Monday, September 30, 2013

Who's Who at the Launch Event

Matthew Anchel

Aria Choices:

"Come dal ciel precipita" from Macbeth by Verdi
"Arise, ye subterranean winds!" from The Tempest by Purcell


Matthew Anchel, 25, born in New York City, called "a voice to watch" by the Wall Street Journal, was a Grand Finalist in the 2013 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In the 2013-2014 season, he joins the roster of the Metropolitan Opera for its productions of The Nose and Die Zauberflöte, he will sing The Bonze in Madama Butterfly with Opera San Jose, and a return to Opera Theatre of Saint Louis for Sarastro in The Magic Flute, which will be designed and directed by Isaac Mizrahi. Recent roles include Ferrando (Il Trovatore) with Opera San Jose, Alidoro (La Cenerentola) with Knoxville Opera, and Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte) with Music Academy of the West. In the 2012-2011 season he was a member of the Ensemble with Oper Leipzig, singing Alaska Wolf Joe (Mahagonny), Harasta (Cunning Little Vixen) among others. In the 2011-2012 Season Mr. Anchel has performed with LA Opera as a Domingo-Thornton Young Artist singing Count Ceprano (Rigoletto), and Noble (Lohengrin), conducted by James Conlon. He has won awards in many competitions including Opera Index, Palm Beach Vocal Competition, George London Foundation and the Loren L. Zachary Competition.


Opera Idols: What was your experience like at Music Academy of the West?
Matthew Anchel: Music Academy of the West was such an amazing experience. You get to work with the most amazing coaches, directors, etc, and working with Marilyn Horne was surreal and amazing. Getting to do Sarastro in the Magic Flute was so wonderful and gave me a chance to sing the role in training program where you have experts helping you all the time so when I do it in a professional setting, I will know it like the back of my hand...hopefully. 

OI: What is it like covering a role at the Met (The Nose)?
MA: It's very exciting to be covering a role at the Met. Everyone is so nice and helpful and getting to watch rehearsals and work with the staff is wonderful.

OI: What is it like singing in Russian for The Nose?
MA: Russian is really difficult and it's my first time singing in the language; and the music of The Nose is challenging. Luckily, the score they give us for The Nose has amazing IPA (= International Phonetic Alphabet) done for us by Yelena Kurdina, who is a terrific lady and coach. I was so relieved when I opened the score and saw her IPA written above the Cyrillic.

OI: What would be your ultimate role?
MA: My ultimate performance would be getting to do a big Verdi role like Filippo in Don Carlo in a full production with Orchestra. 

Felicia Moore:

Aria Choices:

"Divinités du Styx" from Alceste by Gluck
"Morrò, ma prima ingrazia" from from Un Ballo in Maschera by Verdi


American soprano Felicia Moore is quickly establishing herself as an exciting up-and-coming young dramatic voice.In 2013, she was a National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and a winner of the George London Award. She also received the Robert Lauch Award from the Wagner Society of New York, and an encouragement award from The LiciaAlbanese-Puccini Foundation. She sang Female Chorus inThe Rape of Lucretia with Mannes Opera, and performedscenes from Guillaume Tell, Iphigénie en Aulide, Dialogues of the Carmelites and Der Rosenkavalier as a Mannes Young Artist, as well as scenes from Lohengrin, Don Giovanni and Idomeneo as a Marcello Giordani Young Artist at Crested Butte Music Festival. In April, she madeher solo debut at Carnegie Hall with The Cecilia Chorusand Maestro Mark Shapiro this past April. Upcoming engagements include a concert of composer RobertCuckson’s music in September, and concert of scenes as a part of Mannes Opera in the spring. Her past engagements include performing The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Nevada Opera and performing as a Fate inWolfgang Rihm’s Proserpina at Spoleto Festival USA. Ms. Moore has also attended numerous summer programs such as International Vocal Arts Institute with Joan Dornemann, Institute for Young Dramatic Voices with Dolora Zajickand OperaWorks with Ann Baltz. Ms. Moore holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Westminster Choir College and a Master’s Degree from Mannes College. She is currently working towards her Professional Studies Diploma at Mannes College. She lives in New York City and studieswith Ruth Falcon.

Takaoki Onishi:

Aria Choices:

"Largo al factotum" from Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Rossini
"Tanzlied" from Die Tote Stadt by Korngold


A native of Tokyo, baritone Takaoki Onishi won the Top Prize in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, as well as the First Prize in both the Opera Index, Inc. Vocal Competition and the Licia Albanese - Puccini International Vocal Competition. Mr. Onishi was the inaugural First Prize winner of IFAC-Juilliard Prize Singing Competition in Japan, and he is an Artist Diploma in Opera Studies student studying with Dr. Robert C. White, Jr. At Juilliard, he has sung the roles of Blansac (LA SCALA DI SETA) and Masetto (DON GIOVANNI); he also created the leading role in the World Premiere of Marty Regan’s opera, THE MEMORY STONE, presented by the Houston Grand Opera’s East/ West program.

Lori Guilbeau:

Aria Choices:

“Der Männer Sippe” from Die Walküre by Wagner
"Vissi d'arte" from Tosca by Puccini


Winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, soprano Lori Guilbeau makes a role debut as the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos with Theater Kiel in the 2013-14 season. She also joins bass John Relyea and pianist Warrant Jones in a recital presented by the George London Foundation,  and sings Giorgetta in Il tabarro with LidalNorth in Oslo. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut as the High Priestess in Aida, returning for the Celestial Voice in Don Carlo and productions ofGötterdämerung and Nabucco.

Ms. Guilbeau made her Carnegie Hall debut with the American Symphony Orchestra as Esmerelda in Schimidt’s Notre Dame. Her concert highlights include Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with the Monterey Symphony, Verdi’s Requiem with the East Alabama Arts Association, and concerts featuring French repertoire by Saint-Saëns, Gounod, Delibes, and Massenet with the Bard Music Festival, and concerts with the Savannah Philharmonic, Den Nye Opera in Bergen, and Verein Opera in Zürich.  She has given recitals with the  Marilyn Horne Foundation, Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, and Wagner Society of New York, and Terrace Theater of the John F. Kennedy Center.

As a member of the Merola Opera Program of San Francisco Opera he sang excerpts of the title role of Arabella, Alice Ford in Falstaff, and Mimì in La bohème.  She received great critical acclaim as the title role of Fauré’s Pénélope in her final year at the Manhattan School of Music, where she also sang scenes as Agathe in Der Freischütz, Contessa in Le nozze di Figaro, Amelia in Un ballo in maschera, and Leonore in Fidelio.  She made her professional opera debut as Fiordiligi in Così fan tutte with Shreveport Opera.

In addition to her accolades from the Met, Ms. Guilbeau has won the George London/Leonie Rysanek Award from the George London Foundation, first prize in the Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, first prize in the Alan M. and Joan Taub Ades Vocal Competition at Manhattan School of Music, and the Richard F. Gold Career Grand from the Shoshannah Foundation. She received her BM and MM from Manhattan School of Music.

All singers will be accompanied on the piano by Doug Martin.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Announcing the 2013-2014 Judges

District Auditions:

Roger Malouf  
Gayletha Nichols
Bill Powers

Region Finals:

Thomas Bagwell
Gayletha Nichols
Nicholas Russell

Check back in the next few weeks to find out more about our judges.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2013-2014 Season Invite

Below, find our 2013-2014 Season Invite.  It offers a little introduction to things to come in the coming months, so mark your calendars.

A downloadable version of this letter can be found here, as well as the sponsorship form.

If you wish to make a donation you can either print the letter below or go to our donation page.  Donations are not limited to the amounts mentioned below and will help make the 2013-2014 the best season ever for our singers.

If you wish to receive information from us automatically, please sign up for our newsletter.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Calling all music schools

While tens of thousands of students sign up to partake in the National Council Auditions each year, there are still thousands of students who have no idea what the Auditions are about.

If you work for a music school, or you know someone who does, tell them about MONC and tell them to spread the word to their students.

Our Auditions are open to the public, so if you feel it is too soon to participate in the auditions, come take a look and prepare yourself for next year.

You can download our introductory letter here and forward it to anyone you think might be interested.