Sunday, January 25, 2009

Met Opera National Council Auditions winners

Each year Spivey Hall proudly hosts the Southeast Region Finals of The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. The panel of three distinguished judges -- Mikael Eliasen of The Curtis Institute of Music, Metropolitan Opera tenor and opera director Antholny Laciura, and prominent New York City vocal coach Jonathan Dudley -- named the following winners today (Sunday, January 25, 2009) from among the 12 contestants:

The Ryan Smith First Place Award ($4300) - Jodi Burns, soprano, age 21, of North Carolina, who sang "V'adoro, pupille" from Handel's Giulio Cesare and Juliette's Waltz ("Je veux vivre") from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette.

Second Place ($1,600) - Katherine Blumenthal, soprano, age 29, of Georgia, who sang "A vos jeux, mes amis" from Thomas' Hamlet and "Tornami a vagheggiar" from Handel's Alcina.

Third Place ($1,000) - Janette Zilioli, soprano, age 30, of Florida, who sang "Ah! non credea mirarti...Ah! Non giunge" from Bellini's La sonnambula and "Ain't it a pretty night" from Floyd's Susannah.

The $500 Peg Gary Encouragement Award was given to baritone Daniel Scofield, age 22, of Georgia, who sang "Hai gia vinta la causa" from Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and "Ah! per sempre" from Bellini's I puritani.

And The Atlanta Opera Guild Encouragement Award (augmented today by the Met Opera National Council) of $500 went to soprano Bethany Hoerst, age 25, of Florida, who sang "Da tempeste" from Handel's Giulio Cesare and "O waer' ich schon" from Beethoven's Fidelio.

Congratulations to the winners and to all the contestants from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina!

If you couldn't be at Spivey Hall to hear these young talents in person, tune in to WABE 90.1 FM on Monday, February 16 at 9:00 PM to hear their performances aired on Atlanta Music Scene, also streamed on WABE's Public Broadcasting Atlanta website,

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Interview with tenor Lawrence Brownlee

Celebrated bel canto tenor and Atlanta resident Lawrence Brownlee recently gave an interview to WABE 90.1 FM's Wanda Yang Temko -- listen here for their conversation with recorded excerpts of his singing -- which is gorgeous.

He makes his recital debut at Spivey Hall this Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 8:15 PM with pianist Martin Katz, whom I heard play beautifully at Carnegie Hall last Sunday at Marilyn Horne's 75th birthday celebration concert (an unbelievable event! more on this soon). Tickets are still available. This performance is likely to be one of the great highlights of the season, so if you love great singing, don't miss it!