University of Kentucky tenor Thabang Masango and Indiana University mezzo-soprano Courtney Jameson and baritone Jianan Huang were winners of the Kentucky District round of the 2016-17 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
The three singers advance to the Central Region finals Nov. 20 in Evanston, Illinois, right outside Chicago. The winner from that round will advance to the national semi-finals next year at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are widely considered to be one of the most prestigious competitions in the world for opera singers, and some of the biggest stars in opera today are Met Auditions winners. Kentucky had a recent winner in Reginald Smith Jr., who was one of the winners in the national finals in 2015.
UK tenor Taylor Comstock and Butler University baritone Jeremiah Marcele Sanders won encouragement awards. They do not advance to the next round of the competition.
The auditions were held at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Lexington, the first time the Kentucky District round has not been held on the University of Kentucky campus since it moved to Lexington.