- The KY District Auditions were held
11:00 AM Saturday, November 17, 2018
at Singletary Center for the Arts
405 Rose St, Lexington, KY
- Bruce Donnell, free lance stage director
- Barbara Lynne Jamison, General Director of Kentucky Opera in Louisville
- Roberto Kalb, Resident Conductor and Head of Music at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
Taylor Comstock, a tenor who is in his first year of graduate school at the University of Kentucky, took top honors and will go on to compete in the Central Region round of the auditions Jan. 20 at DePaul University in Chicago. It was the second victory this year on the stage of UK’s Singletary Center for the Arts for Comstock, who came in second in the graduate division of the Alltech Vocal Scholarship Competition in March. If Comstock, who hails from Independence, Missouri, is successful in Chicago, he will go on to compete in the national semi-finals of the competition on the Metropolitan Opera stage in New York. Winning does not guarantee any roles at the Met or entry into its Young Artist program, but it is certainly a resume item worth having.”
Taylor Comstock, tenor, is a student of Dr. Everett McCorvey. He appeared in UK Opera Theatre’s recent production of Silent Night as Der Kronprinz, and sang the role of Alfredo in La Traviata, UKOT’s Spring 2018 production. During the past summer Taylor appeared as a Studio Artist at Wolf Trap Opera, in the title role of Idomeneo. He was a Grand Finalist in thje 2018 Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, and holds a BA degree in Vocal Performance/Opera from UK.
Four Encouragement Awards Given at the Auditions:
Four singers received Encouragement Awards, including three UK graduates: baritone Michael Pandolfo from Fort Worth, Texas, countertenor Key’mon Murrah, and mezzo-soprano Maggie Smith, both of Louisville. Soprano Alexandra Bork, whose hometown was listed as Nicholasville, though her professional Facebook page says she is based in London, England, also won an Encouragement Award.
Michael Pandolfo, baritone. From his website: “Fort Worth, Texas, native Michael Pandolfo has been working in opera and musical theatre performance his entire life. Mr. Pandolfo has performed with numerous companies such as The Glimmerglass Festival, The Janiec Opera Company, The Seagle Music Colony, and Fort Worth Opera. He has also performed concert work at various houses across the country, including the Sarasota Opera House, the Mormon Tabernacle, Abravanel Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. He has placed several times in the Kentucky NATS voice competitions. Michael Pandolfo recently graduated from the University of Kentucky with his Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance, where he studied with renowned soprano Cynthia Lawrence.”
Key’mon W. Murrah, counter-tenor. From his website: “My name is Key’mon W. Murrah. I am a graduating Arts Administration major with a minor in Vocal Performance at the University of Kentucky. I plan to pursue a career in Managment, Development, and Advertisement in the arts, along with performing in the major opera houses across the U.S.” Key’mon is a student of Dr. Angelique Clay.
Maggie Smith, mezzo-soprano, is a native of Louisville, Kentucky. She was a student of Dr. Noemi Lugo in the Vocal Music program at UK, graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance. Earlier this year she completed a Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Florida State University, as a student of Dr. Chuck Chandler, himself a PhD graduate of UK’s School of Music.
Alex Bork, soprano, from Nicholasville,Kentucky, is currently based in London, UK. From her Facebook page: “Korean-American soprano Alexandra Bork recently completed her Master’s degree with distinction at the Royal Academy of Music and currently studies with Kathryn Harries. Full roles include the title characters in Madama Butterfly, Suor Angelica (cover), Dido and Aeneas, and Handel’s Serse, as well as Fiordiligi (Così fan tutte), Ottavia (L’incoronazione di Poppea), Cherubino (Le nozze di Figaro, cover), and the Child in the world premiere of Laura Bowler’s I’m Not a Bit Like a Clown. She has also sung the soprano solos in Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder, Mozart’s Vespers, and various cantatas by Vivaldi, Hasse, Bach, and Telemann.”
For additional information call Bonnie Mays, Auditions Chairman at 502-232-3868 or
Clifton Smith, District Director at 859-221-1049
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are a nation-wide vocal competition. In this season of auditions there are 42 District auditions sites and 13 Regional auditions sites throughout the continental United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Over 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 participate in the District audition of his or her choice. Winners at the District level advance to compete in their Region Finals.