National Council Winners Yi Li, Adams, Guetti, Woodbury and Ao Li
© Rebecca Fay/Metropolitan Opera 2014
1. DIANA DAMRAU made her role debut as Amina in La Sonnambula at the Met in March and April. The soprano sings Violetta in Traviatas at the Paris Opera in June and the Munich Festival in July, followed by performances as Konstanze in the Baden-Baden Festival's Entführung aus dem Serail later that month. She returns to New York next season for her first Met performances as the heroine in Massenet's Manon.
2. On March 30, five singers were named winners at the finals of the METROPOLITAN OPERA NATIONAL COUNCIL AUDITIONS, held at the Metropolitan Opera House. Julie Adams, Patrick Guetti, Ao Li, Yi Li and Amanda Woodbury were each awarded $15,000. The winners performed in a concert hosted by Deborah Voigt on April 1 at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in Manhattan.
3. STUART MAUNDER has been named the new general director of New Zealand Opera. The Australian-born director and arts manager has directed in Australia, the United Kingdom, the U.S. and France and has held management positions at Opera Australia and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. He succeeds Aidan Lang, who was recently appointed general director of Seattle Opera following Speight Jenkins's retirement. (See p. 32.)
4. Mozart in the Jungle, which made its debut on Amazon.com this year as a pilot episode, was selected by the online retailer for a full series order. The series, starring Gael García Bernal, is based on oboist Blair Tindall's 2005 memoir of the same name, subtitled "Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music," detailing her behind-the-scenes experiences in the classical-music world.
5. The winner of the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation's 2014 International Vocal Competition in Concert Repertoire is JULIA BULLOCK. Second Prize was awarded to Sidney Outlaw, and Honorable Mentions went to Hyo Na Kim and Michael Kelly.
The Vienna State Opera has introduced a new live-streaming program, "Opera Live at Home." Viewers worldwide can watch live opera and ballet performances at home using any television or computer connected to the internet, choosing between two channels during the broadcast — one with an overall view of the stage, and one with a live-edited feed featuring shots from different angles. For more information, visit www.wiener-staatsoper.at.
6. Mezzo-soprano CARLA DIRLIKOV is the first singer to have won the Sphinx Medal of Excellence, a prestigious award given to emerging young black and Hispanic classical musicians. Dirlikov and fellow winners Damien Sneed and Pablo "Pedrito" Martinez were presented with their medals by Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor in Washington, D.C. on March 19.
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