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IU Jacobs School of Music hosts Met district auditions

Oct. 11, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music will host the Indiana District round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on Saturday, Oct. 27, beginning at noon in the Musical Arts Center. The annual event is free and open to the public.

Met Audtion Competitor

A competitor in the 2011 District round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions sings in the Musical Arts Center.

Print-Quality Photo

Judges in the 2012 Indiana District competition are Dennis Hanthorn, arts administrator and former general director of Florentine Opera and The Atlanta Opera; Susan Ashbaker, vocal coach and artistic consultant; and Ken Benson, artists manager and consultant.

This year, the singers will audition from 12 p.m. Depending on the number of entries, the contest will continue for approximately two to three hours. The judges will then deliberate before announcing the winners shortly thereafter.

IU First Lady Laurie Burns McRobbie serves as honorary chairperson for the Bloomington event and will emcee. Mezzo-soprano Mary Ann Hart, chair of the Jacobs Department of Voice, is faculty chair. Maria Levy, auditions and casting coordinator for IU Opera Theater, is coordinating the event.

Indiana is part of the Metropolitan Opera National Council's Central Region, which has three districts; the others are Ohio and Illinois.

The Central Region Finals will take place Nov. 4 at The Music Institute of Chicago in Evanston, Ill. Winners of the regional auditions win a trip to New York City to participate in the National Semi-Finals (March 3, 2013) 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 10, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The jury will award approximately five grand-winner prizes of $15,000 each. The concert is broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network.

The remaining national finalists -- and national semi-finalists who did not advance to the National Finals -- will also receive monetary awards to further their studies.

Previous winners of this elite competition, which identifies the best up-and-coming opera singers throughout the nation and Canada, include IU alumni Sylvia McNair (1982), Heidi Grant Murphy (1988), Elizabeth Futral (1991), Angela Brown (1997), Lawrence Brownlee (2001), Jordan Bisch (2005) and Jamie Barton (2007).

More National Finals winners hail from the Jacobs School of Music than from any other institution.

Other well-known singers who were selected as past winners include Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Jessye Norman, Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt and Dolora Zajick.

For more information about the Jacobs School of Music, see