Feb. 11, 2010
Luther College alumna Emily Fons was named the first-place winner of the Upper Midwest Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera (Met) National Council Auditions for 2009-10. Fons will advance to the National Semi-Finals in New York City at the Metropolitan Opera on March 7.
Luther senior Jill Phillips was named the third-place winner. Andrew Stenson, a 2008 Luther grad, also competed at the Region Finals.
The Met’s Upper Midwest Region Finals competition was held Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, Minn. Eighteen singers advanced to compete at the Region Finals by winning Met Area auditions in the fall.
Fons, a 2006 graduate of Luther, earned a master’s degree in music from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and will join the Ryan Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in April.
At Luther, Fons studied under professors of music Karen Kanakis, Jessica Paul and Edwin Andereck.
Fons was a winner of the college’s Alan and Sally Brudos Opera Prize.
The Met auditions, a national competition designed to discover the best young opera talent, is open to singers age 20-30 years.
Eric Cutler, a 1999 graduate of Luther, was a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 1998. He has become an internationally know tenor, winning the Richard Tucker Award in 2005.
The Met auditions are conducted each year to provide a venue for young opera singers from all over the country and at all different levels of experience to be heard by a representative of the Metropolitan Opera and to assist those with the greatest potential in their development.
The program also searches for new talent for the Metropolitan Opera and the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
The auditions are held annually in 15 regions of the United States and Canada. There are 45 districts within these regions, each providing an opportunity for talented singers to enter the program at the local level.
The National Semi-Finals competition is held on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. Approximately 10 of the semi-finalists are selected as national finalists who compete in a public concert, the Grand Finals Concert, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
The jury awards approximately five grand winner awards of $15,000 each. The concert is broadcast nationwide on the Metropolitan Opera Radio Network.
About 100 former auditioners appear in Metropolitan Opera productions each year.
Photo caption (L to R): Third-place winner Jill Phillips, encouragement winner Jesse Enderle, first-place winner Emily Fons, judge Joshua Major.