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.
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.