Thursday, March 26, 2015

John Malveaux: Wall Street Journal: Met Competition Features Nation’s Top Opera Talent [Reginald Smith, Jr. wins $15,000 as Finalist in National Council Auditions]

The winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, left to right, Reginald Smith Jr, Marina Costa-Jackson, Nicholas Brownlee, Virginie Verrez and Joseph Dennis on Sunday. Photo: Andrew Hinderaker for The Wall Street Journal         

Reginald Smith, Jr.
(Lynne Lane Photography)

John Malveaux of 

At 26 years of age Reginald Smith Jr. is among the Mets 2015 top opera singers. His performance included  “Oh, Lawd Jesus, heah my prayer” from Louis Gruenberg’s “The Emperor Jones,” which premiered at the Met in 1933 and hasn’t been performed there since 1934.
Bass-Baritone Mark Steven Doss performed same song during MusicUNTOLD 50th Anniversary MLK Jr. 'Symphony of Brotherhood' Concert August 18, 2013 sponsored by KUSC Classical Radio, Colburn Foundation, and Employees Community Fund of the Boeing Company. See
See/hear youtube Ride on King Jesus with Hal Johnson arrangement
John Malveaux

The Wall Street Journal

Some of opera’s rising stars performed in a career-making concert on Sunday: the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, a competition that helped launch international stars such as Renée Fleming, Susan Graham and Thomas Hampson.

Out of nine finalists, five won individual cash prizes of $15,000. The competition is structured to award as many as five winners, though in some years fewer awards are given.

The 2015 winners are: Joseph Dennis, tenor, 30 years old; Virginie Verrez, mezzo-soprano, 26; Nicholas Brownlee, bass-baritone, 25; Marina Costa-Jackson, soprano, 27; and Reginald Smith Jr., baritone, 26.

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