Metropolitan Opera Kentucky District Auditions


First Presbyterian Church
171 Market Street,  Lexington
Time to be Determined

2016-2017 National Council Kentucky District Auditions

Congratulations to tenor Thabang Masango from the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre, and to mezzo-soprano Courtney Jameson and baritone Jianan Huang, both from Indiana University.
Recently, Thabang Masango performed in UK Opera Theatre’s productions of Così fan tutte  as Ferrando and in several roles in Ragtime. To quote Roger Leasor, President of the Board of Directors of OperaLex, “The only University in the world that matters had another big win [on Saturday]. Thabang Masango, a gracious and fiercely talented young tenor from the opera program, won his way through the district auditions of the Metropolitan Opera. Next week, Thabang will participate in the regional auditions in Chicago for the chance to move on to the Metropolitan Opera stage itself for the finals. It could not happen to a finer young man. Thabang is the real deal…and he is ours.”
The winners of the Encouragement Awards were Taylor Comstock from the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre (Gail Robinson Encouragement Award), and Jeremiah Marcele Sanders from Butler University.  Congratulations!

More details at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Kentucky District Auditions web site



 The purpose of the National Council Auditions Program is:

To discover exceptional young talent and provide a venue for young opera singers across North America at all levels of development to be heard by representatives of the Metropolitan Opera and to assist those with the greatest potential for operatic careers.

The auditions are held annually in thirteen Regions of the United States and Canada. There are forty-two Districts within these Regions, each providing an opportunity for talented singers to enter the auditions at the local level. The auditions are administered by MONC volunteers in each area. Many of the world’s foremost singers have received awards from the MONC, and over 100 singers on the Metropolitan Opera roster during any given season have auditioned for the National Council auditions. While there are many routes to the stage of the Met, for North American singers the National Council Auditions create an introduction to the company that may otherwise have eluded them.  In this 63rd season, approximately 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 will participate in the District audition of his or her choice.

Approximately 20 Region first place winners will brought to New York for the Semifinal round on March 6, 2016, and approximately 8-10 Semifinalists will advance to the Final round on March 13, 2016, both at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. Approximately 4-6 Finalists are selected as National Council Winners. Semifinalists receive $2,500, Finalists receive $5,000 and Winners receive $15,000. The experience for all of the singers is worth a great deal more than the cash prizes. Each of the region winners who comes to New York is eligible to return during the next three years and audition for the Met’s artistic staff for additional grant money up to $5,000. In this way, the National Council has the opportunity to track the singers’ progress and continue to be of assistance in their career development.

Former MONC participants represent a choice sample of important artists appearing on the Met stage. Frederica von Stade and Paul Plishka were auditions participants in the 1960’s; Samuel Ramey, Wendy  White and Delores Ziegler in the 1970s; Renee Fleming, Ben Heppner, Kei-Kyung Hong, Denyce Graves, Thomas Hampson, Deborah Voight and Susan Graham in the 1980s; and Paul Groves, Stephanie Blythe, Sondra Radvanovsky and Eric Cutler were all winners during the 1990s. A who’s who of National Council participants from the 2000s includes Lawrence Brownlee, Simon O’Neill, Charles Taylor, Joseph Kaiser, Susanna Phillips, Angela Meade and Alek Shrader.

Previous Kentucky District Audition Winners and more information about the program can be found at