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   |   May 19, 2011   9:04 PM

The award is given to a single performer each season for a particularly remarkable and memorable company debut.  The selection of Miss Claycomb, a flame-haired diva who dazzled audiences with her breathtaking vocal qualities and exceptional stage artistry, made her long-sought company debut as Gilda in the Dallas Opera’s 2011 revival of Verdi’s heart-rending Rigoletto.

Both her interactions with other principals in the cast (including the unforgettable Paolo Gavanelli in the title role) and her solo moments onstage left area critics and audiences at a near-loss for words.

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