The Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Southwest Region will celebrate its 51st annual auditions with the Finals Concert on Sunday, September 27th. This event will be held at the Coates -Seeglison Theater Chapel on the campus of Saint Mary's Hall, 9401 Starcrest Drive, San Antonio, Texas.
The public is invited, at no charge, to hear some of the most promising young singers in the world of opera. Curtain time is 2:00PM.
The Finals Concert draws regional, national and international talent. These rising stars offer an exciting performance before a panel of four distinguished judges. On hand for this year’s competition will be John Baril, Music Director of Central City Opera in Colorado; Sheri Greenawald, Opera Center Director for the San Francisco Opera; Jonathan Dudley, a renowned vocal coach in New York City; and Gayletha Nichols, Executive Director of the MONC. Singers will be accompanied by Richard Bado, Chorus Master of the Houston Grand Opera and Director
of Opera Studies at Rice University. Emcee for the afternoon will be Mark Richter, Founder and Artistic Director of the San Antonio Opera.
The Southwest Region winner announced at the end of the performance will receive coaching from the Metropolitan Opera’s artistic staff, and then compete at the National Semifinal Auditions at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York in March 2010. Grand Finalists named at that competition will perform on the stage of the Met with a full orchestra before an audience eagerly anticipating the professional birth of future worldwide opera stars.
The Southwest Region auditions have produced more than 35 national finalists, with many joining the permanent roster of singers at the Met.
The tradition of producing the MONC Southwest Region auditions in San Antonio began in 1959 with Margaret Batts Tobin. One of San Antonio’s strongest arts philanthropists, Mrs. Tobin was pivotal in developing the National Council’s regional auditions program to identify and develop top operatic talent throughout the US, then keep that talent within US shores. Not only did she establish the auditions program in San Antonio, Mrs. Tobin also involved The Junior League of San Antonio, Inc. (JLSA), whose volunteers have helped stage the Southwest Region auditions since inception.