Friday, February 12, 2010

Young Artist Heading to the MONC Semi-Finals

2009/10 Young Artist Maya Lahyani is heading to the Met. Maya was one of two first place winners of the Northwest Region of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on February 7. Maya was also voted Audience Favorite. She will join the winners from 14 other regional competitions onstage at the Metropolitan Opera on Sunday March 7 for the national semi-finals.

Maya, who was only here for the fall portion of YAP (where she sang Dorabella in Così fan tutte), is currently an Adler Fellow at San Francisco Opera. David McDade, a coach-accompanist at Seattle Opera, who accompanied the singers at the auditions, recalls seeing Maya’s performance in Così: “I was struck not only by the excellent quality of her instrument but the subtlety of her singing and consistency of her character. She’s a fine performer and will only get better.”

On Sunday, Maya sang arias from Norma and Carmen. The third place winner, Michael Anthony McGee, was a Young Artist from 2006 to 2008.

YAP Music Director Brian Garman has known Maya since 2006, when she was one of his students at Mannes College of Music in New York City. “Maya is truly an exceptional talent,” Garman said. “Winning the Regional Met competition is a great step for her along the path to a very promising career, and marks yet another exciting achievement by a recent alumna of our Young Artists Program.”

Interestingly, McDade noted that the first singer of the day, Rachel Willis-Sorensen (the other first place winner) sang an aria from Wagner’s Lohengrin, and McGee closed the competition with a piece from Tannhäuser. “I thought it only fitting that in Seattle the competition began and ended with the music of Richard Wagner.”

Photo: Marcy Stonikas and Maya Lahyani in Così fan tutte. © Bill Mohn

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