23 Young Opera Singers from Around the Country
Advance to Semi-Final Round of
America’s Most Prestigious Vocal Competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions
Regional winners from across the U.S. and Canada will compete
before a panel of judges in the closed
semi-final competition on Sunday, March 6
Finalists will compete at the public Grand Finals Concert on the
Metropolitan Opera’s stage on Sunday, March 13;
the winners will receive individual cash prizes of $15,000 and
New York, NY (March 3, 2016) – Twenty-three young opera singers who have won regional auditions around the United States arrived at the Met this week to compete in the next phase of the country’s leading vocal competition: the semi-final round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. The closed semi-final competition, held on the Met stage before a panel of judges, will determine the select group of finalists who will advance to the final round of the competition. Given the reach of the auditions, the number of applicants, and the program’s long tradition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are a potentially career-making opportunity for aspiring opera singers.
This year’s regional winners were chosen from nearly 1,500 singers who participated in the auditions held in 42 districts and 13 regions throughout the United States and Canada. These auditions are sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council and administered by National Council members and hundreds of volunteers from across the country.
The semi-finalists arrive at the Met on Friday, March 4 to rehearse with the company’s music staff in preparation for the semi-finals competition on Sunday, March 6. The winners of this event will go on to sing in the Grand Finals Concert on Sunday, March 13 at 3 p.m. hosted by past National Council Auditions winner Deborah Voigt. Each finalist will perform two arias with conductor Antony Walker and the Met Orchestra. Bass-baritone Eric Owens, a past National Council Auditions winner and National Advisor for the Metropolitan Opera National Council, will be the guest artist and perform during the judges’ deliberations once the auditions part of the program is over.
At the end of the concert, winners will be announced, each of whom will receive an individual cash prize of $15,000 and career-making exposure. The Met Auditions were crucial in introducing many of today’s best-known stars, such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Patricia Racette, Deborah Voigt, Nathan Gunn, and Lawrence Brownlee.
About the Semi-Finalists
The 2016 semi-finalists include 23 aspiring opera singers representing various regions around the United States and Canada. This year, there are eight sopranos, two mezzo-sopranos, one tenor, one countertenor, seven baritones, two bass baritones, and two basses semi-finalists competing on Sunday, March 6.
The eight soprano semi-finalists, along with the regions they will represent in the competition and their hometowns are: Tracy Cantin (Upper Midwest Region: Summerside, PEI, Canada); Yelena Dyachek (Western Region: Sacramento, CA); Lauren Feider (Southeast Region: New Holstein, WI); Alison King (Upper Midwest Region: Portland, OR); Felicia Moore (Northwest Region: Princeton, NJ); Kerriann Otaño (Upper Midwest Region: Wading River, NY); Christine Price (Rocky Mountain Region: Tulsa, OK); and Ann Toomey (Central Region: Shelby Township, MI).
The two mezzo-sopranos competing in the semi-finals are Emily D’Angelo (Great Lakes Region: Toronto, Canada) and Samantha Gossard (Midwest Region: Lima/Sidney, OH).
One tenor, Jonas Hacker (Middle Atlantic Region: Lake Delton, WI) and one countertenor, Jakub Józef Orliński (New England Region: Warsaw, Poland, currently living in New York, NY) will compete in the semi-finals.
The baritone semi-finalists are Jeff Byrnes (Great Lakes Region: Baton Rouge, LA); Alex DeSocio (Midwest Region: Wichita, KS); Hunter Enoch (Mid-South Region: Paris, TN); Theo Hoffman (Eastern Region: New York, NY); Jin Sol (Eastern Region: South Korea, currently living in Fort Lee, NJ); Sean Michael Plumb, (Gulf Coast Region: Philadelphia, PA); and Brian Vu (Southeast Region: Los Angeles, CA).
Bass-baritone semi-finalists are André Courville (Great Lakes Region: Cecilia, LA) and Christian Pursell (Central Region: Santa Cruz, CA).
Two basses round out the list: Daniel Mirosław (Eastern Region: Warsaw, Poland, currently living in New York, NY) and Anthony Robin Schneider (Middle Atlantic Region: Auckland, New Zealand, currently living in Philadelphia, PA)
Following the semi-finals, those contestants who advance will have a week of preparation with Met musical and dramatic coaches to prepare for the Grand Finals Concert on March 13. 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.
This year’s Grand Finals concert will be dedicated to the memory of James S. Marcus, who was a distinguished member of the Met’s Board of Directors for more than four decades and passed away in 2015.