The five winners of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions’ Minnesota District round (L-R): Lauren Decker, Andrea Lott, Katherine Rose DeYoung, Jessica Faselt, and Kayleigh Decker. Photo courtesy of the MONC Upper Midwest Region.
The Minnesota District phase of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions concluded today. Five singers will advance to the Upper Midwest Region Auditions on Sunday, 3/25 at Bethel University. The auditions will begin at 12 PM in Bethel’s Great Hall, with the Minnesota winners competing against each other and the winners of several other districts.
The five District winners are:
- contralto Lauren Decker of Milwaukee, Wisconsin;
- soprano Andrea Lett of Winnipeg, Canada;
- mezzo-soprano Katherine Rose DeYoung of Traverse City, Michigan;
- soprano Jessica Faselt of Iowa City, Iowa; and
- mezzo-soprano Kayleigh Decker of Woodstock, Maryland.
Encouragement prizes were also given to tenor Andres Acosta, baritone John Cotton, and mezzo-soprano Simona Rose Genga.
The judges were Edward Berkely of the Julliard School and the Aspen Opera Theater Center; Mark Morash of San Francisco Opera; and soprano Margaret Jane Wray (herself an alum of the Metropolitan Opera’s Young Artists program).
If some of the winners’ names look familiar, there’s good cause. Lauren Decker, for example, has appeared for several seasons at Lyric Opera of the North in Duluth, and received encouragement awards at the Upper Midwest Region Auditions in 2016 and 2017. Jessica Faselt competed in the Minnesota District and Upper Midwest Region auditions last year, winning the Regional audition and advancing to New York; during the intervening year, she’s been in Miami, Florida as a Young Artist at Florida Grand Opera. Music fans who make summer pilgrimages to see Opera Theatre of Saint Louis may recognize Kayleigh Decker from that stage.
The free Upper Midwest Region auditions tomorrow (Sunday) will begin at 12 PM and go until approximately 4:30 PM. They will feature winners from the Metropolitan Opera National Council’s Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota-Manitoba, and Wisconsin districts. Although districts can advance a variable number of singers to the Regional stage, only one will advance to the Semi-Finals in New York, which include preparation with coaches and teachers at the Metropolitan Opera itself.