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National Council Auditions Northwest Region Finals

Pascale Spinney Photo by Ava Driscoll

Pascale Spinney

SEATTLE, WA – A panel of distinguished opera judges chose soprano Pascale Spinney as first place winner in Sunday’s Metropolitan Opera National Council Northwest’s Regional Auditions in Benaroya Hall. Spinney, a member of Atelier lyrique de l'Opéra de Montréal, bested a field of ten contestants, all selected through earlier District Auditions in several U.S. locations (including Seattle). Applicants may choose to enter any District audition across the country regardless of whether they are a resident of the area.

Pascale Spinney now advances to the Semi-Finals, which take place at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City Sunday, March 12, 2017. There she will compete with the winners of twelve other regional auditions, and receive coaching from the Met’s artistic staff.

The judges included Deborah Birnbaum, an internationally established teacher ; Christopher McBeth, Utah Artistic Director; and Gayletha Nichols, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. The pianist for the auditions was David McDade, Seattle Opera’s head coach/accompanist and a regular at the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.

All the participants in Sunday’s auditions (including the winners) were awarded $500.

Master Class

Master Class at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall with Deborah Birnbaum, instructor and Li-Tsu Hsu, Accompanist Photo by Ava Driscoll

Master Class at Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall, Benaroya Hall with Deborah Birnbaum, instructor and Li-Tsu Hsu, Accompanist

The days events also included a master class with Deborah Birnbaum, an internationally established teacher whose expertise is Bel Canto Breath Technique. Ms. Birnbaum is regularly scheduled for guest teaching engagements at the San Francisco Opera, The Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Wolf Trap,. She works with members of the Met's Lindermann Young Artist Program and was one of the featured coaches in the Metropolitan Opera's HD movie, 'The Audition'. This season, Ms. Birnbaum will return to Carnegie Hall as a guest clinician for Joyce DiDonato's Master Classes.

Participants in the Master Class were Katie Kibota, Rachell Moss, and Catherine Thornsley. These young talented singers recently competed in the Metropolitan Opera Washington District Auditions. Li-Tan Hsu , a prizewinner from the Liszt Garrison Competition, was the accompanist. Dr. Li-Tan Hsu currently works with Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera regularly.

MONC | Northwest Regional Winners Jan. 27, 2013

Pictured: L to R, Ksenia Popova, Hannah Dahlenburg, and Jessica Strong.

Winner: Jessica Strong, 26, soprano from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Jessica advances to National Semi Finals in New York City March 3, 2013.

2nd Place: Hannah Dahlenburg, 24, soprano from Melbourne, Australia (Canadian citizen).

3rd Place: Ksenia Popova, 23, Soprano, Seattle, WA.

People’s Choice Award: Ksenia …

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