Sunday, January 31, 2010

Metropolitan Opera National Auditions results

This afternoon Spivey Hall hosted the Southeast Region Final Auditions of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, in which 13 vocalists hailing from North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida competed for the opportunity to advance to the National Finals at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. The Hall was full of opera-lovers eager to hear the these talented young singers.

And here are the results!

The Ryan Smith First Place Award went to soprano Leah Crocetto, age 30, of Florida, who sang "Ernani, involami" from Verdi's Ernani and "Chi il bel sogno di Doretta" from Puccini's La rondine.

The Second Place Award went to soprano Taylor Johnson, age 23, of South Carolina, who sang "Dilette amiche" from Verdi's I vespri siciliani and "Donde lieta usci" from Puccini's La boheme.

The Third Place Award went to mezzo-soprano Cynthia Hanna, age 27, of North Carolina, who sang "O mio Fernando" from Donizetti's La favorita and "Werther! Qui m'aurait dit la place" from Massenet's Werther.

Encouragement awards were given to baritone Joshua Conyers, age 21, of North Carolina, who sang "Hai gia vinta la causa" from Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and "Come paride vezzoso" from Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore; and to tenor Samuel Levine, age 25, of Florida, who sang "Fra poco a me ricovero" from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor and "The Ride to Rome" from Britten's The Rape of Lucretia.

The pianist for all of the prizewinners (and most of the contestants) was the Met Audition Southeast Region's staff accompanist, Ben Leaptrott.

The judges were Gregory Henkel, the San Francisco Opera's Director of Artistic Administration, Gayletha Nichols, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and Robin Thompson, a classical performing arts consultant and long-time opera professional with major American opera companies, including the New York City Opera.

Another great afternoon of music at Spivey Hall, whose acoustics are so sympathetic to singing. Congratulations to all the contestants!

If you missed the Auditions, you can tune into Atlanta's WABE 90.1 FM on Monday, March 8th 9:00 PM to hear the radio broadcast produced by Tommy Joe Anderson and hosted by Robert Hubert, or listen to it streamed on the Internet at (click the "Listen now" button on the homepage, a little right of center).


Blogger William said...

Thanks so much for posting the results, Sam. I couldn't wait around for the results, but was glad when I got home late to find that you had posted them. As always, the auditions were a treat, with a pretty strong group of performers across the board this year in my opinion. I always hope we'll get to hear some of the more obscure/rarely performed pieces in the singers' repertoire, so I was particularly delighted by the Britten and some of the rarer Verdi sung by the first and second place finishers. And Korngold!

6:13 AM  
Anonymous JP said...

Thanks for your report!
We had a great time, and I particularly enjoyed the soprano, though I didn't catch her name, who sang while the judges deliberated.
What year did she audition, I wonder?

10:16 AM  
Blogger Spivey Hall said...

Thanks for your comments!

William, I'm glad you enjoyed some of the less-often-heard arias on Sunday. Korngold's "Die tote Stadt" is a piece I love, and there's an excellent recording conducted by Erich Leinsdorf on RCA with baritone Hermann Prey performing the Pierrot role; he sings "Mein Sehnen" gorgeously (it's the first track on CD 2) -- perhaps you know it, too? It's definitely worth hunting down if you don't.

JP, here's your answer from Margaret Talmadge, who chairs the National Council's Southeast Region:
"Carolina Castells was our guest performer yesterday and was one of our winners in 2008 along with Rene Barbera. Both were selected as Finalist in New York and sang on the Met stage with the Met orchestra. Carolina is from Florida and and is now working on her Doctorate at Indiana. I hope everyone enjoyed her. She is just delightful."

6:34 AM  
Blogger Spivey Hall said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Spivey Hall said...

Oops! Sorry to send you to the golfers! Thanks for pointing this out! The link is corrected now (pBa, not pGa)! Public Broadcasting Atlanta is where you want to be. [Notice how the Professional Golfers Association no longer pictures a certain player named Tiger Woods on its homepage...?]

8:56 PM  

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