The four were among more than 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 who competed in district and regional auditions around the country. Of the 22 semi-finalists invited to New York, nine were chosen for the finals. The five runner-ups will each receive $5,000.
Previous winners of the prestigious auditions include Stephanie Blythe, Brian Asawa, Dominique Labelle, Ren_e Fleming, Ben Heppner, Susan Graham (who served as master of ceremonies for yesterday's concert), Deborah Voigt, and Thomas Hampson.
Judges for this year's finals were Sarah Billinghurst, an assistant manager of the Met; Jonathan Friend, artistic administrator of the Met; Christopher Hahn, artistic director of the Pittsburgh Opera; Speight Jenkins, general director of the Seattle Opera; Gayletha Nichols, executive director of the Met's National Council Auditions; Lenore Rosenberg, director of the Met's Lindemann Young Artist Development program; and Stephen Steiner, director of productions at the Boston Lyric Opera.