Sunday, January 25, 2009

Metropolitan Opera National Council NW Regional Audition

That's a mouthful, isn't it?

MONC NW Auditions? What is it? The auditions program's mission is to discover exceptional young talent and provide a venue so that they can be heard. If chosen they get assistance to develop their potential, go onto the final in New York and get a big ol' prestigious win.

Really it's a bunch of young singers (under 30 years old) who get to sing and act to their best ability. It takes place in an intimate theater (Meany Hall on UW Campus) and the singers pick one out of their five chosen operatic arias and then judges pick another. According to the website, "Applicants must have a voice with operatic potential; exceptional quality, range, projection, charisma, communication and natural beauty."

Oh. That's all. And they do it with only piano accompaniment and prom-like attire.

I'd not been to this before but it was really entertaining and interesting. There were 14 singers with more women then men and a very interesting range of choices in music. Although you could almost guarantee that if the singer didn't chose to sing a german aria, the judges would ask for that as their second piece.

The best of the group, drew you right in and conveyed the emotion behind what they were singing and held your attention. they made the singing look effortless and used their bodies and faces well to convey emotionalism. Our season ticket opera seats at McGraw Hall are in the middle but almost the very last seats in the hall way in the back. So I'm not used to being so up close and personal. We sat almost in the very front and I'm glad we did.

Here are my notes for most of the singers:
Rachel Routson - gets a little lost in her notes. unpleasant high note and strange facial expressions.
Megan Chenovick - a little shrill at times but excellent acting and pulled me in.
Noah Baetge - he's got it all. drama, stage presence and commanding the audience's attention. Beautiful, sweet voice.
Michelle Trovato - clear voice with expression and body language that I loved. odd "ch" sound when singing in German. Rather distracting, sort of like closing a door after the phrase.
Eugene Chan - excellent! stunning voice and great acting. I'd like to see a serious aria though.
Sharin Apostolou - makes it looks like work. why are her arms glued to her side down to her elbows? and same expression. Very pretty voice.
Elizabeth Pjanowski - great acting and my people's choice vote. Expressive voice and knows how to act with whole body. good in german.
Jose Rubio - sausage arms for a bit there and rather eh for the first song but came to life for the second one. Beautiful dreamy voice.
Gine Marie Sorenson - just does not appeal to me and I can't pin down why. Technical but missing a bit of oomph?
Stephani Nakagawa - too shrieky. Only one expression and kinda boring. Wow. Only 21 years old though.
Jonathan Kimple - two arias were too similar. would've liked to have seen something different. Liked his acting and voice is beautiful but without a lot of depth.
Suzanne Rigden - has got the german down. Fun presence on stage and did some difficult singing much to crowds delight.

My top picks were Noah Baetge, Elizabeth Pojanowski and Eugene Chan. Noah took first place and he will definitely be someone to watch for in the future. He already is someone to watch and I have seen him in a Seattle Young Opera production.

Both mom and I were amazed at how normal these people were when introducing themselves. Then they would be transformed and the most amazing noise would come out of their mouths. It was a little unreal actually!

I was telling RPD that I have started to enjoy listening to the whole opera a little more than just the greatest hits. RPD called that maturing in my listening. I'm not too sure about that as ABBA just came up on my playlist. I thought it would be a little boring watching just a singer and pianist but I was very wrong.

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