We learn about the Metropolitan Opera's nationwide vocal competition
The Midwest Region Finals for this annual, well-regarded, multi-step competition will happen on Saturday afternoon (the 18th) here in Tulsa.
It began in 1954 and was for many years known as the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, and it's now called the Metropolitan Opera Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition. Some 15 vocalists will take part in the Midwest Region Finals, a free-to-the-public event happening at 1pm in Tulsa's Cascia Hall Performing Arts Center on Saturday the 18th. The competition is meant to discover promising opera singers and assist in the development of their careers; a list of noted singers who got their start at this renowned contest would include Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Stephanie Blythe, Eric Owens, Lawrence Brownlee, Lisette Oropesa, Jamie Barton, Michael Fabiano, and Nadine Sierra. Our guest is Gayletha Nichols, who will be one of the judges at the upcoming event here in Tulsa; Nichols is now with the Santa Fe Opera and was formerly (for nearly 20 years) the Executive Director for the National Council Auditions at The Metropolitan Opera.