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WQXR Features

On-Demand Video: The Metropolitan Opera National Council Award Winners

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This Monday, March 11 at 7 pm, see the 2013 winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in The Greene Space at WQXR. The event, which will be webcast on this page, marks their first New York performance following the grand finals.

Bass baritone Eric Owens joins them in a varied program of operatic selections. Hosted by Operavore’s Naomi Lewin.


This year's winners include five Americans plus one singer from South Africa. They are: Michael Brandenburg, a 26-year-old tenor from Austin, IN; Brandon Cedel, a 25-year-old bass-baritone from Hershey, PA; Sydney Mancasola, a 25-year-old soprano from Redding, CA; Musa Ngqungwana, a 28-year-old bass-baritone from Port Elizabeth, South Africa; Rebecca Pedersen, a 21-year-old soprano from Bountiful, UT; and Thomas Richards, a 24-year-old bass-baritone from Burnsville, MN.

Each of the winners walks away with $15,000 in cash; additionally, four semifinalists received $5,000 a piece.

The "American Idol" of opera, the National Council Auditions is considered to be the most prestigious contest in opera, giving singers ages 20 to 30 a chance to perform in front of some of the nation's top managers and talent scouts. Finalists are chosen from a field of 1,500 from across the U.S., auditioned at the district and regional levels.