2015 MONC NW Regional Auditions Winners:
L-R Katrina Galka, Colin Ramsey, Anne Maguire
Mezzo Soprano Anne Maguire, 24, wins The Metropolitan Opera
National Council Northwest’s
SEATTLE, WA – A panel of distinguished opera judges chose 24-year-old mezzo soprano Anne Maguire as the winner in Last Sunday’s Metropolitan Opera National Council Northwest’s Regional Auditions in Benaroya Hall. Maguire, who hails from Washougal, WA bested a field of 11 contestants from across the US who were all selected through earlier District Auditions in several Northwest locations (including Seattle). Applicants may choose to enter any District audition across the country regardless of whether they are a resident of the area.
The Auditions, hosted by former “Brothers Four” lead singer and present broadcaster/producer Dick Foley, capped a weekend that included a reception honoring the guest of honor Frederica von Stade, and a panel on the future of opera with von Stade and the competition judges, a Master Class with the renowned Metropolitan Opera soprano Ruth Falcon, and a reception following the competition in honor of all the finalists.
Particular highlights of the weekend included a discussion with von Stade. The conversation was lively and heartfelt as Ms von Stade shared some of her memories and experiences with the guests at the reception in her honor.
Another highlight was a performance by Alek Shrader during the judges’ deliberation on Sunday. Shrader, who is in Seattle performing in Seattle Opera’s production of Semele, sang “Una furtive lagrima” from Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’amore” and “Maria” from Bernstein’s “West Side Story”.
Maguire’s win on Sunday earned her $5,000 and the Met’s $800 “1st Place Edgar M Tobin Award,” plus the $500 awarded each contestant. She now advances to the Semifinals, which take place at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City this spring. There she will compete with the winners of twelve other regional auditions, and receive coaching from the Met’s artistic staff. Those not selected as national Finalists there will receive a cash award of $1,500; the National Finalists will remain in residence at the Met for another week and continue to coach with the Met’s Music staff in preparation for the Grand Finals concert with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. At stake there is a prize of $15,000 and a major boost to the budding singer’s career (some of the winners have received major opera contracts.)
Maguire performed two arias for the judges who included Robert DeSimone, Director of the Butler Opera Program at the University of Texas, Austin; Gareth Morrell Metropolitan Opera Conductor, and Josh Winograde, Senior Director of Artistic Planning for Los Angeles Opera and director of the Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program. Maguire sang “O mio Fernando” from Donizetti’s opera “La Favorita” and “Mon Coeur s’ouvre a ta voix” from Saint-Saens opera “Samson et Dalila.” The pianist for the auditions was Lara Bolton, a highly respected opera coach and accompanist at opera companies across the United States, including, Seattle Opera, San Francisco, Washington National Opera, San Diego Opera, to name a few.
The $3,000 encouragement award was given to Katrina Galka, Soprano. The $2,000 encouragement award was given to Colin Ramsey, Bass. All the participants in Sunday’s auditions (including the winners) were awarded $500.