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America’s Next Top Opera Singers

The Metropolitan Opera’s yearly competition for young stars with great pipes. We’ll talk opera shop with 2011 judges and winners.

In this 2009 photo provided by New York's Metropolitan Opera, Anna Netrebko, foreground left, appears in the title role of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor." (AP)

In this 2009 photo provided by New York's Metropolitan Opera, Anna Netrebko, foreground left, appears in the title role of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor." (AP)

Steven Tyler wasn’t there, or J. Lo, it wasn’t that kind of singing competition. More Wagner, Verdi, Bellini, Puccini.

The Grand Finals of the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions come around every spring. The competition is intense. Young singers, with great pipes and everything on the line.

This hour On Point: Beyond American Idol. We’re inside young opera’s Grand Finals.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Gayletha Nichols, executive director of the National Council Auditions at the Metropolitan Opera.

Brian Zeger, executive director of the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Program and artistic advisor for the vocal program at the Juilliard School. He judged the semifinals for the 2011 National Council Auditions.

Michelle Johnson, soprano and winner of the 2011 National Council Auditions. She recently played the role of Donna Anna in Don Giovanni at the Academy of Vocal Arts.

Ryan Speedo Green, bass baritone and winner of the 2011 National Council Auditions. He’ll be attending the Met’s Lindemann Young Artist Program.  Read the New York Times piece profiling his experience with the Auditions.

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Jul 3, 2015
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Harmonica master Howard Levy, in a photo dated February 2012. (Courtesy the Artist)

Harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy tears it up with us. From Bach to the blues.

 
Jul 3, 2015
Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the YES vote for the upcoming referendum in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens, Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Greece's European creditors were assessing a last-minute proposal Athens made for a new two-year rescue deal, submitted just hours before the country's international bailout program expires and it loses access to billions of euros in funds. (AP)

Overtime pay. Diplomatic ties with Cuba. Greece defaults. Iran deadline missed. Chris Christie jumps in. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

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