University of Kentucky voice students Shareese Arnold, 29, and Mary Catherine Wright, 21, advanced to the regional round of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Saturday, along with two other singers: Nicolette Book, 24, a student at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Ashley Dannewitz, 29, of Charleston, W.Va.
They will go on to compete in the Mid-South regional round of the auditions Feb. 6 at the Germantown Performing Arts Center in Germantown, Tenn., near Memphis.
Two other UK singers were honored with encouragement awards at the Kentucky District auditions, which were held in the Singletary Center for the Arts recital hall: current student Thabang Masango, 27, and aluma Amanda Balltrip, 30. They received cash prizes, but did not advance to the next round.
Eight UK singers auditioned in the field of 11 that turned our for this year’s auditions. Kentucky has enjoyed recent success in the auditions as alum Reginald Smith Jr. won in the 2015 auditions in the spring.
Traditionally one winner advances from the regional rounds to the national competition in New York, though judges can select more. The national semi-finals are March 6 and the national grand finals concert is March 13 on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.