Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Concerts to Be Broadcast on WQXR

(Photo by Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera) The winners of the 2017 National Council Grand Finals Concert: Kyle van Schoonhoven, Vanessa Vasquez, Samantha Hankey, Kirsten MacKinnon, Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, and Richard Smagur.

For those who missed the Metropolitan Opera Council Grand Finals Concert, WXQR is transmitting the recorded version on June 10.

The concert will showcase the arias that the finalists sang at the concert back on March 19, 2017. Maestro Nicola Luisotti led the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the event was hosted by soprano Renée Fleming. Soprano Amber Wagner, mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, and tenor Michael Fabiano performed as special guests. The three singers were celebrating their tenth anniversary of winning the competition.

This year’s winners were soprano Kirsten MacKinnon, soprano Vanessa Vasquez, countertenor Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, mezzo Samantha Hankey, tenor Kyle Van Schoonhoven, and tenor Richard Smagur.

OperaWire went to the concert and noted that winner “Vanessa Vasquez brought soprano hits ‘E strano … Sempre libera’ and ‘Un bel di, vedremo.’ A luscious voice, she held her hands close to her cheek as though she could already taste Madama Butterfly’s victory.”

It was also noted that “Richard Tucker grant winner Samantha Hankey sang a well-received ‘Parto, parto,’ but also moved us with beautiful Russian diction in her portrayal as Joan of Arc in ‘Da, chas nastal,’ from ‘The Maid of Orleans.’”

WQXR will transmit the concert at 1 pm EDT.


“O luce di quest’anima” from Linda di Chamounix (Donizetti)
Natalie Image, Soprano

“Se vuol ballare” from Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart)
Cody Quattlebaum, Bass-Baritone

“Parto, parto” from La Clemenza di Tito (Mozart)
Samantha Hankey, Mezzo-Soprano

“La fleur que tu m’avais jetée” (Flower Song) from Carmen (Bizet)
Richard Smagur, Tenor

“Otchego eto prezhde ne znala” from Iolanta (Tchaikovsky)
Kirsten MacKinnon, Soprano

“Pompe vane di morte … Dove sei, amato bene?” from Rodelinda (Handel)
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Countertenor

“Il est doux, il est bon” from Hérodiade (Massenet)
Gabriella Reyes de Ramírez, Soprano

“Steady! There you are! Nearly home!” (Grimes’s Mad Scene) from Peter Grimes (Britten)
Kyle van Schoonhoven, Tenor

“Un bel dì, vedremo” from Madama Butterfly (Puccini)
Vanessa Vasquez, Soprano


Snow Maiden’s Aria from The Snow Maiden (Rimsky-Korsakov)
Natalie Image, Soprano

“Vous qui faites l’endormie” from Faust (Gounod)
Cody Quattlebaum, Bass-Baritone

“Da, chas nastal” from The Maid of Orleans (Tchaikovsky)
Samantha Hankey, Mezzo-Soprano

“Pourquoi me réveiller” from Werther (Massenet)
Richard Smagur, Tenor

“Ah, je ris de me voir” from Faust (Gounod)
Kirsten MacKinnon, Soprano

“Dawn, still darkness” (Refugee’s Aria) from Flight (Jonathan Dove)
Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Countertenor

“Cristóbal ¿Es esta luz la muerte?” from Florencia en el Amazonas (Catán)
Gabriella Reyes de Ramírez, Soprano

“Allmächt’ger Vater, blick herab!” (Rienzi’s Prayer) from Rienzi (Wagner)
Kyle van Schoonhoven, Tenor

“È strano! È strano! … Ah fors’è lui … Sempre libera” from La Traviata (Verdi)
Vanessa Vasquez, Soprano


“Acerba voluttà, dolce tortura” from Adriana Lecouvreur (Cilea)
Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano

“Es gibt ein Reich” from Ariadne auf Naxos (Strauss)
Amber Wagner, Soprano

“Oh! fede negar potessi … Quando le sere al placido” from Luisa Miller (Verdi)
Michael Fabiano, Tenor

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About the Author

Francisco Salazar
FRANCISCO SALAZAR, (Publisher) worked as a reporter for Latin Post where he has had the privilege of interviewing numerous opera stars including Anita Rachvelshvili and Ailyn Perez. He also worked as an entertainment reporter where he covered the New York and Tribeca Film Festivals and interviewed many celebrities such as Antonio Banderas, Edgar Ramirez and Benedict Cumberbatch. He currently freelances for Remezcla. He holds a Masters in Media Management from the New School and a Bachelor's in Film Production and Italian studies from Hofstra University.

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