Oct. 28: Metropolitan Opera auditions

The North Dakota-Manitoba District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions will hold its 54th annual auditions in October this year.

The Auditions have traditionally been held in November, but this year they will be on Saturday, Oct. 28, in the Josephine Campbell Recital Hall, Hughes Fine Arts Center.  The Auditions Concert begins at 11 a.m., and will be followed later that afternoon by an Awards Ceremony and public master class.  An additional public master class or lecture will be held on Friday, Oct. 27.

This competition is open to aspiring opera singers between the ages of 20 and 30 and aims to identify exceptional young talent and provide a venue for these young singers to be heard by representatives of The Metropolitan Opera.

Three judges at the ND-MB District will listen to the singers perform at least two opera arias and select winners to advance to the Upper Midwest Regional Finals held at Bethel University in Minnesota in March 2018. Winners from the Regional Levels are sponsored to go to New York in March for the National Council Semi-Finals, and the Finalists selected from that round will perform at the Grand Finals Concert in March 2017 on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Throughout the four levels of the National Council Auditions, singers compete for nearly half a million dollars of prize money and the prestige of being a “Met Winner.”

The ND-MB District Auditions attracts singers from our region, North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Manitoba, as well as competitors from as far away as Texas and New York. Our district has produced National Winners, Finalists and Semi-Finalists with the most recent being Lida Szkwarek, soprano, a ND-MB Met Winner, who competed in the National Semi-Finals in New York in 2014.

Singers are typically graduate students and young professionals pursing opera careers, but advanced undergraduates are welcome.  Participants need to prepare five operatic arias in the original language and key and an accompanist can be provided.  Applications are due October 15th and are completed online at the Met Opera National Council Auditions website.

The ND-MB Met Auditions and events continue to be free and open to the public thanks to generous sponsorship by the City of Grand Forks, the UND Music Department, the UND Student NATS Chapter, the Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau, and individual supporters.

— Louise Pinkerton and Dr. Royce Blackburn, Co-Drectors, North Dakota-Manitoba District of the Met Opera National Council Auditions