Music News & Reviews

UK singers have reasons to be hopeful at Metropolitan Opera district auditions

A couple of University of Kentucky students might be wondering whether the third time will be the charm at this year's Metropolitan Opera National Council Kentucky District Auditions.

Countertenor Chris Conley has advanced to the Tri-State Regional Round of the auditions two years in a row. Will this year make it three, and will this be the year he gets to the nationals? Soprano Amanda Balltrip has won the encouragement award two years in a row. Is this her year to advance?

Or will it be some of the 16 other competitors coming from near and far? The judges are supposed to choose three singers to move on to the regional round comprising Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. On paper, there are a lot of possibilities.

Auditioners

Thumbnail sketches of the candidates, based on their audition applications.

Kelly Ballou, 21, soprano. Lives in Louisville. Pursuing bachelor's degree, University of Louisville. Sang with Kentucky Opera in 2007 and 2008.

Amanda Balltrip, 23, soprano. Lives in Lexington. Bachelor's degree and pursuing master's, UK. Won Kentucky District encouragement awards in 2006 and 2007.

Chelsea Carpenter, 21, soprano. Lives in Winchester. Pursuing bachelor's degree, Morehead State University.

Christopher Conley, 28, countertenor. Lives in Lexington. Bachelor's degree, Morehead State University; master's, UK. Won Kentucky Districts in 2006 and 2007.

Maribeth Crawford, 27, soprano. Lives in Cincinnati. Bachelor's degree, Mississippi College; master's, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Sang in Jerry Springer, the Opera at New Stage Collective.

Annie Gill, 27, soprano. Lives in Baltimore. Bachelor's degree, Indiana University; master's, Boston University; performance diploma, Peabody Conservatory. Has performed with Washington Savoyards.

Seth Killen, 27, tenor. Lives in Wilder. Bachelor's degree, Bob Jones University; master's, University of Illinois; pursuing doctorate, University of Cincinnati CCM. Sang several roles with Illinois Opera Theatre.

Sarah Klopfenstein, 26, mezzo-soprano. Lives in Lexington. Bachelor's degree, Texas Christian University; master's and pursuing doctorate, UK. Sang in chorus of Cincinnati Opera.

Sheena Law, 26, soprano. Lives in Howell, Mich. Bachelor's degree, Eastern Michigan University; master's, University of Michigan. Sang with Lexington Opera Society's educational show this fall.

Emily Lorini, 27, mezzo-soprano. Lives in Cincinnati. Bachelor's degree, Grove City College; master's, Miami University of Ohio. Won Kentucky District Auditions last year

Michael Match, 29, countertenor. Lives in San Francisco. Bachelor's degree, Youngstown State University; master's and pursuing doctorate, Indiana University. Was a member of Chanticleer.

Megan McCauley, 27, soprano. Lives in Lexington. Bachelor's degree, Bob Jones University; master's, University of Illinois; pursuing doctorate, UK. Scheduled to play Lucia in UK Opera Theatre's Lucia di Lammermoor.

Justin Moore, 26, baritone. Lives in Knoxville. Bachelor's and master's degrees, Indiana University. Sang with Utah Festival Opera.

Corinne Morini, 29, soprano. Lives in Elwood City, Pa. Bachelor's degree, Youngstown State University; master's, New England Conservatory.

Catherine Naiser, 22, soprano. Lives in Louisville. Bachelor's degree, Centre College. Won Centre's concerto competition this year.

Amita Prakash, 24, soprano. Lives in Cincinnati. Bachelor's degree, University of Minnesota; master's, University of Michigan; pursuing artist diploma in opera, University of Cincinnati CCM. Has sung at Carnegie Hall.

Joseph A. Shadday, 22, tenor. Lives in New Palestine, Ind. Pursuing bachelor's degree, DePauw University. No. 1 in National Association of Teachers of Singing regionals 2007 and 2008.

Andrea Trusty, 27, mezzo-soprano. Lives in Ezel. Bachelor's degree, Morehead State University; master's, Rice University. Student of former UK voice professor Stephen King.

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