Eleven Singers Selected for Finals of Met National Council Auditions

Classic Arts News   Eleven Singers Selected for Finals of Met National Council Auditions
The Metropolitan Opera has announced the names of 11 finalists who will sing in the 2007 National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert. The event will be held this Sunday, April 1, at 3:00 p.m., with the Met Orchestra conducted by Marco Armiliato.

The finalists are:

  • Jamie Barton, mezzo-soprano from Bloomington, Indiana
    (originally from Rome Georgia);
  • Kiera Duffy, soprano from New York, New York
    (originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania);
  • Michael Fabiano, tenor from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    (originally from Hoboken, New Jersey);
  • D‹sella L_rusd‹ttir, soprano from Levittown, Pennsylvania
    (originally from Mosfellssveit, Iceland);
  • Ryan McKinny, baritone from Houston, Texas
    (originally from Los Angeles, California);
  • Angela Meade, soprano from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    (originally from Centralia, Washington);
  • Nicholas Pallesen, baritone from Tallahassee, Florida
    (originally from Riverside, California);
  • Matthew Plenk, tenor from Hartford, Connecticut
    (originally from Lindenhurst, New York);
  • Alek Shrader, tenor from Oberlin, Ohio
    (originally from Cleveland, Ohio);
  • Ryan Smith, tenor from Decatur, Georgia
    (originally from Los Angeles, California);
  • Amber L. Wagner, soprano from Phoenix, Arizona
    (originally from Santa Barbara, California).

The finalists, between the ages of 20 and 30 years old, will be competing for up to five $15,000 cash prizes at the Grand Finals Concert. They were chosen from nearly 1500 singers who participated in the auditions held in 45 districts and 15 regions throughout the United States and Canada, sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council.

Given the reach of the auditions, the number of applicants, and the long tradition associated with them, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are considered the most prestigious in North America for singers seeking to launch an operatic career. Some winners are invited to join the Metropolitan Opera Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.

The Grand Finals Concert will be hosted by mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe, herself a former Auditions winner. Soprano Alexandra Deshorties and baritone Mark Delavan, former Auditions finalists and currently principal artists with the Met, will perform during the judges' deliberations once the auditions part of the program is over.

Past winners of the Met Auditions include many of today's leading operatic artists such as Ren_e Fleming, Hei-Kyung Hong, Deborah Voigt, Grace Bumbry, Susan Graham, Dolora Zajick, Nathan Gunn, Ben Heppner, Thomas Hampson, and Samuel Ramey. During a typical opera season, over one hundred alumni of the Auditions sing in Met performances.

The Grand Finals Concert on Sunday, April 1 at 3 p.m. is open to the public. Tickets from $15 to $75 are available at the Met Box Office, by phone at 1-212-362-6000, or at the Met's web site, www.metopera.org.

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