School of Performing Arts: Metropolitan Opera Auditions

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Mark your calendars for Opera Week at ISU!

On Thursday, November 14th, Season of Note will host Opera Idaho's production of Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro at Jensen Grand Concert Hall. This is the first time a full-length opera has been presented in the hall. Figaro will be sung in Italian with English supertitles. Other events surrounding Opera Idaho's visit includes a residency with the lead performers at each high school in Pocatello, and a pre-opera discussion at 6:30 in the Marshall Rotunda on Thursday with with Mark Junkert, Executive Director for Opera Idaho. Tickets for the opera are: lower balcony $25(adults), $15(children 4-17); and upper balcony $21(adults), $11(children 4-17).

On Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 10:00 a.m., ISU will again host the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions. Our judges for this prestigious competition will be Grammy-nominated opera conductor Sara Jobin, internationally-renowned soprano Sally Wolf, and collaborative artist Thomas Muraco from the Manhattan School of Music. The National Council Auditions program is designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. The auditions are held annually in fourteen regions of the United States and Canada. There are 42 districts within these regions of which ISU is part of the Eastern Washington, Idaho, and Montana district. The Department of Music is proud to have four students who will compete within this district; Emma Doupé, Jerrica Matthews, John Punt and Lakota Terrace. Audience members will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite performer after all the contestants have sung. Opera Week will finish on Sunday, November 17th with a masterclass featuring ISU music majors working with Thomas Muraco in the Marshall Rotunda beginning at 10:00 am. Tickets for the competition on Saturday are: $8 (adults), $6 (faculty and staff), $4 (pre-college students) and ISU students are admitted free of charge. The masterclass with Thomas Muraco is open to the public free of charge!

ISU’s participants will present their programs at Pocatello's own First Friday Artwalk on November 1st at Trinity Episcopal Church on the corner of Arthur and Lander at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to a preview of these fine students free of charge! For information on how to get involved, or just ride on the coat tails of your favorite performer, contact Dr. Diana Livingston Friedley at or 282-2611.


Update on previous ISU competitors!

Since ISU hosted the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2011, two of our home-town performers wrote in to tell us what they have been up to and where they have been.

TEAIRA BURGE, former ISU student of Professor Kathleen Lane spent a year in Portland, Oregon studying with Ruth Dobson and coaching with Rodney Menn. During that time she auditioned for graduate schools and was accepted to three of them. In 2012 she won honorable mention in her division at the NATS competition in Oregon. Summer of 2013 she participated in the Astoria Music Festival, where she sang "Nella" in Puccini's Gianni Schicchi. With a generous scholarship she decided to accept a place at Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois. She is studying with Judith Haddon in addition to working with Scott Gilmore, Dr. Dana Brown, Allan Glassman, and Cynthia Clarey. Currently she is preparing the role of "Girl" in Michael Torke's opera Strawberry Fields as part of CCPA's annual OperaFest showcase. Teaira loves Chicago and believes that Roosevelt is "100% the perfect place for me!" This summer she will be participating in the OperaWorks program in Los Angeles.

Since the MONC Auditions at ISU, JARED MICHAEL JOHNSON, former student of Dr. Scott Anderson, moved to Kansas City, Missouri and is currently pursuing a Master of Music in Vocal Performance at the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.While at UMKC Jared has performed the roles of “Cascada” from Lehar's The Merry Widow, “Demetrius” from Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and is preparing “Pandolfe” from Massenet's Cendrillon and “Frank Murrant” from Weill's Street Scene. While at UMKC, Jared has had the pleasure of working with renowned film and opera composer John Corigliano in preparation for a concert presentation of selected scenes from his The Ghost of Versailles. This past summer, Jared participated in Opera in the Ozarks where he performed the role of “Major General Stanley” from Gilbert and Sullivan's Pirates of Penzance. Jared remembered his first MET competition at ISU with this thought, "For me, it gave me insights on what was the next step in my development as an operatic performer. Those insights and little lessons are some of the best one can pick up.” ISU's School of Performing Arts is enormously proud of our student performers who continue to pursue their dreams, and make the world a more beautiful place in which to live.

This year's judges for the competition will travel from the east coast to join us in Pocatello on November 16th:

Grammy-nominated opera conductor SARA JOBIN has a passion for American and new music. She has conducted the San Francisco Opera in performances of Tosca, Der fliegende Hölländer, Norma, and the world premiere of Philip Glass' Appomattox; she also led them in a production of Rachel Portman's The Little Prince, was a cover conductor for the 2011 Ring cycle, and conducted the world premiere production of The Secret Garden there in March 2013. As Music Director of the Center for Contemporary Opera, she premiered Michael Dellaira's The Secret Agent in New York, and conducted William Mayer's A Death in the Family. She led both operas in Szeged, Hungary at the Armel Opera Festival and also in Avignon, France. Upcoming engagements this season also include the Pittsburgh Young Artist Program and a gala with the Toledo Opera.

On disc Ms. Jobin can be heard leading the comic American opera Volpone by John Musto, on the Koch label she recorded a premiere by Chris Brubeck on his CD Convergence, sung by Frederica von Stade. At age 16 Jobin attended Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, where she was a Leonard Bernstein Music Scholar. After graduation, as a John Knowles Paine Travelling Fellow, she studied conducting with Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Maine. In 2004 she had the honor of making history as the first woman to conduct mainstage subscription performances at San Francisco Opera.

MR. THOMAS MURACO has earned accolades through a combination of technical virtuosity, tonal beauty, and a unique understanding of the underlying poetry of music. His performances in major concert halls throughout the United States, Canada, Central America, Europe, and Asia reflect his command of a repertoire remarkable for its complete range of musical styles, periods and forms. Mr. Muraco has partnered among others such singers as Adele Addison, John Aler, Martina Arroyo, Arleen Augér, John Cheek, Phyllis Curtin, Mary Dunleavy, Faith Esham, Maureen Forrester, Denyce Graves, Ben Heppner, Henry Herford, Ying Huang, Sumi Jo, Chris Merritt, Roberta Peters, Hermann Prey, Twyla Robinson, Jennie Tourel, Benita Valente and Dolora Zajick, and instrumentalists John Graham, Robert Mann, Arnold Steinhardt, Zara Nelsova, Ransom Wilson, Peter Winograd, and the American and Shanghai String Quartets. Highlights of his career include appearances at The White House, the Library of Congress, the Aspen, Banff, Bermuda, Casals, Cincinnati May and Ravinia Festivals, and on recital series at New York's major concert halls and at museums, universities and cultural centers throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

Mr. Muraco has recorded on the Serenus, CRI and Musical Heritage labels, his most recent releases include a program of music for viola and piano by Britten, Shostakovitch, Bergsma and Shapey with John Graham as well as a Liederabend of Brahms with contralto Maureen Forrester on CBC records. In August, 2012 he was the Music Director of a new training program in Siena, Italy in which he conducted Orlando of Händel and Suor Angelica of Puccini. In the summer of 2013 he assisted John Nelson at the Santa Fe Opera on Le Nozze di Figaro as well as performing and teaching at the Banff Centre and at Opera Advantage.

In a career spanning 34 years, soprano SALLY WOLF has sung her brilliant dramatic coloratura and lyric repertoire all over Europe and North America. She achieved acclaimed portrayals of the title role of NORMA at Seattle Opera and Florida Grand Opera, Mimi (LA BOHÈME)at Seattle Opera, Violetta (LA TRAVIATA) with Opera du Rhin in Strasbourg, and Lucia (LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR) with Seattle Opera. Miss Wolf is an accomplished interpreter of the Mozart repertoire which includes Donna Anna, Donna Elvira, Constanze, The Countess, Elettra, and Giunia. A former interpreter of Queen of the Night (DIE ZAUBEFÖLTE), she performed 192 career performances of the role in most of the world's prestigious opera houses including The Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Opera Covent Garden, The Vienna Staatsoper, The Salzburg Festival, La Fenice in Venice, The Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin , San Francisco Opera, The Bayrische Oper (Munich), Theatre du Chatalet in Paris, Grand Theatre du Geneve, Trieste Opera, Monte Carlo Opera, Seattle Opera, Washington Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Canadian Opera, Dallas Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and New York City Opera among others.

Recently Miss Wolf appeared as Helmwige in Seattle Opera’s RING cycle as well as Alice Ford in FALSTAFF with Seattle Opera and First Lady in DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE with Austin Lyric Opera. In the 2013 Central City production of Ned Rorem’s OUR TOWN she sang the role of Mrs. Webb. Orchestral appearances by Miss Wolf include a televised production of Mozart's The Impressario with Mostly Mozart in New York, Verdi's Requiem with The Seattle Symphony, Richmond Symphony and The Berkshire Choral Institute, Mozart's Requiem with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with The Seattle Symphony and The New York Chamber Orchestra. She has also essayed Messiah with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Elijah with Palm Beach Masterworks Chorale, Bruch's Das Lied von der Glocke with Seattle Symphony, Tchaikovsky's Romeo & Juliette with The New Jersey Symphony, and appearances with the San Francisco Symphony in a program of Mozart Concert Arias. Distinguished conductors Miss Wolf has worked with include Sylvain Cambreling, Klaus Donath, John Fiore, Joseph Flummerfelt, Bernard Haitink, Armin Jordan, George Manahan, Eduardo Mȕller, Imre Pallo, Eve Queler, Julius Rudel, Donald Runnicles, Peter Schneider, Gerard Schwartz, and Patrick Summers.

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