Sunday, October 14, 2012

And so it begins

Last weekend the National Council Auditions kicked off in San Francisco and Portland where the first District Auditions were being held.

The San Francisco District Auditions were held at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and were judged by Joyce DiDonato, Eric Owens and Brad Woolbright.

Most parts of the US are run a little differently from the Eastern Region, where the Region Finals consist of only one District, and this District happens to be run by the same committee as the Region Finals.

In most parts of the US, the Region Finals in a certain area are made up of winners from several District Auditions. For example, San Francisco is part of the Western Region. The two winners of the San Francisco District Auditions (Ao Li, Bass-Baritone and Efraín Solís, Baritone) will meet up with the District Winners from LA, San Diego and Arizona to compete in the Region Finals of the Western Region.

The same goes for the Oregon District, which is sending on sopranos Lindsay Ohse and Anna Viemeister to the NorthWest Region Finals together with winners from the Canadian districts and Alaska.

As a matter of fact, this year the first round of the Auditions are made up of forty different districts, after which the winners compete in one of the thirteen Region Finals. By February all the Region Finalists will be known, and they will be flown to New York for the third stage of their audition process, the Semi-Finals.

Some ten to fifteen lucky applicants will then perform during the Grand Finals Concert on March 10, 2013 in the hopes of becoming one of the Grand Finals winners. This year's Grand Finals Concert will be conducted by Marco Armiliato and will feature Sondra Radvanovsky as host and guest artist.

Every year, about 100 National Council Aditions Alumni sing on the Met stage, and this year is no different. To name just a few:
  • Janai Brugger (2012 Winner): Met debut in Puccini's Turandot as Liù
  • Ryan Speedo Green: Met debut in Turandot as the Mandarin
  • Alek Shrader: Met debut as Ferdinand in Thomas Adès’s The Tempest and Count Almaviva in the new abridged holiday version of The Barber of Seville
  • Angela Meade: Leonora in Verdi’s Il Trovatore
  • Amber Wagner: Amelia in a new production of Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera
  • Michael Fabiano: Cassio in a spectacular production of Verdi's Otello, opposite 1988 winner Renée Fleming
  • Lori Guilbeau: appearing in Don Carlo
  • Jennifer Johnson Cano: Carmen, Otello and The Ring Cycle
  • Paul Appleby: Les Troyens and Dialogues des Carmélites
  • Edward Parks: La Rondine
It is a wonderful journey to see the singers progress from winning their first round of the District Auditions, to appearing on the Met stage in a matter of a few short years.  We hope you make the journey with them.  You can support our upcoming talent by making a donation to the National Council Auditions Eastern Region or by attending our District or Region Finals.