Monday, March 14, 2011

Five Winners Chosen in MET National Council Auditions

Finalists pre-concert (left to right): Joseph Lim, Joseph Barron, Deanna Breiwick, Ryan Speedo
Green, Philippe Sly, Sasha Djihanian, Michelle Johnson and Nicholas Masters (Photo: Gothamist)
Of the eight singers selected from 1,500 that participated in the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions, five were each named winners of a $15,000 prize yesterday. Curiously no mezzo-soprano or tenor voices were represented, except the emcee Joyce DiDonato and the entertainment for the day Lawrence Brownlee. The winners included Michelle Johnson, Joseph Barron, Ryan Speedo Green, Joseph Lim, Philippe Sly. The Sunday concert was conducted by Patrick Summers and the audience nearly filled the cavernous Metropolitan Opera.

How ever you want to describe it, not politically correct, tasteless or even uncouth, the writer Mike Silverman of the Associate Press ends his review thusly: "Brownlee is probably the closest thing there is to a black American superstar in opera these days, so it was especially heartening that two of the winners, Johnson and Green, also are black." [Source, Source]

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