Nine Young Opera Singers Will Compete This Sunday
in the Final Round of the Met’s National Council Auditions,
America’s Most Prestigious Vocal Competition
The finalists will each perform two arias with the Met orchestra, conducted by Fabio Luisi; winners receive individual cash prizes of $15,000—and potential career-launching exposure
Angela Meade, a former National Council winner, will host the 3 p.m. concert and perform arias from Norma and La Wally
during the judges’ deliberations
New York, NY (March 16, 2015) – Following yesterday’s semi-final competition, nine young singers have advanced to the final round of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2015 National Council Auditions: a public concert on the Met stage this Sunday, March 22 at 3 p.m. The finalists, chosen by a panel of opera administrators from the Met and other companies, will each perform two arias with the Met orchestra conducted by Met Principal Conductor Fabio Luisi. Winners will receive individual cash prizes of $15,000 and the prestigious—and potentially career-launching—title of National Council Auditions Winner. The concert will be hosted by current Met star Angela Meade, who first came to prominence in 2007 as a winner of the National Council Auditions. Meade will sing “Ebben?…Ne andrò lontana” from Catalani’s La Wally and “Casta Diva” from Bellini’s Norma while the judges are deliberating. Tickets for the Grand Finals Concert may be purchased at the Met Box Office, by phone at 212-362-6000, or online at www.metopera.org.
The Met Auditions, currently in their 62nd year, can be an important stepping stone to a career as an opera singer and were the public’s first introduction to many of today’s best-known stars, including Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Eric Owens, Sondra Radvanovsky, Frederica von Stade, and Deborah Voigt. Recent winners who have gone on to embark on major operatic careers include Paul Appleby, Jamie Barton, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Michael Fabiano, Lisette Oropesa, Susanna Phillips, Alek Shrader, and Amber Wagner. 126 singers who participated in the National Council process early in their careers are on the Met’s roster in the current season.
The 2015 finalists and their hometowns are: Nicholas Brownlee, bass-baritone (Western Region: Mobile, Alabama); Jared Bybee, baritone (Middle Atlantic Region: Modesto, California); Marina Costa-Jackson, soprano (Middle Atlantic Region: Salt Lake City, Utah); Allegra De Vita, mezzo-soprano (New England Region: Trumbull, Connecticut); Joseph Dennis, tenor (Eastern Region: McKinney, Texas); Kathryn Henry, soprano (Upper Midwest Region: Sheboygan, Wisconsin); Reginald Smith, Jr., baritone (Southeast Region: Atlanta, Georgia); Deniz Uzun, mezzo-soprano (Central Region: Mannheim, Germany, currently living in Bloomington, Indiana); and Virginie Verrez, mezzo-soprano (Eastern Region: Brive La Gaillarde, France, currently living in New York, New York).
The regional and district-level auditions, held across the U.S. and Canada, are sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council and administered by National Council members and hundreds of volunteers from across the country. Given the reach of the auditions, the number of applicants, and the program’s long tradition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are considered the most prestigious competition for singers seeking to launch an operatic career.
# # #