Last time MONC saw Kirsten Scott was in January 2014 on the stage of Merkin Hall as a Region Finalist. Since then, this mezzo-soprano has not been sitting still at all. As she tells us:
"Just after I sang in the Eastern District Auditions I got a last minute offer to step in at Florida Grand Opera as a mezzo in their Young Artist Program for the 2014-2015 season. I spent 4 months in sunny Miami, missed all the extreme winter weather in NYC and got to sing my first mainstage role in the huge Adrienne Arscht Center in downtown Miami. Thrilling doesn't begin to describe it!"
Next up, she will be going west to Portland:
"I will be heading to Portland, OR as a Resident Artist this September to start off the 2015-2016 season. The actual season won't begin until February 2016, but the Residents will be doing concerts for 5 weeks in the fall. In November I will be back in New York City to perform the role of Pepa in Enrique Granados' short opera, Goyescas, with a new ambitious company, Bare Opera.
Opera Idols: What did participating in the National Council Auditions teach you?
Kirsten Scott: To start, it taught me to not put things off because they scare you. I was terrified to do competitions for so long, and finally took the plunge with the MET National Council Auditions. I will probably never consider myself a strong auditioner, but the competition gave me a quite needed reminder that you have to put it all out there, never apologize for where you are now, and always accept the opportunity to learn more about yourself as a performer and improve.
OI: What influence did MONC have on your career?
KS: It certainly doesn't hurt to have MET National Council on your resume, and I have to believe that it helped with name recognition in auditions. The feedback section was really fascinating as well, as it gave me a sense of how people perceive me in performance and areas where I can improve. I think it also reminded me that when I am offered advice I can determine whether I take that advice or not. Generally taking advice from accomplished people in the field is advisable, but I think part of developing as an artist has to be learning when to trust your own instincts above someone else's opinion too.
OI: What was your experience like auditioning?
KS: Waiting to sing is painful, and I certainly felt my blood pressure increase with every passing second. But singing was wonderful. The panel was welcoming and supportive and the audience's excitement was palpable. Everyone is routing for you.
OI: What did moving on to the Regionals mean to you?
KS: I was shocked and overwhelmed to move on to regionals and also beyond grateful to receive a prize. It helped me pay for the extra voice lessons I took leading up to Regionals. The whole experience revitalized me to keep plugging away.
OI: What advice would you give to this year's participants?
KS: Try as hard as you can to get out of your own way. Let yourself sing as if you have nothing to lose - which you really don't. I am working on that mantra too.