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Loyola hosts Metropolitan Opera auditions

January 13, 2012

Loyola University New Orleans will once again play host to several young aspiring operatic stars as they compete for the chance to perform on one of the world’s most prestigious stages at the Metropolitan Opera National Council District and Regional Auditions on Jan. 14 and 15 in Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall, located in the Communications/Music Complex on Loyola’s main campus. The winner of the regional auditions will advance to the national semi-final round, held in March on the Metropolitan Opera Stage in New York City.

The district auditions, which are free and open to the public, begin Saturday, Jan. 14 at 10:30 a.m., and regional auditions are scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 15 at 1:30 p.m. General admission to the regional auditions is $10, and free for students and members of Amici, the volunteer support group for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Anyone who joins Amici at the event on Sunday will also receive free admission to the auditions and be invited to the post-audition reception.

Greg Henkel, director of artistic administration for the San Francisco Opera, will serve as the National Council’s official judge at the auditions. Additional judges include University of Kentucky School of Music voice professor Cliff Jackson; Thomas Muraco, vocal coach for the Manhattan School of Music and Opera San Jose; and former Loyola University New Orleans Board of Trustees member and Loyola College of Music and Fine Arts alumnus Anthony Laciura ’74, a retired Metropolitan Opera singer who currently stars on the critically-acclaimed HBO series “Boardwalk Empire.” Melissa Wegner, associate director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will also be in attendance.

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is a program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. The auditions are held annually in 14 regions of the United States and Canada. There are 42 districts within these regions, each providing an opportunity for talented singers to enter the auditions program at the local level.

Many of the world’s foremost singers, including Renée 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. Annually, approximately 100 former contestants appear in Metropolitan Opera productions.

For more information, contact Jess Brown in Loyola’s Office of Public Affairs at jlbrown@loyno.edu or call 504-861-5882.

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