Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Met National Council Auditions: Round 1

The first round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions took place October 24. This series of competitions for young opera singers begins at the district level and culminates in a Grand Finals Concert on the Met stage. (Last year, former Young Artist Noah Baetge was one of the national finalists and Midsummer Night's Dream guest artist Anthony Roth Costanzo was one of the winners).

David McDade, Seattle Opera’s head of coach-accompanists, played the piano for the auditions and noted proudly that three of the five winners of the Western Washington/Alaska District are associated with Seattle Opera: current Young Artist Maya Lahyani, former Young Artist Michael Anthony McGee, and Jonathan Silvia, a former guest artist with the Young Artists Program, who recently sang the Marquis in La Traviata. Ksenia Poppova, a former music intern here, won an Encouragement Award.

“I’ve always been proud of our Young Artists Program,” McDade said. “And when our ‘guys’ do well I am always happy.”

McDade rehearsed with each of the singers, but spent the most extensive sessions with Silvia, who sang “Come dal ciel precipita” from Macbeth and “Schweig! Schweig!” from Der Freischutz. McDade said his performance was “the best I’ve ever heard Jonathan sing, he took risks and gave 100%”

Lahyani sang arias from Massenet’s Werther and Bellini’s Norma. McGee performed arias from Rachmaninoff’s Aleko and Rossini’s Semiramide.

Don’t miss the next round of the competition, when the five district finalists participate in the regional auditions on February 7 in Seattle!

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