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,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just saw The Audition today. I have worked the Metropolitan Opera auditions in Florida for years, so it was fascinating to see where and how the top winners end up.

But at he end it was so sad. My Mom & I had so much fun watching, and we were both rooting for Ryan Smith. He had such a great personality and an absolutely gorgeous voice. To read what happened to him at end was just so sad, it made me cry. Mostly for his wonderful personality and spirit, and then secondarily a selfish reason -- the loss of his beautiful voice, and the loss of opportunity for so many people to see him and hear him.

12:11 AM  
Blogger Spivey Hall said...

So many people have felt the loss of Ryan Smith deeply. Especially when you know how close he came to giving up serious singing altogether, and then triumphed, with critical encouragement from people like Walter Huff (chorus master of The Atlanta Opera) and his many friends. Those who cared for Ryan may take some comfort, I hope, in knowing that he was doing what he truly wanted to be doing. One way we can honor our departed loved ones is to remember them joyfully at their best. Though I didn't know Ryan personally, I will remember the joy that he radiated from the stage of Spivey Hall when he won the National Council Auditions here.

8:57 AM  

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