Out of 1,500 aspirants, six singers top Met Opera auditions
NEW YORK (AP) - From a starting field of nearly 1,500 aspiring opera singers across the United States, it came down to 10 - three sopranos, one tenor and six deep male voices - on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
The contestants, all in their 20s, got to perform two arias with full orchestra on Sunday, and when it was over, a panel of judges named six of them winners of the 60th annual National Council Auditions.
The heavy concentration of bass-baritones was a random occurrence, but it made for some unusual duplication in the programme.
Mr Brandon Cedel and Mr Richard Ollarsaba both chose the same aria from Rachmaninov's Aleko. Mr Cedel sang his version with a beautifully burnished tone that put him in the winner's circle; Mr Ollarsaba, almost as good, had to settle for being a runner-up. Earlier, Mr Cedel brought elegant phrasing to the long lines of an aria from Bellini's La Sonnambula; that piece was also performed by another winner, bass Musa Ngqungwana, originally from Port Elizabeth, South Africa.