Metropolitan Opera's National Council Winners Concert 2014

Airs Saturday, July 12 at 12 noon. After a months-long series of competitions at the district, regional, and national levels, a panel of judges has named five young singers the winners of the 2014 National Council Auditions, the nation’s most prestigious vocal competition. Each winner, who performed two arias onstage at the Metropolitan Opera this afternoon with conductor Marco Armiliato and the Met’s orchestra, will receive a $15,000 cash prize and the prestige and exposure that come with winning a competition that has launched the careers of many of opera’s biggest stars.      This year’s winners are Julie Adams, a 26-year-old soprano from Burbank, California; Patrick Guetti, a 26-year-old bass from Highland Park, New Jersey; Ao Li, a 26-year-old bass-baritone from Dezhou China, currently living in San Francisco, California; Yi Li, a 29-year-old tenor from Jinan, China currently living in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Amanda Woodbury, a 26-year-old soprano from Crestwood, Kentucky.
     Earlier this afternoon, nine finalists performed arias on the Met stage in the final phase of competition. The audience for the Grand Finals Concert included artistic directors of leading opera companies, artist managers, established opera stars, important teachers and coaches, music critics, and many other industry professionals with the potential to play an influential role in the career of a young singer. The Met Auditions, currently in their 61st year, are a major stepping stone to a career as an opera singer. 130 singers on the Met roster this season have participated in the Auditions, which were crucial in introducing many of today’s best-known stars, such as Stephanie Blythe, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, and Deborah Voigt. In 2007, the National Council Audition process was captured in an acclaimed documentary, The Audition, which was released on DVD and aired on PBS, including a rebroadcast on WNET in December 2013.