September 8, 2023

Lincoln Scholarship for Voice blossoms with graduation of first winner

Carlyle Quinn sings a scene from Dialogues of the Carmelites.
Mezzo-soprano Carlyle Quinn starred as Madame de Croissy in CIM Opera Theater's recent production of Poulenc's "Dialogues of the Carmelites."

A philanthropic seed planted at CIM five years ago is now actively bearing fruit in the form of a young artist poised for greatness.  

That artist? Mezzo-soprano Carlyle Quinn. 

She’s on the brink of a brilliant career and it’s due in large part to an estate bequest from the late Mrs. Emma Lincoln, the root of the scholarship that has funded Quinn’s education at CIM.  

“I hold it as a high honor to be the first recipient of the Emma Lincoln Scholarship for Voice,” said Quinn, a student of Mary Schiller. “My continued studies with CIM’s incredible faculty and completion of my Master of Music would not have been possible without this generous gift.” 

Sadly, Quinn never met Mrs. Lincoln before her death in 2017, but it’s not hard to imagine the two hitting it off. Cathy Lincoln, Mrs. Lincoln’s daughter, said her mother, an amateur singer, had a deep and abiding love for opera and did everything she could to support it.  

She didn’t just quiet the house on Saturdays, during broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera. She also traveled to catch live performances and served or gave to organizations that produced or taught opera.  

At CIM, where she served as a Trustee, Mrs. Lincoln went out of her way to help voice students, regularly inviting them to her home.  

“There were always students here,” recalled Miss Lincoln, one of six Lincoln children and a lover of music, who along with her brother David has extended her mother’s legacy by giving to CIM’s Annual Fund. “Our family was all about education, but music brought mom special joy. She was always very supportive of it.” 

That devotion was all the more remarkable given Mrs. Lincoln’s day job. In addition to working on behalf of CIM and other Cleveland arts organizations, Mrs. Lincoln founded and ran a law firm and served for a time as Assistant Attorney General of Ohio.  

“She was quite a remarkable person,” Miss Lincoln said.  

Much the same also might be said of Quinn. Her portrayal of the Prioress in CIM’s February production of Dialogues of the Carmelites more than proved her worthiness of the scholarship, capturing the attention of critics and listeners alike. One review described Quinn’s performance as “ of the outstanding moments in the first act.”  

“I think she’s going to have a fabulous career,” Miss Lincoln said.  

Meanwhile, what’s certain is that Quinn is only the beginning. She’s just the first talent in a long line of future stars nurtured at CIM by one generous, broadly impactful gift.  

“I am so looking forward to seeing how this scholarship shapes the next generation of singers,” Quinn said. “I believe that CIM is extremely lucky.”