The Met names new crop of singers

The Met names new crop of singers


norman lebrecht

March 02, 2020

Five singers have been named winners of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. Each receives $20,000 cash and a career uplift. The winners are:

Gabrielle Beteag, 25, mezzo-soprano (Southeast Region: Lilburn, GA)

Blake Denson, 24, baritone (Midwest Region: Paducah, KY)

Jonah Hoskins, 23, tenor (Rocky Mountain Region: Saratoga Springs, UT)

Alexandria Shiner, 29, soprano (Middle Atlantic Region: Waterford, MI)

Denis Vélez, 27, soprano (Gulf Coast Region: Puebla, Mexico)



Past winners include Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Deborah Voigt….


  • Lance Nguyen says:

    Happy for these singers but the MET must end their disgusting practice of overt Age Discrimination.

    Contest and career opportunities should not be dictated by one’s birthdate particularly in the State of NY.

    They in particular need to visibly support the talent, vocal maturity and dedication of those above 30 to enhance their rosters and engage steadily declining box office.

    Opera singing has always been a lifelong endeavor.

    • IntBaritone says:

      Disagree. Competitions, especially for emerging artists, are part of the way young singers pay for lessons, coachings, scores, etc as they begin their careers.

      There ARE competitions for older singers, notably for larger voices that take longer to develop. And some of them (like the Lissners) pay a LOT of money to good singers.

      But these competitions look for extreme cases of potential talent, which often comes in youth. Being a really good classical singer in your mid 30s means you should be singing professionally. At 24, this is usually not possible, and competitions like this one lift singers into that realm.

      Do they always pick the right ones? Heck no. But having an age limit of 30 is not age discrimination – it’s just the reality of the business.

  • The View from America says:

    Alexandria Shiner in particular appears destined for greatness in Wagner, Richard Strauss, etc.

  • Yes Addison says:

    Does anyone here know if the rumors are true that 2007 winner Amber Wagner, who was getting good reviews as recently as last summer (Sieglinde at Tanglewood), has decided to retire from singing?

  • Jason says:

    That would be quite a shame if Amber Wagner has in fact retired from singing. She has a really major voice. She recently cancelled three concert performances of Die Frau ohne Schatten in Europe. I know she has a small son, and I wonder if she decided she no longer wants to be away from home for long stretches at a time. I would like to know, but I can’t find any info on her….

  • Jeffrey Colburn says:

    Don’t forget to mention that Lisette Oropesa is the one who put up the $25,000 to break the 20+ year streak of the top prize being stuck at $15,000! What an incredible gift to those young singers!