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