Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions | Colorado-Utah-Wyoming-Arizona
Where Great Opera Singers Are Discovered!
It’s a sad time as the Met announces the cancellation of its entire 2020-2021 season. The Met Opera Auditions, however, will continue. Metropolitan Opera National Council Executive Director Melissa Wegner has recorded a video for you about the exciting plans to keep the auditions moving forward. Your involvement will help singers during this challenging year and advance their careers.
Melissa’s important video is here:
You Make These Auditions Possible!
This year, your support is needed more than ever. Please consider increasing your donation to MONC. Our operating expenses will be lower this year, but we still need over $16,000 in singer awards. As of today, we’ve raised $8550. Please go to our donations page on our website to donate securely online or by mail or phone.
Our fundraising goal for 2020-2021 is only half of what is has been in past years due to not having live auditions, but we still need to raise $16,000 for singers’ awards. Please make your donation today. Thank you.
You may discover the next Renee Fleming at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions! The program was born in Minneapolis/St.Paul in 1954. The opera auditions are made possible by over 1500 dedicated volunteers in 40 U.S. opera districts and Mexico, which are grouped into 12 regions. Your Rocky Mountain Region has been looking for great voices to sing at the Met since 1958, in the Colorado-Wyoming District, the Utah District and the Arizona District. The Rocky Mountain Regional Finals are held at the Gates Concert Hall of the University of Denver. The Met Opera Auditions are a nationwide competition beginning at the district level and culminating in the exciting National Council Grand Finals Concert at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
The winners from the 12 opera regions represent their region at the National Semi-Finals in New York; at this opera audition they present two arias on the Metropolitan Opera stage accompanied by piano. Approximately ten of these opera singers are selected as National Finalists and compete in the National Grand Finals Concert, which is held one week later. The National Grand Finalists’ opera program consists of two arias each on the stage of The Metropolitan Opera accompanied by the Met Opera Orchestra in concert. Up to five equal winners will be chosen and awarded $20,000 each. The remaining opera singer finalists will receive $10,000 each. National Semi-Finalists not advancing to the Finals each receive $1,500. The Grand Finals Concert is broadcast nationwide on The Metropolitan Opera Radio Network.
From the Met: Auditions are Underway!
Here is more information from The Metropolitan Opera and our 2021 Auditions. As you can see, they are working very hard to make the Auditions happen to ensure a future for opera in America. This is what your donation is supporting in this challenging time!
From Melissa Wegner: Great news! We now have nearly every singer [including Colorado/Wyoming] signed up for District dates. We have sent them a form to gather information about their District audition. We will send that information via Google Drive once we’ve received it from all of the singers.
With this information, here in Colorado/Wyoming we will contact the singers, Introducing ourselves, our contact info, more info about our District. We will be scheduling and coordinating recording sessions with a designated pianist, tracking any changes to their repertoire etc. We will create the audition day schedule. Melissa will hold a Zoom meeting with us next week to discuss this process further.
Recently, the Met Opera had a feedback webinar for the singers who did not qualify for the District rounds. Melissa was joined by singer and mental health counselor Beth Clayton, who is also one of their MONC judges. We discussed feedback from the video auditions and strategies for handling disappointment, objective self-assessment, and moving forward with goals. Here’s a profile that Opera News ran on Beth in the September 2020 issue: https://www.operanews.com/Opera_News_Magazine/2020/9/Features/Sound_Advocate.html
Melissa is working on judge assignments right now and will be in touch with us as soon as they are confirmed for our District/Region.
Plans are rapidly taking shape! I’ll be in touch with more updates soon and cannot thank you enough for your continued support.
from Chris Mohr
I first fell in love with opera at age 12 when I heard the
Prelude to Act Three of Wagner’s Lohengrin on the radio. I
lived in a farm town, didn’t know what a prelude was or even
what Act Three meant, and I had no idea that the name of the
opera was Lohengrin. I just called it Prelude to Act Three by
Wagner. Listening to the Met opera broadcasts was a door to
a whole other world for me. I look back on that and realize
that these radio broadcasts were a great tool for the
democratization of opera.
Some people ask me why I am a part of MONC, and my
answer is simple. I want to make a contribution to my
community, and MONC is a good place to do it. First, the
opera performances I’ve seen and heard over the years,
whether on radio, recordings, on live stages around the
world, on local stages here in Colorado, and now with live
Met HD performances in movie theatres and through home
streaming, are the same as you have seen and heard
throughout your life. They’ve given all of us a lot along our
life paths. So I feel a need to give back to the opera
community that has so enriched my life.
If you love opera too, this is a time when the opera world and
especially young singers need your help more than ever! To
misquote Nietzsche, “Without opera, life would be a
mistake.” And to correctly quote Ellie Caulkins, “The Met
Opera Auditions are the future of opera in America.” With
110 former Met Opera Auditions winners on the 2019 Met
Opera roster, you know Ellie is right. We need great singers
to fill our souls, and the Met and the great singers they
nurture need you today to ensure a bright future. Please go to
our donations page now to show your support!
Met Opera Auditions: Support the Future of Opera in America! At present, opera is in a
“holding pattern.” But when the doors to opera houses all over America swing open
again, you can help us be sure the stage continues to be populated with world class talent! The Met Opera
Auditions are “full-steam ahead,” even in this virtual world. We need to raise
$16,000 in singer awards, half of what we usually need.
Please support your local Met Auditions!
Watch our National Finals Winner Jonah Hoskins
in Recital for Free on his Facebook Live Page!
Dear Opera Fan,
SPREAD THE WORD! On March 1, Steve Dilts, Ellie Caulkins, Chris Mohr and Karen Mohr were part of the audience at the Grand National Finals of the MONC auditions. The concert is the culmination of months of district and regional auditions across North America, and ends with the announcement of the national winners on the Met stage. We were thrilled when we heard our Rocky Mountain Regional finalist, tenor Jonah Hoskins, named as one of the five winners. Today, as all our lives have been upended in so many ways, that experience seems like another lifetime. Still, in one form or another, music goes on. As Jonah’s and our gift to you, we want to offer you his free online recital.
In an interview with Jonah which appears in the current auditions newsletter, he told us how disappointing it was that he didn’t have a live audience for his senior recital, but that it is streamed on his FaceBook page. We have heard Jonah sing some incredible opera highlights in his Met Auditions, and now you can see what an excellent interpreter of art song he is as well. Jonah would love for you to see his performance here.
2021 ROCKY MOUNTAIN REGIONAL AUDITIONS
Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing ArtsUniversity of Denver
Rocky Mountain Regional Finals
2021 Date TBA
Robert and Judi Newman Center for the Performing Arts
University of Denver
Grand National Finals
Date May 16, 2021, 3:00pm
Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY
Here are the Winners from the March 2020 Grand National Finals!
WE ARE PLEASED TO ANNOUNCE THE 2020 MONC WINNERS from Sunday’s Grand National Finals, including the Rocky Mountain Region’s own Jonah Hoskins! Jonah killed “Ah Mes Amis,” singing all nine high Cs with ease and adding several high D’s as an extra flourish. Thank you everyone, your support makes this possible!
Gabrielle Beteag, Mezzo-Soprano, Southeast Region
Blake Denson, Baritone, Midwest Region
Jonah Hoskins, Tenor, Rocky Mountain Region
Alexandria Shiner, Soprano, Middle Atlantic Region
Denis Vélez, Soprano, Gulf Coast Region
The above photo is credited to Richard Termine/Metropolitan Opera
L-R: Beteag, Denson, Vélez, Hoskins, Shiner
Meet the Winter 2020 Winners from the Rocky Mountain Region!
First Place (Tied) Katherine Beck
Originally from the green hills of Bennington, Vermont, mezzo soprano Katherine Beck is establishing herself as a force in the opera, concert and chamber music realms across the United States.
Ms. Beck is currently a member of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio at Arizona Opera. She recently performed Cherubino in all mainstage performances of Le nozze di Figaro in Phoenix and Tucson in April. Throughout the 2019-2020 season in Phoenix, she will perform the role of Mary Johnson in Fellow Travelers, Catherine Wright in Shining Brow, and Dryad in Ariadne auf Naxos. She will also cover Jennifer Johnson Cano as the Composer. Ms. Beck has been featured as Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff at Opera Colorado conducted by Ari Pelto during the 2017-2018 season. Equally comfortable in new music as well as standard repertoire, Katie also created the role of Lisette in the premiere of Gerald Cohen’s Steal a pencil for me in January 2018, also at Opera Colorado. In January 2018, in her first attempt at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions, Ms. Beck placed third in the Western Region.
Favorite opera roles include Béatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict at the University of Southern California, Sesto in Giulio Cesare in Egitto with Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and another Sesto in La clemenza di Tito, also at the University of Southern California. Ms. Beck holds degrees from the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California (MM) where she studied with Elizabeth Hynes and coached with Dr. Alan Smith, and SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music (BM) where she studied with Deborah Massell. When Katie isn’t singing or practicing, she can be found hiking or rock climbing in the nearest mountains with her husband Scott, catching up with friends and family, or enjoying a glass of wine.
First Place (Tied) Jonah Hoskins,
a 23 year-old tenor and native of Saratoga Springs, Utah, is currently a student at Brigham Young University where he is working toward a Bachelor of Arts in music. He has participated in Young Artist programs with Ohio Light Opera, Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, and HGO Young Artist Vocal Academy. He was first place winner of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. On March 1, 2020, Jonah was named one of five winners in the Met’s Grand National Finals Auditions!
Thanks to Ray Rinaldi for creating this article for the Denver Post the day before the 2020 Auditions!
And here are the winners of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera Auditions Rocky Mountain Region!
On January 26, fifteen singers who had won in the Colorado/Wyoming, Utah and Arizona districts converged onstage for the Rocky Mountain Regional Finals. The singers were extraordinarily talented, and we are proud to list our second and third place winners!
Sylvia D’Eramo, 2nd Place
Mary Hoskins, Third Place (Tied)
Utah soprano Mary Hoskins recently participated as a national semi-finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Mary is currently pursuing her Masters Degree at Brigham Young University where she has performed numerous roles including Suor Angelica in Puccini’s Suor Angelica, Theodora in Handel’s Theodora, and 1st Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.
Mary is a two-year alumna of Dolora Zajick’s Institute for Young Dramatic Voices where she participated in their annual scenes program and worked with internationally renowned directors and coaches.
She has performed with Utah Vocal Arts Academy as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro and Nella in Gianni Schicchi.
Mary loved singing with her family on road trips. When her brother signed her up for audition without her foreknowledge or consent, she fell in love with the art form.
Aaron Pendleton, 3rd Place (Tied)
Aaron Pendleton is from Atlanta, Georgia. His Facebook Page has the saying, “The only walls we have are the ones we create.” He studied Voice Performance at Arizona State University, and now studies Voice at University of Nevada – Las Vegas. He has also studied Voice Performance at Johnson C. Smith University. Aaron went to Langston Hughes High School and now lives in Henderson, Nevada.