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THE SCOOP | Canadian Wins Big (Again) At 2017 Met Opera Auditions

By Michael Vincent on March 20, 2017

Winners of 2017 Met Opera Auditions (Photo: Fay Fox/Metropolitan Opera)
Winners of 2017 Met Opera Auditions (Photo: Fay Fox/Metropolitan Opera)

The 2017 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions has announced six winners, including Vancouver-based soprano Kirsten MacKinnon, from a total of nine finalists.

  • Samantha Hankey, 24, mezzo-soprano (Marshfield, MA)
  • Kirsten MacKinnon, 26, soprano (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
  • Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, 23, countertenor (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Richard Smagur, 26, tenor (Clarkesville, GA)
  • Kyle van Schoonhoven, 28, tenor (Lockport, NY)
  • Vanessa Vasquez, 26, soprano (Scottsdale, AZ)

This marks the second year in a row where a Canadian has taken top honours. The 2016 competition winners included Toronto mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo, whose career has taken a leap thanks in part to the high-profile win.

(L-R) Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Cody Quattlebaum, Gabriella Reyes Ramirez, Samantha Hankey, Richard Smagur, Vanessa Vasquez, Kirsten MacKinnon, Natalie Image, and Kyle van Schoonhoven (Photo: Fay Fox/Metropolitan Opera)
(L-R) Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, Cody Quattlebaum, Gabriella Reyes Ramirez, Samantha Hankey, Richard Smagur, Vanessa Vasquez, Kirsten MacKinnon, Natalie Image, and Kyle van Schoonhoven (Photo: Fay Fox/Metropolitan Opera)

Hosted by Renée Fleming, each of the nine finalists sang two arias backed by conductor Nicola Luisotti and the Met orchestra. The competition concluded with a concert with competition laureates Amber Wagner, Jamie Barton, and Michael Fabiano. The concert was recorded and will be broadcast soon.

Each winner receives a $15,000 USD cash prize

Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Kirsten MacKinnon later this week.

For more CLASSICAL MUSIC NEWS, visit HERE.

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Michael Vincent

Michael Vincent is Publisher of Ludwig Van. He publishes regularly and writes occasionally. He has worked as a senior editor over fifteen years and is a former freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
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