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. They were chosen from nearly 1,500 singers who participated in auditions held in 42 districts and 13 regions across the US and Canada. 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. Just as at the Districts and Regionals, singers have prepared five arias of which one will be chosen by them, and one will be chosen by the judges. 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 next week.
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 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.
Semi-Finalists: 8 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, 1 tenor, 1 countertenor, 7 baritones, 2 bass-baritones and 2 basses
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)