Northwest Region Auditions 2016
Felicia Moore, 28, wins The Metropolitan Opera
National Council Northwest’s
SEATTLE, WA – A panel of distinguished opera judges chose soprano Felicia Moore as first place winner in Sunday’s Metropolitan Opera National Council Northwest’s Regional Auditions in Benaroya Hall. Moore, who originally hails from Princeton, NJ, and now resides in Portland, OR, bested a field of thirteen 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.
Sunday’s Auditions, hosted by former “Brothers Four” lead singer and present broadcaster/producer Dick Foley, capped a weekend that included a panel on career development for singers and the future of opera, featuring mezzo-soprano Michaela Martens, sopranos Elizabeth Hynes and Patricia Craig, and baritone Morgan Smith (who appears later this month in Seattle Opera’s “The Marriage of Figaro”). The weekend events also included a master class with Hynes, a renowned singer who teaches at the Thornton School of Music, University of Southern California, and concluded with a post-competition reception honoring all 13 finalists.
A highlight of the auditions was a performance by Northwest native and renowned Metropolitan Opera star Michaela Martens, during the judges’ deliberation on Sunday. Martens, whose international career extends from New York and San Francisco to Tokyo, London, and Bogota, was the 1992 winner of these Metropolitan Opera National Council Northwest auditions. She sang “Malheureux Roi” from Berlioz’s “Les Troyens,” and Aaron Copland’s song “Simple Gifts.”
Felicia Moore, the auditions winner, sang “Non piu di fior” from Mozart’s “La Clemenza di Tito,” and “Einsam in trüben Tagen” from Wagner’s “Lohengrin.” Moore’s win on Sunday earned her $5,000 and the Met’s $800 First 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.)
The judges included Elizabeth Hynes, on the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and the Aspen Music Festival and School; Patricia Craig, who teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria; 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.
The $3,000 second-place encouragement award was given to tenor Alasdair Kent of Philadelphia, PA. The $2,000 third-place encouragement award was given to bass-baritone Daren Small of Billings, MT. All the participants in Sunday’s auditions (including the winners) were awarded $500.