(Credit: Richard Termine/Metropolitan Opera)
The 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions have announced its winners.
The winners will each receive a $20,000 cash prize up from $15,000, the first increase since 1998 and the prestige and exposure that comes with winning the competition that has launched numerous international careers.
This year the winners include mezzo-soprano Gabrielle Beteag of the Southeast Region: Lilburn, GA; baritone Blake Denson of the Midwest Region: Paducah, KY; tenor Jonah Hoskins of the Rocky Mountain Region: Saratoga Springs, UT; soprano Alexandria Shiner fo the Middle Atlantic Region: Waterford, MI; and soprano Denis Vélez of the Gulf Coast Region: Puebla, Mexico.
The remaining four finalists Lindsay Kate Brown, Chasiti Lashay, Jana McIntyre, and Xiaomeng Zhang each received a $10,000 cash prize (up from $7,500).
The nine finalists performed two arias on the Met stage alongside Bertrand de Billy in the final phase of the competition which was hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa. Javier Camarena performed during the evening while the judges deliberated.
This year’s finalists were chosen from more than 1,000 singers who participated in auditions held in 40 districts throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, and who then competed in the 12 regional finals.
Past winners of the Met National Council Auditions have included Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, Thomas Hampson, Stephanie Blythe, Sondra Radvanovsky, Lawrence Brownlee, Lisette Oropesa, Michael Fabiano, Latonia Moore, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nadine Sierra, and Jamie Barton.