April 30, 2018

Alumna wins Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Madison Leonard

Soprano Madison Leonard, a 2016 graduate of the Bienen School of Music, was named a winner in the 2018 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. In addition to being recognized as one of the top young opera stars in the country, Leonard received a $15,000 cash award.

Hosted by Joyce DiDonato, the Grand Finals concert of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions took place Sunday, April 29, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Nine finalists competed in the event.

Leonard sang "Gualtier Maldè! ... Caro nome" from Verdi's Rigoletto and "Wo bin ich? Wach' ich?" from Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, conducted by Bertrand de Billy.

The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions is a program designed to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers. For over 60 years, the annual competition has helped launch the careers of countless young singers, including some of opera's greatest stars. Auditions are held annually in 42 districts and 12 regions throughout the United States and Canada. Leonard previously took the top prize in the Middle Atlantic Region.

Ms. Leonard joined the Washington National Opera this season as a member of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, where she sings High Priestess in Aida, The Rose in Portman’s The Little Prince, Morgana for the young artist performance of Alcina, and Zegner Sister 1 in Missy Mazzoli’s new opera, Proving Up as a part of the American Opera Initiative Festival.

Other season highlights include her debut with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Sir Mark Elder as soloist in Vaughn Williams’ A Pastoral Symphony (Symphony No. 3), a return to the Florida Orchestra for Orff’s Carmina Burana, and a program of music from the British Isles with New York Festival of Song at Caramoor and Merkin Hall in New York City. She also joins Dallas Opera for its production of Der Ring des Polykrates.

The summer brings her return to Wolf Trap Opera for her role debut as Ilia in Idomeneo. In future seasons, she makes her debut and a return to Seattle Opera.

Madison received her Master of Music degree from the Bienen School of Music, where she studied with Karen Brunssen.