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

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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
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Michael Vincent

Editor at Musical Toronto
Michael Vincent has worked as a senior editor for La Scena Musicale and web editor for Norman Lebrecht. On January 21, 2014, he went to lunch and left as the publisher of Musical Toronto. Later that year he found himself as a freelance classical music critic for the Toronto Star, the former employer of his favourite author Ernest Hemingway. Michael holds a Doctorate in Music from the University of Toronto.
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