Metropolitan Opera Announces Semifinalists for National Council Auditions

By Francisco Salazar

The 2020 semifinalists for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions have been announced.

The semifinalists this year are made up of 10 sopranos, four mezzo-sopranos, one countertenor, three tenors, two baritones, two bass-baritones, and one bass.

The 10 soprano semifinalists are Erika Baikoff (Upper Midwest Region: New York, New York), Claire de Monteil (Middle Atlantic Region: Paris, France), Cara Gabrielson (Northwest Region: Portland, Oregon), Courtney Johnson (Eastern Region: Chesapeake, Virginia), Chasiti Lashay (Western Region: Houston, Texas), Jana McIntyre (Midwest Region: Santa Barbara, California), Whitney Morrison (New England Region: Chicago, Illinois), Alexandria Shiner (Middle Atlantic Region: Waterford, Michigan), Denis Vélez (Gulf Coast Region: Mexico City, Mexico), and Suzannah Waddington (Gulf Coast Region: West Palm Beach, Florida).

This year’s semifinalists 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. .

The semifinalists will arrive at the Met on Saturday, Feb. 22 to rehearse for the semifinals competition on Monday, Feb.  24. The finalists of this event will then go on to sing in the Grand Finals Concert on Sunday, March 1.

This year Lisette Oropesa, who was a Grand Finals winner in the 2005 competition, will host the finals which will be showcase each finalist in two arias on the Met stage with conductor Bertrand de Billy and the Met Orchestra.

Tenor Javier Camarena will perform for the audience while the judges deliberate.

Previous Met National Council Audition winners include Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt, Thomas Hampson, Stephanie Blythe, Sondra Radvanovsky, Lawrence Brownlee, Eric Owens, Michael Fabiano, Latonia Moore, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Nadine Sierra, Jamie Barton, and Ryan Speedo Green.