The George London Foundation for Singers, the organization dedicated to supporting young opera singers named after the famous Canadian-American bass-baritone, has a new name: the George and Nora London Foundation for Singers.
The name change was announced at ‘Nora London – A Celebration’, an event on September 18 in honor of the foundation’s longtime chairman, who died in June. Nora London was married to George London from 1954 until 1985, the year of his death, and has since served as president of the George London Foundation for Singers, which her husband established in 1971.
In addition to the new name, the foundation’s board announced that John Hauser, the organization’s executive director, has been given the additional title of president.
“Over the past 37 years, Nora has not only fulfilled George’s dream for the foundation, but she has become a matriarch of the opera world in this country – one of its most esteemed figures and, certainly, one of his most beloved,” said Jean Hauser. “The foundation will henceforth be known as the George and Nora London Foundation for Singers, to also honor these two operatic giants and to continue its work under both of their names.”
The foundation also announced that two of George and Nora London’s grandchildren have joined the board: Katrina London and Eric Wollberg, who is now the foundation’s treasurer. Katrina London is responsible for collections and curatorial projects at the Pocantico Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Eric Wollberg has spent his career working between the tech ecosystems of New York and Israel, and currently works at Praxis, which is Charter City’s leading firm, with backing from leading venture capitalists and luminaries technologies. They join other directors who are members of the London family Marina London, vice-president; Marc D. London, secretary; Andrew Garvin; and John Wolberg.
The video for “Nora London – A Celebration”, which featured performances by opera stars Matthew Polenzani and Joyce DiDonato – both of whom won the George London Awards early in their careers – with pianist Ken Noda, as well as remarks by John Hauser, Marina London, Matthew Epstein, Matthew Horner, Harolyn Blackwell, Philip Garvin and Eric Wollberg can be viewed on the foundation’s YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u_dtBnzY2w.
The 2022-23 season of The George London Foundation for Singers features the 51st annual George London Foundation competition for American and Canadian opera singers, one of the most prestigious competitions in the world of opera (finals 17 February 2023); and two recitals by the 2018 George London Award winners: mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis (October 2, 2022) and baritone Benjamin Taylor (April 16, 2023).
The aim of the George and Nora London Foundation for Singers, the support and education of young opera singers, was an abiding interest of George and Nora London. “Remembering his difficult road to success, George wanted to devise a way to make the road a little easier for future generations of singers,” said Nora London. Since 1971, the annual George London Foundation for Singers competition has awarded more than 300 prizes, and a total of more than $2 million, to an outstanding list of young American and Canadian opera singers who rose to fame at internationally – the list of past winners includes Joyce DiDonato, Renée Fleming, Christine Goerke, Catherine Malfitano, James Morris, Eric Owens, Matthew Polenzani, Sondra Radvanovsky, Neil Shicoff and Dawn Upshaw.
The recital series, which began at the Morgan in 1995, was created to give recipients exposure and experience, and, in many cases, a first recital in New York. Additionally, since 2010, the foundation has sponsored a program that awards scholarships to selected voice students in pre-college programs at the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.