|Blake Denson and Xiaomeng Zhang|
The final round of the 2020 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions will take place on the Met stage on March 1, 2020.
This year’s semifinalists were chosen from more than 1,000 singers who participated in auditions held in 40 districts throughout the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, and who then competed in the 12 regional finals.
The finalist will have a week of training with Met musical and dramatic coaches to prepare for the Grand Finals Concert. Each finalist will sing two arias on the Metropolitan Opera stage. Tenor Javier Camarena will perform for the audience while the judges deliberate. Following the performance, the winners will be announced, each of whom will receive a cash prize of $15,000 and career-making exposure.
Blake Denson began his musical life as a percussionist in the Paducah Tilghman High School band. He graduated from the University of Kentucky with his Bachelor of Music in Voice before heading to Rice University to attain his Masters degree in vocal performance.
Chinese baritone Xiaomeng Zhang completed his Artist Diploma at Juilliard and was a participant in San Francisco’s 2018 Merola Opera Program. He was also a national semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in 2018.