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Laguna Woman Wins Met Audition

October 10, 1994|CHRIS PASLES | TIMES STAFF WRITER

ORANGE — A 28-year-old Laguna Beach mezzo-soprano, Heidi Herzog, won first prize Saturday in the Orange County district Metropolitan Opera auditions.

Soprano Elizabeth Koukladas, 29, of Westminster, took second, while soprano Robin Lee Parkin, 30, of Fullerton, earned third. Seven singers competed at Chapman University.

For their efforts, Herzog won the $500 Orange County Philharmonic Society award, Koukladas the $300 James V. Powers award, and Parkin the $200 William John Conlin award.

In a precedent-shattering move, the three judges also gave Koukladas a $150 Encouragement Award, which normally goes to someone not in the top three. This year, the award was named in honor of Nunzio Crisci, who co-founded the auditions 19 years ago with Florence R. Schumacher. Crisci died in January.

The judges were Geraldine Decker, a former Metropolitan Opera contralto and now a voice teacher in Oxnard; Erich Vollmer, executive director of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and formerly executive director of the Orange County Philharmonic Society, and Roger Pines, director of education at the San Diego Opera.

The three Orange County singers will travel to the preliminary finals Nov. 10 at USC. Ten winners from that competition will compete Nov. 11 at USC. Tickets: $15. Information: (213) 743-7111.

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