Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where are they now: Felicia Moore

Felicia Moore

Felicia in The Rape of Lucretia at Mannes College

Opera Idols: What have you been up to since the National Council Auditions ended?
Felicia Moore: I’ve been really busy since the auditions; I’ve had the opportunity to perform really gorgeous and rewarding music this year! I performed in a scenes concert in March with Mannes Opera; with scenes from Der Rosenkavalier, Guillaume Tell, Dialogues of the Carmelites, and IphigĂ©nie en Aulide. Then, in April, I made my solo debut at Carnegie Hall with Maestro Mark Shapiro and The Cecilia Chorus of NY. We performed scenes from Tchaikovsky’s The Maid of Orleans and the New York Premiere of Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D. Performing at Carnegie Hall was so amazing; it was even better than I dreamed it would be! Then, in May, I sang the role of Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia with Mannes Opera. We were fortunate enough to be reviewed in the New York Times! 

OI: What plans do you have for the summer?
FM: This summer I’ll be participating in the Crested Butte Music Festival in Colorado as a Marcello Giordani Young Artist. I’ll be covering the role of Der Trommler in Der Kaiser von Atlantis, and performing scenes from Lohengrin, Don Giovanni and Idomeneo. It should be a wonderful summer, and I’m so excited!

OI: How has participating in the National Council Auditions changed your career?
FM: Deciding to audition for the Met Council was one of the best decisions I’ve made! The whole process felt like a dream. The connections I’ve made and the guidance I’ve received have been endlessly helpful. I was also able to use the prize money to get new headshots and recordings, which are necessary to help advance a career. I’m so grateful for the Met Council and all their members for all the work they do!

OI: What was your experience like at the MET?
FM: My experience at the Semi-Finals was absolutely perfect. The people at the Met are incredibly encouraging and I really felt they were all “rooting for me”! This also goes for the other singers at the Semi-Finals. They were all very positive and supportive of each other. And singing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera was extraordinary. It is so much more enormous than I thought it was. It was, to be perfectly honest, overwhelming!! On that stage, I felt like I was taking part in a beautiful and rich tradition. I will never forget it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Where are they now: Matthew Anchel

Now that the Grand Finals have passed for about two months and the 2012-2013 season of the Metropolitan Opera came to a close, I thought it would be great to see what our winners are up to this summer and beyond.  First up is our Grand Finalist: 

Matthew Anchel

Matthew as Alidoro in La Cenerentola at the Knoxville Opera
Opera Idols: What have you been up to since the Grand Finals?
Matthew Anchel:  A few weeks after the auditions I went down South to perform with Knoxville Opera. I sang the role of Alidoro in La Cenerentola. It was such a nice experience and Knoxville is a really cute town.

OI: What plans do you have for the summer?
MA: This summer I'm going out to Santa Barbara to do Music Academy of the West. I'm singing the role of Sarastro in The Magic Flute and singing in the scenes concert. I'm really excited to get to work with Warren Jones and Marilyn Horne. I am also looking forward to being out West; I LOVE it out there and I've never been to Santa Barbara before so I'm excited about that.

OI: How has participating in the National Council Auditions changed your career? 
MA: After the auditions I was initially very bummed not to be a grand prize winner. Some opportunities I thought I'd have fell through and I was sort of worried about my future. Luckily, I got an offer from the Met to cover two roles next season. When I didn't win, everyone told me that "just making the Finals means you're a winner." At first I was too disappointed to realize that, but it's really true. I've met so many amazing people, I have a job at the Met next year and the money I received just from making the finals has allowed me to thoroughly coach my upcoming roles and not worry about getting a survival job. After working at the Met next season, I'll be going back to Opera San Jose in the Winter and Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the Spring.

OI: What was your experience like at the Met?
MA: Everything was amazing. Going to the Met and working with the incredible people they have there was daunting, but everyone was so welcoming and understanding of how overwhelmed we all were. The conductor and the coaches were all so wonderful and then there are the amazing people in the offices, "behind the scenes," who make everything happen for the competition. The week of the finals, I realized my tuxedo no longer fit me, so I told someone and I was sent on a shopping trip with an amazing patron to get a new tux. I sort of felt like Cinderella or something, and the best part is that I will use the tuxedo for a very long time and remember how happy I was when I got it. When I finally got to the stage with the orchestra I was very, very nervous. I've sung in lots of different theaters, but nothing can prepare you for how enormous the Met is.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The International Opera Awards

Joyce DiDonato accepting the Accessibility Award
on behalf of the Met -
On April 22nd, the first ever International Opera Awards were held in London.  Awards were handed out in 23 categories, and you can find the full list of winners below.  The original list of nominees was 1500 long, from 41 different countries, while a panel of 10 judges made the final selections.  Among others, the judges included Dame Anne Evans, David Gockley and Kathryn Harries.

One of the Foundation's goals is to make opera more accessible.  As the New York Times describes (Opera Aims for an Oscar Night of its Own):  

"The goal of the awards is to bolster the fortunes of an art form that has historically been reluctant to promote itself vigorously. Raising awareness about excellence in the field can excite existing audiences and help build new ones, while simultaneously giving promising careers a boost. Although the awards are not the first to recognize achievements in opera — Opera News, a publication of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, confers awards to several individuals annually — they are the first to have such broad scope."
And now for the winners:

Metropolitan Opera

CD (Complete Opera)
Alessandro (Handel), c. George Petrou (Decca)

CD (Operatic Recital)
Christian Gerhaher: Romantic Arias (Sony)

Cape Town Opera

Antonio Pappano

Costume Designer
Buki Shiff

Dmitri Tcherniakov

Il trittico, Royal Opera, p. Richard Jones, c. Antonio Pappano (Opus Arte)

Female Singer
Nina Stemme

Festival Opera

Lifetime Achievement
Sir George Christie

Lighting Designer
Paule Constable

Male Singer
Jonas Kaufmann

Newcomer (conductor or director)
Daniele Rustioni

New Production
The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Netherlands Opera, p. and d. Dmitri Tcherniakov

Opera Company
Oper Frankfurt

Opera Orchestra
Metropolitan Opera

Sir Peter Moores

Readers’ Award
Jonas Kaufmann

Rediscovered Work
David et Jonathas (M.-A. Charpentier), Les Arts Florissants

Set Designer
Antony McDonald

World Premiere
Written on Skin (Benjamin), Aix-en-Provence

Young Singer
Sophie Bevan