UK Opera Vocalists Advance to Met Regional Auditions
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2012) — University of Kentucky Opera Theatre vocalists Holly Flack and Reginald Smith Jr. have advanced to the regional round of competition for the Metropolitan (Met) Opera National Council Auditions.
Flack, a UK graduate, is now living in Chicago. A colatura soprano, she won the Wisconsin District Auditions and has advanced to the Upper Midwest Regional Auditions to be held Feb. 2, in St. Paul, Minn. Flack has been working in Chicago the last year and is cast as the Queen of the Night in Chicago Chamber Opera's 2013 production of "The Magic Flute."
In 2010, Flack previously advanced to the Metropolitan Opera Regional Auditions and received second place in the Advanced Women Division of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competition. At UK, she also was a recipient of the Phyllis Jenness Vocal Scholarship. Flack earned her master's degree from UK in 2011.
Smith, a voice performance and music education senior, was one of four winners at the Ohio District Auditions in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has advanced to the Central Region Auditions on Nov. 4 in Evanston, Ill. Smith has performed with several orchestras including the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra, the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, the Johnson City Symphony and the Evansville Symphony Orchestra.
An accomplished baritone, Smith won first place in the National Opera Association Competition Scholarship Division earlier this year. In 2011, he received the Best State Presence Award as well as third place in the Metropolitan Opera Mid-South Regional Auditions.
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions program provides a venue for young opera singers from all over the U.S. to be heard by representatives of the Met. Applicants prepare a minimum of five operatic arias in their original languages and selections must demonstrate contrasting style as well as languages. Upon completing the audition, candidates are given the opportunity to meet with the judges personally to discuss matters of evaluation and advice.
The Met holds the auditions to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artists Development Program. The Lindemann program, designed to nurture the most talented young artists through training and performance opportunities, provides financial aid together with supervised artistic direction to the young artists.
The district level is the first stage of the three-tiered audition process, and contestants can choose to compete in any district regardless of their place of residence. There is no set number of singers to advance to compete in the regional with roughly 1,500 singers participating each year in the 16 regions across the country. Regional finals for this area include participants from the Kentucky, Arkansas, Middle/East Tennessee, West Tennessee/Mississippi and North Alabama districts. Winners at the regional level advance to the National Council Auditions Semi-Finals in New York in the spring. Only eight to 10 singers are selected as national finalists and perform in the Winners Concert at the Met.
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