LSU Opera Student Wins National Prize, Program Sweeps Competition

André Chiang

André Chiang most recently appeared as the character of Sir John Falstaff, in LSU Opera’s production of Giuseppe Verdi’s comedy "Falstaff." Photo: LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts

BATON ROUGE – The LSU Opera program and students competed and earned first prizes at multiple national-level competitions in both New York City and New Orleans.

Doctor of Musical Arts student and baritone André Chiang, from the studio of Dennis Jesse, was awarded first prize at the 45th National Association of Teachers of Singing, or NATS, Artist Awards competition on Jan. 5. Chiang was awarded a substantial cash prize, as well as a scholarship to attend the American Institute of Musical Studies, or AIMS, in Graz, Austria.

Chiang, a native of Mobile, Ala., was also awarded several prestigious performance opportunities, including a solo debut at Carnegie Hall in a major choral work, with full orchestra and chorus, sponsored by Distinguished Concerts International New York, and a featured solo performance at the upcoming NATS National Conference in Las Vegas.

NOA Award

Fruehan Associate Professor Dugg McDonough, Associate Professor Michael Borowitz and members of the cast of "Dog Days" pose with the Scenes Competition Division II First Prize award at the 2018 NOA Convention in New Orleans. Photo: LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts

“When I decided to pursue a DMA after freelance singing for eight years, I knew that I needed to find a school and a teacher that would help me continue developing as a singing actor and help expand my teaching acumen,” Chiang said. “What I have gotten so far from the faculty in both the voice and opera programs has far exceeded my expectations and helped me realize how much further I can push the limits in my own singing, communicating to students, and the science of the voice. A program with such a rich and prestigious history to look toward and hope to emulate provides a great springboard for my development.”

LSU Opera also took part in the National Opera Association, or NOA, Collegiate Opera Scenes Competition, held at the NOA Convention in New Orleans, Jan. 3-7. Students performed selected scenes in-full from Mark Adamo’s “Little Women” and LSU’s upcoming collegiate premiere of David T. Little’s “Dog Days,” and earned first place awards in both age divisions of the competition.

“I am immensely proud of the work performed by our students and faculty within the LSU Opera program,” said Todd Queen, dean of the College of Music & Dramatic Arts. “The continued success of our operatic works, and recognition of our talented singers at national and international levels, demonstrates the excellence we strive for every day at the College of Music & Dramatic Arts.”

Little Women

The cast and advisors for Little Women with the Scenes Competition Division I First Prize. Back: Kristin Eliason (pianist), Jenna Fife, Mikeila McQueston, Gabi Eaves, McMullan Distinguished Professor of Voice Dr. Lori Bade. Front: Alexandra Sanchez, Rachel Harris (Stage Director) Not Pictured: Elena Lacheva (Musical Director)Photo: LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts

More information can be found at the, and at More information and tickets for “Dog Days are available at

About the LSU Opera
LSU Opera, one of the first major university programs in the United States, has produced exceptional singers who have sung on world opera stages such as the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and New York City Opera. LSU Opera annually produces several main productions, fully staged, designed, costumed, and accompanied by the LSU Symphony Orchestra, alongside smaller, staged shows and numerous outreach performance opportunities.



Contact Cullen Sadler
LSU College of Music & Dramatic Arts 


Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations