The Metropolitan National Auditions final

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Steinway
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The Metropolitan National Auditions final

Post by Steinway » Sun Mar 10, 2013 8:49 pm

Attended the final concert at the Met today, where ten finalists who survived nationwide contests, starting with 1500 aspiring singers, each sang two solos of their choice.

This group was the best collection of young artists in the many years I've attended these finals, all splendid talents in their own right.

Three sopranos, four baritones, two bassos and one tenor. My bride and I didn't agree as to how the six winners were selected but we did agree that they were all deserving.

The host Sondra Radvanovsky was her usual charming self and she performed a magnificent pace, pace, mio Dio from La Forza del Destino, accompanied by the always marvelous Met orchestra.

For those who are concerned about the future of talent available for the operas of the world, rest easy. There's a wealth of young talent out there that really is impressive.

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, indeed.
Last edited by Steinway on Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.

josé echenique
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Re: The Metropolitan National Auditions final

Post by josé echenique » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:14 pm

Well, we dearly need Verdi baritones and Wagner bass-baritones. Let´s hope this generation is the one.

Steinway
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Re: The Metropolitan National Auditions final

Post by Steinway » Sun Mar 10, 2013 9:33 pm

Well, we dearly need Verdi baritones and Wagner bass-baritones. Let´s hope this generation is the one."

My wife has informed me that there actually were four bass-baritones, one bass, one baritone, three sopranos and one tenor. Now my numbers are correct. It's an aging thing. :lol:

There's some good stocking sources for the male role needs, based on today's crop. :)

maestrob
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Re: The Metropolitan National Auditions final

Post by maestrob » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:08 pm

Cliftwood wrote:Well, we dearly need Verdi baritones and Wagner bass-baritones. Let´s hope this generation is the one."

My wife has informed me that there actually were four bass-baritones, one bass, one baritone, three sopranos and one tenor. Now my numbers are correct. It's an aging thing. :lol:

There's some good stocking sources for the male role needs, based on today's crop. :)

It comes in waves: some years, you get lots of tenors, then the trend reverses and you get lots of lower voices. I see that this is a year for bass-baritones. Good luck to them: we neeed them desperately.

Steinway
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Re: The Metropolitan National Auditions final

Post by Steinway » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:49 pm

maestrob..

As discerning as you are, I think it would have been quite difficult for you to cull this crop.

There was really one soprano with an exceptional voice, Tracey Cox, who only had her big body as a negative. It really is quite sad that being unattractive these days creates a barrier for singers seeking a solo career in opera but as the latest saying goes, it is what it is.

Hope to see you soon.

John F
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Re: The Metropolitan National Auditions final

Post by John F » Tue Mar 12, 2013 4:34 am

From Six Victors, Steady Nerves in Bravura Arias
By VIVIEN SCHWEITZER
Published: March 11, 2013

Competitions, despite their flaws and biases, highlight new talent and reveal who can perform well under nerve-rattling circumstances. Having a beautiful voice clearly isn’t enough unless a singer can conquer opening-night jitters and nail those high notes.

If the 10 finalists in the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions on Sunday afternoon were daunted by their first public appearance on the Met’s main stage, they didn’t show it. A large and enthusiastic audience was rewarded by confident performances from the singers, each of whom performed two arias.

The soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, a host of the event with the bass-baritone Eric Owens, recounted that she had been advised not to look up into the intimidatingly vast space during her performance at the 1995 council auditions, in which she took a top prize. (Mr. Owens was among the 1996 winners.)

Many previous laureates of the event, first held in 1954, went on to prominent careers. But as with most such musical contests the lists of past winners reveal how many performers who did not achieve success but instead fell into obscurity.

Marco Armiliato deftly conducted the Met Orchestra for Sunday’s program. While the judges deliberated Ms. Radvanovsky offered an exciting rendition of “Pace, pace mio Dio,” from Verdi’s “Forza del Destino.”

The six winners, narrowed down from over 15,000 initial contestants, included Sydney Mancasola, a 25-year-old with a lovely lyric soprano and radiant high notes in her expressive rendition of “Caro nome” from Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” The other female winner was Rebecca Pedersen, a precociously polished 21-year-old soprano who sounded particularly alluring in “Stridono lassù” from “Pagliacci.”

There were an unusual number of low male voices at this year’s auditions, with the standouts including the 28-year-old South African bass-baritone Musa Ngqungwana, who impressed with a rich, glowing voice and elegant legato in his two selections, particularly “Vi ravviso” from Bellini’s “Sonnambula.” The 25-year-old bass-baritone Brandon Cedel, another winner, demonstrated a mellifluous voice and sonorous low notes in that same aria, as well as in a potent rendition of Aleko’s Cavatina from Rachmaninoff’s “Aleko.”

Michael Brandenburg, a 26-year-old tenor who also took a top prize, made a strong impression with his impassioned renditions of his two selections, including Lenski’s aria from Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin.” Thomas Richards, a 24-year-old bass-baritone, won for his dramatically convincing interpretations of excerpts from Britten’s “Billy Budd” and Rossini’s “Barbiere di Siviglia.”

The six winners will each receive $15,000 and the other four finalists, $5,000. The runners-up, who all offered assured if less memorable performances, were Matthew Anchel, a 25-year-old bass; Tracy Cox, a 27-year-old soprano; Richard Ollarsaba, a 25-year-old bass-baritone; and Efrain Solis, a 23-year-old baritone.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/12/arts/ ... tions.html
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Lance
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Re: The Metropolitan National Auditions final

Post by Lance » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:39 pm

Did anyone happen to hear a baritone by the name of HeepYoung Oh during the auditions? He may have been billed as (Robert) HeepYoung Oh.
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