Metropolitan Opera Announces 21 Semifinalists In Its National Council Auditions

Twenty-one young opera singers who have won regional auditions around the United States will compete in the semifinal round of the country's leading vocal competition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, on Sunday, March 24. The closed semifinal 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-the Grand Finals, which is open to the public and will be held on the Met stage on Sunday, March 31.

The 2019 semifinalists include nine sopranos, three mezzo-sopranos, five tenors, two baritones, one bass-baritone, and one bass.

The nine soprano semifinalists, along with the regions they represent in the competition and their hometowns, are: Sylvia D'Eramo (Gulf Coast Region: Tyler, Texas); Monica Dewey (Midwest Region: Atlanta, Georgia); Meryl Dominguez (Middle Atlantic Region: New York, New York); Anna Dugan (Eastern Region: Cranford, New Jersey); Alaysha Fox (Eastern Region: Queens, New York); Mary Hoskins (Rocky Mountain Region: Saratoga Springs, Utah); Meghan Kasanders (Upper Midwest Region: Darien, Illinois); Murrella Parton (Southeast Region: Seymour, Tennessee); and Elena Villalón (Central Region: Austin, Texas).

The three mezzo-sopranos competing in the semifinals are Abigail Dock (New England Region: Medford, Oregon); Camille Sherman (Northwest Region: Petaluma, California); and Michaela Wolz (Midwest Region: Eureka, Missouri).

The five tenor semifinalists are Piotr Buszewski (Middle Atlantic Region: Warsaw, Poland); Dashuai Chen (Great Lakes Region: Shanghai, China); Anthony Ciaramitaro (Great Lakes Region: Coral Springs, Florida); Miles Mykkanen (Upper Midwest Region: Bessemer, Michigan); and Joshua Lee Wheeker (Western Region: Waynesville, Ohio).

The two baritone semifinalists are Thomas Glass (Rocky Mountain Region: Edina, Minnesota) and Hubert Zapiór (Eastern Region: Brzesko, Poland).

The bass-baritone semifinalist is Nicholas Newton (Western Region: San Diego, California).

A bass rounds out the list of semifinalists: William Guanbo Su (Eastern Region: New York, New York).

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, now in their 65th season, are a potentially career-making opportunity for aspiring opera singers, given the reach of the auditions, the number of applicants, and the program's long tradition.

This year's semifinalists were chosen from more than 1,000 singers who participated in auditions held in 41 districts throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, and who then competed in the 12 regional finals. 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 semifinalists, ranging in age from 21 to 29, arrive at the Met on Friday, March 22, to rehearse for the semifinals competition on Sunday, March 24. The finalists of this event will then go on to sing in the Grand Finals Concert on Sunday, March 31 at 3 p.m., hosted by countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, who was a Grand Finals winner in the 2009 competition.

The finalists who advance to the Grand Finals will have a week of training with Met musical and dramatic coaches to prepare for the Grand Finals Concert on March 31. Each finalist will sing two arias on the Met stage with conductor Carlo Rizzi leading the Met Orchestra. Bass-baritone Christian Van Horn, who was a Grand Finals winner in 2003, will perform for the audience while the judges deliberate to decide the Grand Finals winners. Following the performance, the winners will be announced, each of whom will receive a cash prize of $15,000 and career-making exposure.

Tickets for the Grand Finals Concert are on sale now and may be purchased at the Met Box Office, by phone at (212) 362-6000, or online at metopera.org.

The Met National Council Auditions have been crucial in introducing many of today's best-known stars, such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, Lawrence Brownlee, Thomas Hampson, Eric Owens, Angela Meade, Nadine Sierra, Jamie Barton, and Ryan Speedo Green. The competition gained international notoriety with the release of the 2008 feature-length documentary The Audition, directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, which chronicled the 2007 National Council Auditions season and Grand Finals Concert.

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