Friday, January 20, 2012

Meet The Judges: Gayletha Nichols

Ms. Nichols is on the far right
Gayletha Nichols, Executive Director
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Ms. Nichols joined the artistic staff of the Metropolitan Opera in the fall of 2000 as Executive Director of the National Council Auditions.

She brought to the Met two decades of experience as a singer, teacher and career advisor. From 1992-2000, she was Director of Houston Opera Studio, the young artist development program at Houston Grand Opera, where she created and individualized the training both for singers and pianists. Ms. Nichols auditions hundreds of singers across North America every year and in her travels addresses many universities, conservatories, and festivals on developing the next generation of opera singers. She is a frequent adjudicator in national and international competitions and consults for other young artist programs across the country.

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I had the brief opportunity to sit down with Gayletha to ask her what her advice would be to future auditioners. In summary, she advises that the minute you feel ready with your repertoire, get out there and start competing. This will get you the feedback that you need to develop your talent, as it is important to know where you stand against others and a competition is an ideal place for this.

Additionally, her feeling was that the audience should have been packed with students who aspire to sing on the Met Opera stage (as soloists). So students: please know that your presence is not just welcome but highly encouraged by this judge!