ND Met to hold auditions Saturday, Nov. 15 at UND


Amy Halvorson

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

College of Arts & Sciences


The ND Met has announced the North Dakota District for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a prestigious opera competition for young, aspiring opera singers will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 15, in the Hughes Fine Arts Center at the University of North Dakota.

Singers will each perform two opera arias, or excerpts, for the judges and audience. The awards ceremony for the competition will start at approximately 2 p.m.

The Greater Grand Forks Symphony will be offering a performance prize, the Greater Grand Forks Symphony Vocal Soloist Award, at the competition, and audience members present for the concert will get to vote for the G. Paul and Barb Larson Audience Choice Award.

Judging the event will be Korliss Uecker, a North Dakota native and Met Opera singer; Benita Valente, international opera star; and Melissa Wegner, assistant director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Following the awards ceremony will be a public master class with Valente, starting at approximately 3:30 p.m., featuring this year's competitors. All events are free and open to the public.

Also, at 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 14, there will be a guest master class with Uecker and UND singers. There will be a "meet the artist" reception for her at 8:30 p.m., following the class.

Exact start times of the awards ceremony and the master classes will be announced on the ND Met Facebook page (ND Met: North Dakota District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions) and Twitter (@NDMet).

This programming is supported in part by a grant from the City of Grand Forks, through the North Valley Arts Council and the UND Department of Music.

About the competition:

This competition is open to aspiring opera singers between the ages of 20 and 30 and aims to identify exceptional young talent, as well as provide a venue for these young singers to be heard by representatives of The Metropolitan Opera.

Three judges at the N.D. district competition will select winners to advance to the Upper Midwest Regional Finals held in St. Paul, Minn., in January 2015. Winners from the regional levels are then sponsored to go to New York in March for the National Council Semi-Finals. The finalists selected from that round will then perform at the Grand Finals Concert in March 2015 on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.

Throughout the four levels of the National Council Auditions, singers compete for nearly $500,000 in prize money and the prestige of being a "Met Winner." The North Dakota District audition has attracted not only singers from this region -- North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Manitoba -- but also competitors from as far away as Texas and New York.

The North Dakota District has produced national winners: finalists and semi-finalists. Most recently, Lida Szkwarek, a soprano, and one of last year's ND Met Winners, won the 2014 Upper Midwest Regional competition and competed in the national semi-finals in New York in March.