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Winners at Met auditions include senior and alumna
Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Victoria Vargas in "Hansel & Gretel"

Senior Victoria Vargas, shown here in Fredonia's "Hansel & Gretel," was the only undergraduate to receive an award.

Two members of the SUNY Fredonia campus family were winners at the Metropolitan Opera's regional auditions held in Buffalo recently: senior Victoria Vargas and 2005 graduate Maria Fasciano. Both were among those who performed at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Great Lakes Region-Four City District event on Dec. 1 at Nichols School.

SUNY Fredonia alumna Maria Fasciano, Class of 2005, was one of five winners of the competition and earned a trip to the regional competition in Pennsylvania. Click to see her master's in music recital (Sure on the Shining Night), performed at Eastman School of Music, on You Tube.

The only undergraduate to receive an award during the event, Ms. Vargas (Jersey City, N.Y.) is a senior Music Performance major and mezzo soprano. She was the first recipient of the event’s Encouragement Award sponsored by the Erwin H. Johnson Memorial Fund, Inc. 

Hillman Opera buffs may remember her recently as the Witch in “Hansel and Gretel,” this year’s Hillman Opera, where she performed to rave reviews. She is also a recipient of the Charles C. Eikenburg Scholarship in Opera/Vocal Performance of the Fredonia College Foundation.

More about the Met's national audition program:

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is a program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. The auditions are held annually in fifteen Regions of the United States and Canada. There are forty-five Districts within these Regions, each providing an opportunity for talented singers to enter the Auditions Program at the local level. The Auditions are administered by National Council members and volunteers in each region.

Winners of the District auditions advance to their Region Finals where they compete to win a trip to New York to participate in the National Semi-Finals, a competition held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Approximately ten of the Semi-Finalists will be selected as National Finalists, and will compete the following Sunday in a public concert, the Grand Finals Concert, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The jury will award up to five Grand Winner awards of $15,000 each. The concert is broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network. The remaining National Finalists will receive $5,000 each, and those singers who were National Semi-Finalists, but did not advance to the National Finals will be given $1,500 to further their studies.

Many of the world’s foremost singers, among them Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Jessye Norman, Samuel Ramey, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt and Dolora Zajick have received awards from the National Council. Annually, approximately 100 former auditioners appear in Metropolitan Opera productions.



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