Copious Notes

28 singers will compete. Are any of them ready for a spot on opera’s biggest stage?

Jessica Bayne and Michael Pandolfo were on the Singletary Center for the Arts stage in the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s production of “Silent Night” last weekend. Saturday, both will compete on the same stage in the Kentucky District round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Jessica Bayne and Michael Pandolfo were on the Singletary Center for the Arts stage in the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre’s production of “Silent Night” last weekend. Saturday, both will compete on the same stage in the Kentucky District round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. rcopley@herald-leader.com

Is there another Gregory Turay or Reginald Smith Jr. taking the Singletary Center for the Arts concert hall stage Saturday?

The two singers still stand as the only University of Kentucky voice program graduates to advance all the way to the winners’ circle at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions — Turay in 1995 and Smith in 2015. But every year brings new possibilities, even if next year doesn’t end in a 5.

A total of 28 singers will take the stage Saturday in the Met’s Kentucky District auditions, hoping to be part of the elite group — usually three, but sometimes more — sent on to the Central Region round of the competition Jan. 20 at DePaul University in Chicago. The winner — usually just one — will advance to the national semi-finals next year on the Metropolitan Opera Stage in New York, with winners heading to the finals a week later, accompanied by the Met orchestra.

Winning does not guarantee any roles at the Met or entry into its young artist program, but it is certainly a resume item that opens doors.

The singing starts at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Singletary Center, 405 Rose Street. Admission is free and open to the public. Here’s who is scheduled to compete, along with their ages, voice types and home towns:

Stephanie Tokarz, 29, Soprano, Dutton, Ontario, Canada

Ahyoung Jeong, 28, Soprano, Seoul, South Korea

Michael Pandolfo, 24, Baritone, Fort Worth, Texas

Juyeon Yoo, 26, Soprano, Seoul, South Korea

David Lee, 30, Bass-Baritone, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gabrielle Barker, 27, Soprano, Lexington

Taylor Comstock, 28, Tenor, Independence, Missouri

Danielle Aldach, 29, Soprano, Columbus, Ohio

Yewon Yoon, 29, Soprano, Seoul, South Korea

Tevin Vincent, 27, Baritone, Owensboro

Keymon Murrah, 29, Countertenor, Louisville

Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa, 27, Soprano, Harare, Zimbabwe

Miguel Angel Ortega Banales, 27, Tenor, Tijuana Baja, California, Mexico

Mary Catherine Wright, 24, Soprano, Lexington

Eric Shane, 26, Baritone, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Jessica Bayne, 26, Soprano, Christiansburg, Virginia

Jesse Donner, 30, Tenor, Des Moines, Iowa

Donald Chanslor Gallenstein, 24, Baritone Maysville

Maggie Smith, 25, Soprano, Louisville

Zackery Morris, 29, Tenor, Lexington

Hannah Roberts, 25, Soprano, Akron, Ohio

Brenda Iglesias Zarco, 29, Mezzo-Soprano, Pachuca, Hidalgo, Mexico

Tanner Hoertz, 25, Baritone, Lexington

Annika Mauss, 27, Soprano, Bloomington, Indiana

Michael Hyatt, 25, Bass, Barrington, Illinois

Alexandra Bork, 28, Soprano, Nicholasville

Landon Westerfield, 29, Countertenor, Manchester

Christina Booker, 28, Soprano, Madison, Alabama

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