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Subject: Met Opera National Council Auditions Mid-Atlantic Region FINALS--and the winners are (2-12-17)
From: Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Alan Savada <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 13 Feb 2017 08:39:53 -0500

text/plain (38 lines)

This year the Met National Council Regional finals for our region were held at the much larger UDC Theatre of the Arts due to renovations at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theatre. Chairman Eleanor Forrer welcomed us as usual saying this" was the biggest crowd ever' I think we have a  million and a half people!!" This got massive laughs here in DC for sure. She went on to talks about the success of last year's first place winner, tenor Jonas Hacker, who will return to DC in 3 weeks for Washington Concert Opera's Leonore (the French version of Fidelio). She also noted that 14 of previous years' finalists are actually on the Met roster this season.

A record $25,000 was amassed for this year's prizes and each of the 12 finalists had already received a $1500 grant for coaching and travel for this event, and $4000 had also been awarded in encouragement gifts.

It was a bit less difficult this year as some of the singers clearly stood out over the others, especially in that one missed note or error can often cause you to loose the whole thing. While nobody sang truly poorly, there were the haves and have nots.

I was thrilled with the first performance by tenor, Marco Cammarota who we have known for some time through WNO & Glimmerglass. His "Sento avvampar nell'anima" from Boccanegra and "O Paradis" from L'Africaine were memorable and I truly thought he was gong to place; I was wrong, as so many of us often are!

Soprano Shannon Jennings sang Turandot's "Signore ascolta" as her 2nd aria and impressed, but not enough to overcome the other two women who tied for First place and each took home $6000 as well as advance to the National Finals in NYC next month"
Vanessa Vasquez sang a dreamy "Un bel di vedremo" first and then went on to "Non mi dir"

while Kirsten MacKinnon, who impressed me the most of the 3 sopranos, started with The Jewel Song from Faust and then a gorgeous Iolanta's Arioso.

Second place and a $4000 prize went to our dear friend bass, Anthony Schneider who was amazing in Boccanegra's "Il lacerato spirit" and Street Scene's "Let things be like they always was," an aria one doesn't hear too much in competitions for sure.

Tenor, Matthew Hill took home the $3000 prize for 3rd place after an impressive "Si, ritovarla io guiro" from Cenerentola and a lovely "Here I stand..." from The Rake's Progress.

I also enjoyed baritone Dogukan Kuran which many people seemed to think should have placed and notable were tenor John Matthew Myers and bass-baritone Nathan Milholin.

Each year this is a fun event and one that can be disappointing once we have our choices made, but the singers all performed pretty well and gave us a most entertaining afternoon.

next year the event will return to the Kennedy Center on February25, 2108.

ALAN SAVADA of Washington, DC

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