Each year, singers who make their start at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis go on to receive major accolades across the world. In the last few weeks, current and recent OTSL singers topped the list at both the prestigious George London Awards and the Metropolitan Opera National Council District Auditions.
The George London Awards have previously recognized singers like Renee Fleming and Joyce DiDonato early in their careers, long before becoming household names. As part of winning the prestigious awards, each singer receives a $10,000 cash prize. At their annual competition, six singers took home the award – three of them artists you may remember from recent appearances at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: mezzo-soprano Raehann Bryce-Davis (a 2012 OTSL Gerdine Young Artist), mezzo-soprano Emily D’Angelo (who debuted with OTSL as Annio in 2017’s Titus), and baritone Benjamin Taylor (a former Gerdine Young Artist and Gaddes Festival Artist who last appeared as Prince Yamadori in Madame Butterfly in 2017).
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions are one of the nation’s other most prestigious competitions. Singers begin by competing at the district level, with district winners continuing on to sing at the regional level. Finalists from that competition continue to the national competition on stage at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Earlier this month, three current or past young artists won the St. Louis District auditions. Several other OTSL singers have won auditions in other cities across the country as well. In St. Louis, our winners included former GYAs bass-baritone Matthew Stump and bass Samuel Weiser, as well as upcoming Gaddes Festival Artist tenor Chaz’men Williams-Ali who will appear as Jazz in 2018’s Regina. Chaz’men is also a graduate of OTSL’s Monsanto Aritsts-in-Training high school program!
Other district winners across the country include former Gaddes Festival Artist tenor Joshua Blue (in Philadelphia), mezzo-soprano Hannah Hagerty (in Capitol District), soprano Liv Redpath (in the Middle/East Tennessee District), soprano Mary-Hollis Hundley (in the Iowa District), soprano Ann Toomey (in the Wisconsin District), tenor Carlos Enrique Santelli (in the Los Angeles District), and tenor Joshua Wheeker (also in the Los Angeles District). Congratulations to all of the district winners – and toi, toi, toi on your next wave of regional competition!