Posting Date: November 17, 2008
Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions held at Kennesaw State
By Kathleen Walker
Kennesaw State students in a 2007 KSU opera theatre production.
Photo by Anne Almasy.
On Saturday, Nov. 22, the district round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions will be held at Kennesaw State University for the first time. The auditions will take place at the Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center and will feature opera singers from all over the Atlanta area.
KSU Professor of Opera and Musical Theater Russell Young was instrumental in bringing the auditions to the campus. “I wanted the Met Opera to get to know our voice students and teachers,” he says. “Once they visited the Bailey Performance Center, they were excited about holding the auditions here.”
Kennesaw State is honored that the Met Opera chose the Bailey Performance Center. “It’s a validation not only of the fine acoustics at the center, but also of our mission as an educational facility,” says Bobby Asher, manager of the Bailey Performance Center.
The auditions are expected to bring mostly graduate-level students and professional singers to KSU, which benefits the university and its students. “We get the opportunity to introduce the Met Opera judges and staff to our , students and facilities,” Young says, “and our students get to interact with people from their chosen field.”
Beyond these benefits, watching the audition process can also be an enjoyable experience. “I like hearing young singers who may come back and perform as a guest artist for one of our Premiere Series concerts,” Asher says. “It’s also fun to watch the singers go from the nerves backstage to the happiness of performing well or moving on to the next round.”
The Met Opera chooses three finalists from the district round who will go on to compete at the regional level. “We’re glad the Met Opera has chosen KSU,” Young says. And, Asher adds, “It’s going to be a fun day.”