Promising young opera singers from across the Gulf Coast will compete for the chance to perform on one of the world’s most prestigious stages at the Metropolitan Opera National Council District and Regional Auditions Jan. 5 and 6 at Loyola University. The winner of the regional auditions will advance to the national semi-final round, held in March on the Metropolitan Opera Stage in New York City.
The district auditions Saturday, Jan. 5 at 10 a.m. are free and open to the public; regional auditions are Sunday, Jan. 6 at 1:30 p.m. General admission to the regional auditions is $10 and free for students and members of Amici, the volunteer support group for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Anyone who joins Amici at the event on Sunday will receive free admission and an invitation to the post-audition reception. All auditions are in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola’s main campus.
Judges for the district auditions on Saturday are Utah Symphony and Opera Artistic Director Christopher McBeth, Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke Stephen White and General Director of Wolf Trap Opera Kim Whitman. Gayletha Nichols, director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, will join them on Sunday for the regional auditions.
The auditions discover promising young opera singers and help develop their careers. The auditions are held in 13 regions across the United States and Canada, with 40 districts within these regions, each providing an opportunity for talented singers to enter the auditions program at the local level.
Many of the world’s foremost singers, including Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Jessye Norman, Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt and Dolora Zajick have received awards from the National Council. Annually, approximately 100 former contestants appear in Metropolitan Opera productions.