Nine are named to compete for Met auditions

Nine are named to compete for Met auditions


norman lebrecht

April 23, 2018

Nine finalists have been named in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, a showcase that has launched the likes of Renee Fleming, Thomas Hampson and Frederca von Stade.

This year’s contestants are:

Danielle Beckvermit, Soprano, Eastern Region
Ashley Dixon, Mezzo-Soprano, Northwest Region
Jessica Faselt, Soprano, Upper Midwest Region
Megan Grey, Mezzo-Soprano, Upper Midwest Region
Gretchen Krupp, Mezzo-Soprano, Central Region


Madison Leonard, Soprano, Middle Atlantic Region
Emily Misch, Soprano, Eastern Region
Carlos Santelli, Tenor, Western Region
Hongni Wu, Mezzo-Soprano, Eastern Region


  • Malcolm James says:

    Nine young singers, only one male and, I bet, nary a comment on this. If a list of young conductors had only included one female I would expect a few harumphs at the very least.

    • Ryan Farrell says:

      Could not agree more!

    • Emil says:

      Sure, let me explain.
      The fact that fewer men make auditions at the MET doesn’t mean there will be fewer tenors, baritones and basses on stage. Roles are written and will be filled (by men).
      It makes no difference whether a conductor is male or female, so gender balance should be achievable.

    • Jon Eiche says:

      OK, Malcolm, here’s my comment: Hats off to the judges for resisting the temptation to advance men merely to balance the numbers of males and females. Men often seem to be held to a lower standard in singing competitions because of this very pressure.

      I’ll grant you that, here in the U.S. at least, boys need more encouragement to sing from an early age. There are fewer male singers, in large part because the lesson is “taught or caught” that singing isn’t manly.

      (By the way, Malcolm was my dad’s middle name, so thanks for putting him on my mind.)

      • Malcolm James says:

        I’m perfectly aware of this, but you are making precisely the arguments put forward about why there are few women conductors, but in reverse and NL is always one of the first to harrumph!

        • william osborne says:

          Men face very little gender discrimination in classcial music as a whole, which largely accounts for the lack of harrumphs. (To belabor the obvious…)

  • Marcus Clayton says:

    This list of finalists highlights what has long been a problem of most vocal competitions. That is, pitting sopranos, mezzos, tenors, basses and baritones against each other.
    I am glad the judges didn’t advance more male singers just to balance the tally of finalists.
    If the best singers were mainly sopranos and mezzos, so be it.

    • Malcolm James says:

      Once again, I’m just making a point that where women are under-represented it is seen as a societal problem, but where men are under-represented this is because women are better or ‘it’s just the way it is’. An imbalance in one competition might, of course, be down to pure chance.

  • John Porter says:

    I heard both Beckvermit and Misch perform with the Mannes Opera program and they are both terrific.

  • Ben says:

    Female singers are often chosen to be the winners of singing competitions, this has become a common thing for many years already. Besides, now they don’t care about the singer’s obesity?