo-Colburn-Stein Young Artist Program. For the five seasons before, he was the Associate Artistic Administrator at The Metropolitan Opera where he oversaw the casting of secondary roles and covers for all productions. Previously, he was the Assistant Artistic Director at Houston Grand Opera where he assisted in long term artistic planning and casting, managed special artistic initiatives, and guided a variety of audiences in learning more about opera, including numerous events in support of the company’s first Ring Cycle. As principal dramaturg for the company he worked closely with composers and librettists in the commissioning and development of new works. He regularly serves on the juries for international vocal competitions, including the Metropolitan Opera’s Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition, the Queen Sonja International Music Competition, the International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition, and the Tenor Viñas Competition. A graduate of the Eastman School of Music and the University of Houston, Paul is also Artistic Advisor for the Lakes Area Music Festival. He previously held positions at the Santa Fe Opera and ADA Artist Management.



The Vocal Vision Awards competition was created by Suzanne Weiss Morgen to honor the memory of her beloved grandmother, Dr. Bertha D. Hirsh and her beloved mother, Mrs. Goldine Weiss. Mrs. Weiss was a fine amateur pianist who also loved to sing. Her piano bench was absolutely filled to the brim with wonderfully diverse compositions. Dr. Hirsh had a beautiful voice and enjoyed singing classical musical theater, art songs and arias as a young woman. Later in her life, she decided to become an optometrist at a time when there were practically no women doctors. She opened her office on Hollywood and Vine, treating many of the Hollywood stars of the day. Suzanne views the awards as reflecting her grandmother’s forward-looking vision. Both women were truly passionate music lovers, particularly of opera and the vocal arts. Suzanne herself graduated from UCLA with a degree in music-vocal performance. She went on to perform and has sustained an ongoing successful vocal teaching career for decades. Suzanne was the recipient of many vocal awards as a young singer, two of which she received while a student at UCLA. This was a strong motivator toward establishing the Vocal Vision Awards, as she remembered the enormous boost the awards gave to her. The rewards were not only monetary, but also provided confidence and encouragement as well as broader performance exposure. The Vocal Vision Awards provide vocal scholarships to deserving young singers, allowing them the opportunity to hone their technical and performance skills and supporting them as they mature toward professional careers in voice and opera. With special thanks to Henry Morgen.

Like most of UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s programs, this event is FREE!  Early arrival is recommended. Seating is on a first-come, first-seated basis. No RSVP required.

While Inside the Venue:

No Food or Drink allowed in the building.