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School of Music

Ryan Piurek
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, April 3, 2003

Two IU music students to sing in finals of Metropolitan Opera competition

Two Indiana University School of Music graduate students, Christina Pier of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Dong Won Shin of Seoul, South Korea, are among the nine finalists who will compete in the grand finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on Sunday (April 6) in New York City.

During the National Grand Finals Concert, each finalist will perform two arias on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Up to five equal winners will be chosen by a panel of judges and awarded $15,000 each. The remaining finalists will receive $5,000 each.

The concert will be broadcast nationwide at a later date on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network.

Pier, a soprano, and Shin, a tenor, will try to make it three consecutive years that IU School of Music students have won the $15,000 prize. Soprano Twyla Robinson won the award last year. In 2001, tenor Lawrence Brownlee and soprano Kristine Winkler earned the honor.

Pier is a student of Distinguished Professor of Voice and internationally renowned soprano Virginia Zeani. Shin studies with Professor of Voice Carlos Montane, a Cuban tenor who has performed with several major opera houses, including the Met. Pier and Shin advanced past the semifinal round on March 30 to reach the finals. They have remained in residence at the Met this week, preparing for the finals with the Met's artistic staff.

Two other IU School of Music students reached the semifinal round of the Met competition. Soprano Stephanie Johnson of Greenville, S.C., a student of IU Professor of Voice Costanza Cuccaro, and mezzo-soprano Kate Mangiameli of Hawthorne Woods, Ill., a student of Zeani, each received a $1,500 award.

The purpose of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is to discover new talent for the Metropolitan Opera and to encourage young singers in preparation for their careers. Several past winners have joined the Metropolitan Opera's roster.