"Encouragement, Development, Achievement"

2015 Winner

Willkommen in Österrich!

The Kristin Lewis Foundation welcomed its 2015 Vocal Scholarship Auditions Award recipient, Anna Berry, to Vienna, Austria!

Music is one of Vienna’s legacies. So many of the world’s leading composers such as Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Strauss, Berg, Webern, Liszt, Brahms, Bruckner, Mahler walked the streets of Vienna and created many of their masterpieces in this rich musical culture.
And the list goes on and on…

Vienna is also the ultimate training ground for singers! It is home to one of the world’s leading opera houses, the Vienna Staatsoper. This company employs ensemble members and guest artists from all over the world. The 2015 Vienna Stipendium Award recipient, Anna Berry, experienced one week of vocal training from June 1 – 8, that included voice lessons with noted soprano, Carol Byers; vocal coaching sessions with a prominent staff member of the Vienna State Opera, James Pearson; an acting lesson from prominent European stage director, Peter Pawlik; and lessons in Italian diction from Roberta Silvaggi.

In Anna’s words….

My week in Vienna

When I arrived in Vienna I was a mixture of both excited and nervous for the week ahead of me but my nerves were soon calmed after meeting Ms. Lewis at the airport. A few hours after my arrival I had my first vocal lesson with Ms. Byers. My first lesson really opened my eyes as to what the next seven days would have in store for me. My week with Ms. Byers was certainly an unforgettable one; Ms. Byers taught me an incredible amount about my voice and its capabilities in such a short time. Thanks to Ms. Byers I now have a solid foundation on which to look for a teacher here in the United States. After just seven days of lessons with Ms. Byers I feel like I have grown immensely as an individual and a singer. Not only were my technical lessons with Ms. Byers incredible but also my time spent coaching with Mr. Pearson at the Vienna State Opera was eye opening. Mr. Pearson was so fun to work with and his vast knowledge of the repertoire really helped me to solidify the arias I presented for him. Besides the vocal coachings and lessons with Mr. Pearson and Ms. Byers, I am so grateful for the acting and diction lessons that I was granted. My acting lesson with Mr. Pawlik was an information packed hour spent looking at the character of Elisabeth of Valois from Verdi’s Don Carlo, as I will be covering the role this September at Wichita Grand Opera. Mr. Pawlik was truly a joy to learn from and I cannot wait to take everything he taught me about this character to Wichita.

​I thoroughly enjoyed Vienna and all of its wonderful sights, and I cannot wait to return again one day. Thank you to Kristin, Tammy and Matt for showing me around and chatting with me about life as an opera singer. Thank you to the Kristin Lewis Foundation for this experience, it was truly life changing. I feel so lucky and honored to be the first recipient of the Vienna Stipendium, and I want to thank everyone who made this all possible.