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Alain Barker
Jacobs School of Music

Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2010

IU Jacobs School students and alumna to compete in Met Semi-Final Auditions

Feb. 19, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two students and one alumna from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music took home top honors from their respective Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Regional Audition competitions held recently across the country.

Stephanie Washington

Stephanie Washington

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Stephanie Washington, soprano and student of Professor Carol Vaness, won first place in the Midwest Regional Auditions Feb. 13 in St. Louis. The competition included winners from the Kansas City, Tulsa and St. Louis District rounds.

Laura Wilde, mezzo-soprano and second-year master's student of Chancellor's Professor Costanza Cuccaro, won first place in the Tri-State Regional Jan. 16 in Indianapolis. The competition included winners from the Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana Districts.

Jennifer Feinstein

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Alumna Jennifer Feinstein, a mezzo-soprano who did her undergraduate studies with Associate Professor Alan Bennett and her graduate studies with Cuccaro, was awarded the top prize in the New England Regional Jan. 24 in Boston over winners from the Boston and Connecticut Districts.

All three won a trip to New York City to participate in the National Semi-Finals March 7 on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Approximately 10 of the semi-finalists will be selected as national finalists and will compete in a public concert -- the Grand Finals Concert -- March 14, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The jury will award approximately five Grand Winner prizes of $15,000 each. The concert will be broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network. The remaining National Finalists receive $5,000 each, and those singers who were National Semi-Finalists but did not advance to the National Finals will be given $1,500 to further their studies.

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. The auditions are held annually in 15 regions of the United States and Canada. There are 45 districts within these regions, each providing an opportunity for talented singers to enter the auditions program at the local level. Auditions are administered by National Council members and volunteers in each region.

Additional Jacobs School winners of 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

  • Aleksey Bogdanov, baritone -- Washington, D.C. District (Andreas Poulimenos)
  • Jacqueline Brecheen, soprano -- Indiana District (Costanza Cuccaro)
  • Sian Davies, soprano (alumna) -- Colorado District, Third Place Rocky Mountain Regional (Costanza Cuccaro)
  • Meghan Dewald, soprano -- Wisconsin District (Costanza Cuccaro)
  • John Huckle, bass (alumnus) -- Boston District (Robert Harrison)
  • Jennifer Jakob, soprano -- Missouri District (Costanza Cuccaro)
  • Caryn Kerstetter, soprano -- St. Louis District (Patricia Stiles)
  • Andrew Kroes, bass-baritone -- Indiana District, Tri-State Regional Encouragement Award (Paul Kiesgen)
  • Kelly Kruse, soprano -- Iowa District (Costanza Cuccaro)
  • Abigail Mitchell, soprano -- Indiana District (Carol Vaness)
  • Ljubomir Puskaric, baritone -- Indiana District, Tri-State Regional Runner-Up (Robert Harrison)
  • Daniel Scofield, baritone -- Georgia District Encouragement Award (Timothy Noble)
  • Caitlin Shirley, soprano -- West Tennessee/Mississippi District Encouragement Award (Patricia Stiles)
  • Erin Houghton Wells, mezzo-soprano -- North Alabama District (Patricia Stiles)
  • Michael Weyandt, baritone (alumnus) -- New England District (Costanza Cuccaro)
  • Max Wier, bass -- Florida District (Timothy Noble)
  • Amanda Woodbury, soprano -- Ohio District (Patricia Wise)
  • Heather Youngquist, soprano -- Iowa District (Robert Harrison)

For more information about the Jacobs School of Music, see