Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions - Western Canada District Winners 2018
Gena van Oosten – mezzo-soprano
Nicole Joanne-Brooks - soprano
Shane Hanson - Countertenor
Peoples’ Choice Awards:
Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Auditions (Western Canada District)
On Saturday, November 10, 2018, twenty-one young singers participated in the MONC Western Canada District Auditions held in the Old Auditorium at UBC, Vancouver. These Vancouver auditions are the only MONC Auditions held in Canada and so there were participants from many areas of Canada.
The judges were:
- John Churchwell, currently the head of music for San Francisco Opera. Prior to this appointment, he served as assistant conductor for both the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera. Mr. Churchwell has been a member of the voice and piano faculty at the Music Academy of the West since the year 2000.
- Sandra Horst holds the positions of Chorus Master of the Canadian Opera Company and Director of Musical Studies for the Opera Division of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music. Ms. Horst has also served on the music staff of the Juilliard Opera Centre, Chautauqua Institute of Singing, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Saskatchewan and Opera Ontario. She is a frequent judge for the MONC Auditions.
- Ashlie Corcoran is currently the Artistic Director of the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver. She is a theatre and opera director who works across Canada and internationally at such companies as the Canadian Opera Company, the Shaw Festival, Opera Philadelphia and the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music as well as many other companies.
The judges chose the singers that they felt had the greatest potential for a successful career in opera.
The winning competitors were:
- Shane Hanson (countertenor), Chilliwack, BC
- Nicole Joanne-Brooks (soprano), Wetaskiwin, Alberta
- Gena van Oosten (mezzo-soprano), Toronto, Ontario
These district winners advance to the Northwest Regional MONC Auditions held in Seattle at Benaroya Hall on Sunday, February 10, 2019. We wish them every success! The Regional winner(s) advance to the semi-finals held in New York in March. The final competition and concert is part of Vancouver Opera Guild’s March 30 – April 6 2019 New York Metropolitan Opera Tour!
Encouragement Awards were presented to:
- Ian McCloy (tenor), Vancouver, BC
- Yenny Yi (mezzo-soprano), Jeonju, South Korea
The Peoples’ Choice Awards, made possible through generous donations from Guild members, were given to:
- Minghao Liu (tenor), Edmonton, Alberta
- Sodam Lee (soprano), Daegu, South Korea
Sincere thanks are extended to all who contributed to the success of the auditions:
- Nicolas Krusek – director of the auditions and master of ceremonies;
- The Vancouver Opera Guild members who selflessly contributed their time and expertise;
- Generous Guild donors, who made the People’s Choice Award possible,
- The UBC Opera students for attending to the logistics;
- Professor Nancy Hermiston – Guest Speaker “Making it to the Met”; and
- The appreciative audience.
The Vancouver Opera Guild’s sponsorship for more than twenty-five years is vital to both the continuance and the success of these Metropolitan Opera Auditions.