2013 Met National Council Auditions Grand Finals Concert

Airs Saturday at 12:30 pm on 105.9 FM and WQXR.org

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Saturday, May 18, 2013

L-R Brandon Cedel, Sydney Mancasola, Michael Brandenburg, Rebecca Pedersen, Musa Ngqungwana, Thomas Richards Met Audition Winners: L-R Brandon Cedel, Sydney Mancasola, Michael Brandenburg, Rebecca Pedersen, Musa Ngqungwana, Thomas Richards (Rebecca Fay/Metropolitan Opera)

Tthe Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions draws thousands of singers every year, each vying for a cash prize, a role on the Met stage and, if all goes well, a shot at opera's big time.

WQXR's broadcast takes you to the Grand Finals Concert, which took place at the Met in March.

Now in its 60th season, the National Council Auditions start with a pool of nearly 1,500 young singers who compete in auditions throughout North America. That pool was eventually narrowed down to eight singers for the Finals Concert, each of whom would sing two arias each with the Met orchestra, conducted by Marco Armiliato. Five prizes of $15,000 each were at stake; the remaining National Finalists receiving $5,000 to further assist in their careers.

This year’s winners 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.

The Grand Finals Concert was hosted by soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, a 1995 National Council Auditions winner. During the judges’ deliberations, she sang the aria “Pace, pace, mio Dio,” from Verdi’s La Forza del Destino.

Below: Watch the winners in The Greene Space at WQXR:

Comments [3]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner MMusic Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

PRIZE WINNING is the most sure-fire method to accelerate one's career success. The earlier one starts winning competitions the surer one's fame and financial rewards. The focus must be on improving and widening one's repertoire of possibilities to mature one's art. There must be a passion, a dedication, to constantly seek to improve. If one truly has the desire and strives with serious workouts to develop skill and stamina then success should surely be obtainable. STAGE PRESENCE and body language that reveals an interpretive ONENESS with the work performed besides a handsome or beautiful physique DO positively rate the performer. In the CLASSICAL field especially OPERA the timbre, musicianship, dramaturgy verity, projection, stamina and rarity of the voice quality SHOULD be the primal factor. In my own case, I work out daily at a gym, I run in scheduled races besides on a rubberized outdoor track, eat properly and sleep adequately. All these factors definitively affect one's appearance and stamina. I am a Wagnerian heldentenor, opera composer ["Shakespeare" and "The Political Shakespeare"] and director of the Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, where vocal technique for declamation in plays and singing technique plus all the roles of Wagner and Shakespeare are taught. www.WagnerOpera.com

Aug. 27 2013 05:38 PM
Bernie from UWS

The 1980s called. They said they want their hair back.

May. 18 2013 06:31 AM
sharon gray from manhattan

There is no doubt that WQXR and its terrific Staff rule in Radio Land

May. 17 2013 09:44 AM

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