2014 Met Opera National Council Grand Finals Concert

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The 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. Saturday at 1 pm, WQXR will air the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Finals Concert, which took place in March. 

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 Julie Adams, a 26-year-old soprano from Burbank, California; Patrick Guetti, a 26-year-old bass from Highland Park, New Jersey; Ao Li, a 26-year-old bass-baritone from Dezhou China, currently living in San Francisco, California; Yi Li, a 29-year-old tenor from Jinan, China currently living in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Amanda Woodbury, a 26-year-old soprano from Crestwood, Kentucky.

The Grand Finals Concert is hosted by Met star Lawrence Brownlee, a former National Council Auditions winner himself. Soprano Susanna Phillips, another former winner, performed the aria “Dove sono” from Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro while the judges deliberated.

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