Monday, May 21, 2018

Barihunks take top honors at Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition

Emmett O'Hanlon and Brent Michael Smith
Two American barihunks took away three of the top four prizes at the 40th Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition yesterday.

Emmett O'Hanlon took the top prize, as well as the Audience favorite prize. He performed the Tower Scene from Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande and "Largo al factotum" from Rossini's The Barber of Seville for the semi-finals, and Korngold's Tanzlied and the "Largo al factotum" for the final round.

Bass-barihunk Brent Michael Smith took 3rd Prize,  singing Purcell's "Arise, Ye Subterranean Winds" and "Vi ravviso, o luoghi ameni" from Bellini's La sonnambula. Mezzo-soprano Lindsay Metzger taking 2nd Prize. The winner also gets a chance to star in an Opera Birmingham production. The company's upcoming season includes Puccini's Tosca and Tom Cipullo's Glory Denied.

The winners were chosen from a group of twenty singers from around the country, which was whittled down to five for the semi-finals.

Emmett O'Hanlon is currently a member of the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago. where his roles include Wagner in Gounod's Faust (and covering Valentin),  Guglielmo in Mozart's Cosi fan tutte and Marullo in Verdi'ds Rigoletto.

Brent will become an Apprentice Artist at the Santa Fe Opera this season, where  he will also make his mainstage debut as Lakai in Richard Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos. He recently completed a stint as a Resident Artist at the Michigan Opera Theatre.

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