Music News & Reviews

Record number of hopefuls to sing at Metropolitan Opera Auditions

This year's Kentucky District round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions will be an event of Wagnerian proportions, at least in length.

With 28 hopefuls, Saturday's auditions at the University of Kentucky's Memorial Hall has added a morning session, starting at 10. It will go to 12:30 p.m. After a half-hour break, the auditions will resume at 1 p.m. and go until their usual late- afternoon conclusion. That will be just about the amount of time you might need to squeeze in a production of Die Walküre.

The district auditions are open to anyone who wants to give it a shot, and they often feature 14 to 16 hopefuls. In the past, the Kentucky District has had as many as 20 auditioners.

Auditions chairman Clifton Smith took the preponderance of Kentucky District applicants as a sign that word has gotten out that the Kentucky edition of the prestigious competition is well-run, attracts a strong panel of judges and gives out attractive prizes.

Saturday's field will include singers from New York and Chicago as well as Kentucky, southern Ohio and Indiana. For local opera fans, the field features many UK stars, including most of the leads from October's world-premiere production of Joseph Baber's River of Time.

The three winners Saturday will receive $1,500 each and advance to the tri-state regional round on Jan. 16 at Butler University in Indianapolis. The next stop after that is the national semifinal round at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Winners of the national contest might be invited to join the Met's Young Artists program.

Saturday's judges will be Met luminaries: bass Richard Best, soprano Carol Vaness and tenor Douglas Ahlstedt.


AUDITIONERS

Daniel Anderson: 23, tenor. Lives in Cincinnati. Pursuing master's, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Afton Battle: 28, soprano. Lives in Hights town, N.J. Pursuing master's at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, N.J.

Amanda Balltrip: 24, soprano. Lives in Lexington. Pursuing master's, University of Kentucky.

Eric Brown: 29, baritone. Lives in Lexington. Doctoral candidate, UK.William Compton: 30, tenor. Lives in Cincinnati. Holds master's, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Magaly Cordero: 29, soprano. Lives in Oak Park, Ill. Holds master's, Roosevelt University, Chicago.

Caroline Knight Drury: 28, soprano. Lives in Louisville. Holds master's, Manhattan School of Music, N.Y.

Holly Flack: 22, soprano. Lives in Lexington. Pursuing master's, UK.

Anne Fuchs: 24, soprano. Lives in Pipersville, Pa. Holds degree from Westminster Choir College of Rider University, Princeton, N.J.

Ellen Graham: 28, mezzo- soprano. Lives in Lexington. Doctoral candidate, UK.

Stephanie Grande: 23, soprano. Lives in Lexington. Pursuing master's, UK.

Jonathan R. Green: 26, baritone. Lives in Chicago. Pursuing master's, Indiana University.

Jondra A. Harmon: 30, mezzo-soprano. Lives in Lexington. Doctoral candidate, UK.

Sarah Klopfenstein: 27, mezzo- soprano. Lives in Lexington. Doctoral candidate, UK.Julie LaDoucer: 23, soprano. Lives in Lexington. Pursuing master's, UK.

Emily Lorini: 29, mezzo-soprano. Lives in Cincinnati. Holds master's, Miami University of Ohio.

Megan McCauley: 28, soprano. Lives in Lexington. Doctoral candidate, UK.

Monica Niemi: 27, soprano. Lives in Woodside, N.Y. Holds bachelor's, Indiana University.

Jeremy Parker: 23, soprano. Lives in Cincinnati. Pursuing master's, University of Cincinnati College- Conservatory of Music.Karmesha Peake: 25, mezzo-soprano. Lives in Lexington. Holds master's, UK.

Paulette Maria Penzvalto: 28, mezzo-soprano. Lives in Avon, Ohio. Pursuing private study, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, Ohio.

Amita Tara Prakash: 25, soprano. Lives in Cincinnati. Pursuing artist diploma, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Craig Philip Price: 27, baritone. Lives in Lexington. Holds master's, Manhattan School of Music, N.Y.Nicholas Provenzale: 29, baritone. Lives in Lexington. Doctoral candidate, UK.

Reginald Smith Jr.: 21, baritone. Lives in Lexington. Attending UK.

R. Kenneth Stavert: 25, baritone. Lives in Cincinnati. Pursuing master's, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

Nathan Wilson: 27, bass-baritone. Lives in Louisville. Holds master's, University of Louisville.

Melanie Woodruff: 28, soprano. Lives in Cincinnati. Holds master's from Miami University of Ohio.

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