Salt Lake City, UT
Metropolitan Opera National Council sponsors national auditions for young opera singers, and to establish a regional auditions program.
Over 100 singers on the Metropolitan Opera’s roster during any given season have auditioned for the National Council. While there are many routes to the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, for North American singers the National Council Auditions create an introduction to the company that may have otherwise eluded them.
Many of the world’s foremost singers, among them Ren?e Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Jessye Norman, Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt and Dolora Zajick have received awards from the National Council.
The primary objective in having the National Council run the auditions was to make it a truly nationwide effort. The pilot operation of the regional auditions took place in Minneapolis in 1954 with great success, and, as a result, more regions were established across the country through the efforts of dedicated volunteers such as Howard Hook, co-founder of the National Council Auditions. Initially basing the regional auditions around the stops on the Met’s annual tour, Hook eventually organized the entire country into sixteen regions each with its own sponsors and volunteers to set up auditions in their area.
The Rocky Mountain Region covers Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado.
Winners of the District auditions advance to their Region Finals where they compete to win a trip to New York to participate in the National Semi-Finals, a competition held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Approximately ten of the Semi-Finalists will be selected as National Finalists, and will compete the following Sunday in a public concert, the Grand Finals Concert, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The jury will award up to five Grand Winner awards of $15,000 each. The concert is broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network. The remaining National Finalists will receive $5,000 each, and those singers who were National Semi-Finalists, but did not advance to the National Finals will be given $1,500 to further their studies.