Sunday, February 12, 2017

Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Southeast Region winners

Today was another great day for singing at Spivey Hall, with 15 accomplished vocalists ages 24 to 29 representing North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee West, and Middle and East Tennessee each performing two arias during Southeast Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, vying for the opportunity to be named Regional Winners and advance to the next round of auditions in New York.

The judges -- Brad Woolbright, Director of Artistic Administration for the Santa Fe Opera; Melissa Wegner, Associate Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; and Jonathan Dudley, a New York City vocal coach and long-time opera leader in New York as well as former General Director of Opera Omaha -- presented not one, not two, but three Ryan Smith First Place Awards, each of $4000, to soprano Jacquelyn Stucker (age 27) of North Carolina, tenor Alasdair Kent (29) of Middle and East Tennessee, and bass-baritone Alan Higgs (29) of Georgia.

Accordingly, there were no Second Place or Third Place awards. Encouragement Awards of $500 each were presented to Gabriella Sam and Courtney Johnson, both 25-year-old sopranos from South Carolina.

Pianist Carol Anderson of Utah Opera collaborated excellently as the pianist for all 15 of the contestants.

In her welcoming remarks to the audience, Southeast Region Chairman Margaret Talmadge Howell thanked the state directors, volunteers and donors for their critical assistance in making the day's auditions a success, dedicating them to the memory of Elizabeth Nohe Colson (9/23/25-2/2/17), a nationally renowned voice teacher, a tireless advocate for singers, and a dedicated supporter of vocal art.

WABE 90.1 FM will broadcast today's Southeast Regional Finals on the Atlanta Music Scene on Monday, March 6, 2017 at 9:00 PM.

The Regional Winners will arrive in New York on March 9, 2017. The National Semi-Finals are March 12, and the National Grand Finals Concert on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera will be Sunday, March 19, 2017.  In bocca al lupo to Ms. Stucker and Messrs. Kent and Higgs!


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