The final phase of competition is a live public concert held this Sunday, April 29, on the Met stage; winners will receive individual cash prizes of $15,000 and career-launching exposure

New York, NY – Following today’s highly competitive semi-final competition, nine young singers will advance to the final phase of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2018 National Council Auditions, America’s most prestigious vocal competition. The selected finalists, chosen by a panel of experts from the classical music industry, will compete on the Met stage on Sunday, April 29 at 3 p.m. The winners will receive individual cash prizes of $15,000 and the prestigious—and potentially career-launching—title of National Council Auditions Winner. The Grand Finals Concert will be hosted by Joyce DiDonato, who will perform during the judges’ deliberations. The finalists will sing two arias, with Bertrand de Billy conducting the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.

The 2018 finalists, the regions they represent in the competition, and their hometowns are: Danielle Beckvermit, 25, soprano (Eastern Region: Kingston, NY); Jessica Faselt, 25, soprano (Upper Midwest Region: Iowa City, IA); Madison Leonard, 26, soprano (Middle Atlantic Region: Coeur d’Alene, ID); Emily Misch, 28, soprano (Eastern Region: Santa Monica, CA); Ashley Dixon,26, mezzo-soprano (Northwest Region: Peachtree, GA); Megan Grey, 24, mezzo-soprano (Upper Midwest Region: Cedar Falls, IA); Gretchen Krupp, 25, mezzo-soprano (Central Region: Manassas, VA); Hongni Wu, 23, mezzo-soprano (Eastern Region: Jingdezhen, China); and Carlos Santelli, 26, tenor (Western Region: Orlando, FL) round out the list of contestants competing on Sunday.

The Met Auditions, currently in their 64th year, are a major stepping stone to a career as an opera opera. Over 100 singers on the Met roster this season have participated in the Auditions, which were crucial in introducing many of today’s best-known stars, such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, Lawrence Brownlee, Thomas Hampson, Eric Owens, Angela Meade, Nadine Sierra, Jamie Barton, and Ryan Speedo Green. The finalists were chosen from nearly 1,000 singers who participated in auditions held in 40 districts and 12 regions throughout the United States and Canada, sponsored by the Metropolitan Opera National Council and administered by National Council members and hundreds of volunteers from across the country. Given the reach of the auditions, the number of applicants, and the program’s long tradition, the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are considered the most prestigious in North America for singers seeking to launch an operatic career.


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