After a months-long series of competitions at the district, regional, and national levels, a panel of expert judges named five singers as the winners of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Each winner receives a $20,000 cash prize—up from $15,000, the first increase since 1998—and the prestige and exposure that come with winning the competition that launched the careers of many of opera’s biggest stars.
The 2020 winners, the regions they represent in the competition, and their hometowns are:
· Gabrielle Beteag, 25, mezzo-soprano (Southeast Region: Lilburn, GA)
· Blake Denson, 24, baritone (Midwest Region: Paducah, KY)
· Jonah Hoskins, 23, tenor (Rocky Mountain Region: Saratoga Springs, UT)
· Alexandria Shiner, 29, soprano (Middle Atlantic Region: Waterford, MI)
· Denis Vélez, 27, soprano (Gulf Coast Region: Puebla, Mexico)
Nine finalists performed on the Met stage in the final phase of the competition, hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa, a 2005 National Council winner. Each finalist sang two arias with the Met Orchestra, led by Bertrand de Billy, followed by a guest performance by tenor Javier Camarena while the judges deliberated. The audience for the Grand Finals Concert, which was open to the public, included artistic directors of leading opera companies, artist managers, important teachers and coaches, music critics, and many other industry professionals with the potential to play an influential role in the career of a young singer.
Listen Satuday at 1 p.m. on Classcial IPR.