Meet Our 2018 Finals Judges

The Jensen Foundation thanks the esteemed opera professionals who served as Finals Judges for its 2018 Vocal Competition, held Saturday, May 26 2018 in Engelman Recital Hall at New York City's Baruch Performing Arts Center. 


Ian Derrer
In July 2018, Ian Derrer returns to The Dallas Opera as general director after two seasons at the helm of Kentucky Opera. He has served in production and administrative roles with Santa Fe Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Atlanta Opera, Opera Carolina, and New York City Opera, among others. His love of opera began as a member of the children’s chorus in Tosca for Charlotte Opera, now Opera Carolina. Mr. Derrer holds degrees from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, Northwestern University, and Brooklyn College. 


Lauren Flanigan
Internationally acclaimed soprano Lauren Flanigan is the Founder/Director of Music and Mentoring House, a not-for-profit organization that offers training and mentoring programs for opera singers in New York City. She has enjoyed a thirty-year career that included performances at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Bayerisches Staatsoper, Glyndebourne, the New York City Opera, 10 world premieres, 1 movie, 11 cd’s, 5 Live From Lincoln Center telecasts, and 15 awards for musical and humanitarian work, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation.


Steven White
Praised by Opera News as a conductor who “squeezes every drop of excitement and pathos from the score,” Steven White is one of North America’s premiere conductors of both symphonic and operatic repertoire. He has conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Moscow Philharmonic, the Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony Orchestra, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and London’s Philharmonia Orchestra for a CHANDOS recording of arias. Maestro White is a master-class clinician and a frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He has served as an artist-in-residence with Peabody Conservatory, Indiana University, University of Cincinnati—College-Conservatory of Music, Virginia Tech University, and the University of Miami Frost School of Music at Salzburg.