2020 Kentucky District Audition Winners
The Kentucky District of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions announces the winners of the 2020 Auditions:
District Winners (in alphabetical order)
- Kendra Faith Beasley, Madison, Georgia
- Hayley Maloney, Soprano, Clifford, Pennsylvania
- Clay Thompson, Bass, Lexington, Kentucky
- Ethan Vincent, Baritone, Kansas City, Missouri
District winners each received a $1000 prize provided by the Kentucky District. All District winners advance to the Central Region competition on March 21, 2021.
Encouragement Awards (in alphabetical order)
- Nikita Silagy Labdon, Soprano, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Gail Robinson Encouragement Award
- Claire Lopatka, Soprano, Cincinnati, Ohio: Sylvia Davis Encouragement Award
- Victoria Okafor, Soprano, Hyattsville, Maryland: Gail Robinson Encouragement Award
- Wagner Mauricio Pástor, Quito, Ecuador: Sylvia Davis Encouragement Award
- Michael Pandolfo, Baritone, Fort Worth, Texas: Myra Tobin Encouragement Award
Encouragement Award winners each received a $250 prize provided by the Kentucky District.
The 2020 National Council Auditions took place virtually in 30 districts, each with the capacity to host 20 singers, all of whom had succeeded during an initial online qualifying audition. Nineteen singers competed in the Kentucky District auditions.
The distinguished judges for the 2020 Kentucky District auditions were Gordon Hawkins, international bass-baritone and former winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions; Laurie Rogers, conductor, pianist, and Opera Saratoga Director of Young Artist Programs and Head of Music Staff, and Brady Walsh, Administrator of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
Each singer prepared four arias for the competition. Typically, after being invited into the virtual audition room, singers began with their choice from among their four arias. The judges then chose a second for the singer to perform.
Professor Cliff Jackson served as the official piano accompanist for this District; 14 singers chose him to accompany them. After conferring with each singer, Professor Jackson recorded four arias for each.
Catherine Clarke Nardolillo, Director, and Harry Clarke, Co-director, lead the volunteer group that hosts Kentucky’s National Council Auditions, all of whom applaud the singers, accompanists, sound and software experts, judges, teachers and Metropolitan Opera staff who persevered to sustain the 2020 auditions in spite of extraordinary challenges.