Katherine Beck, Mary Kray, Kimberley Smith (Director), Aaron Pendleton, Judy Wolf




There we two Winners at the Arizona District Auditions: Antonio Cruz and Laura McCauley. Both will compete in the Rocky Mountain Regional Finals on February 24th, 2019 at Gates Hall, University of Colorado, Denver, Colorado. The winner of the Rocky Mountain Regional Finals will go on to compete at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Semi-Finals on March 24th 2019 and the Finals will be one week later.

There were also three Encouragement Award: Arian Warren, Ye Lynn Han, and Mary Kray.

Metropolitan Opera National Council Arizona District Winners

Antonio Cruz, Baritone

Laura McCauley, Soprano




2018 Cash Encouragement Awards

Ye Lynn Han, Tenor Mary Kray, Mezzo-Soprano Ariana Warren, Mezzo-Soprano


In 2016, the Arizona District moved to the Rocky Mountain Region.  This meant that our District winners in 2017  competed in the Rocky Mountain Regional Finals in late January 2018. Rocky Mountain Region finals are held in Denver, Colorado, at the Gates Concert Hall, Robert and Judi Newman Center, University of Denver.

Cameron Schutza was awarded the top prize from the Wagner Society of New York, the 2016 Robert Lauch Memorial Fund Endowment. The judges said "power and stamina to spare" and "the real thing".

Josh Guerro recently sang with a group at the Richard Tucker Gala which was televised via Medici TV.


Metropolitan Opera National Council Arizona District Winners

Colette Roberts, Soprano
Josephyne Santos, Soprano
Rehanna Thelweii, Contralto/Mezzo Soprano
Asleif Willmer, Soprano

2016 Cash Encouragement Awards

Monika Beauvais, Soprano Clare Demer, Soprano
Samantha Luna, Mezzo Sergio Manza, Baritone


2016 - Happenings with some past winners

Rehanna Thelwell, contralto and mezzo soprano, has been selected to attend the Miami Wagner Institute for dramatic and lyric singers for the summer of 2016.  Rehanna will also be performing with the Alaskan Kenai Peninsula Orchestra for their performance of Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, on August 12 and 13, 2016. Visit  http://kpoalaska.com/events/summer-music-festival/ for more information.

Chris Carr, tenor, has recently signed Fletcher Artist Management and this summer he is singing Dr Caius in Falstaff and also the older Galileo in Galileo Galilei at the Des Moines Metro Opera. For more information visit  www.desmoinesmetroopera.org

Calvin Griffin, bass baritone, will be a Young Artist at the Glimmerglass Festival. He will cover the title role to Sweeney Todd and sing Fabrisio in Rossini's The Thieving Magpie. For more information visit www.glimmerglass.org

Joseph Lattanzi, baritone, joined the Reno Philharmonic as the baritone soloist for Carmen Burana on April 24th and 26th. In June, he returns to Cincinnati Opera to sing the role of Hawkins Fuller in the world premiere of Gregory Spear's Fellow Travelers from June 17th and July 10th. Visit http://www.cincinnatiopera.org/performances/fellow-travelers  for more info.

Alyssa Martin, mezzo-soprano, returns to Santa Fe Opera as an Apprentice Artist. She will perform the role of Stephano in Gounod's Romeo and Juliette on Thursday, August 25th, 2016.

Andrea Shokery, soprano, made her role debut as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata for Opera Columbus. Her performances were June 1, 3 and 5. For more information www.operacolumbus.org .

Laura Wilde, soprano (she was a Mezzo but has since transitioned), has won the 2016 Sara Tucker Study Grant by the Richard Tucker Foundation. And she is currently making her English National Opera debut in the title role of Janacek's Jenufa with performances between June 23 and July 8. www.eno.org/whats-on/Jenufa .

Cameron Schutza, tenor, is part of the Metropolitan Opera's Artist Roster.

Congratulations to one and all!

November 1, 2015

MONC Arizona District singers did exceptionally well. Rehanna Thelwell (Contralto) received a second place award and Alyssa Martin (Mezzo-Soprano) received a third place award. The competition consisted of 13 singers from four Districts (Arizona, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco). The 1st place winner, Yelena Dyachek (Soprano) from Los Angeles District will compete at the Metropolitan Opera March 6, 2016 for the National Semi-Finals. The winners of the Semi-Finals will compete on the Met Opera House stage Sunday, March 13, 2016, for the National Grand Finals Concert for which tickets are available.

Dr Judy Wolf, Kimberley Smith, Rehanna Thelwell and Arlyn Brewster.
Rehanna, a Contralto received a second place award.

Joseph Lattanzi (Baritone), Kimberley Smith, Alyssa Martin (Mezzo-Soprano) who won 3rd place,
Dr Judy Wolf, Chris Carr (Tenor) and Arlyn Brewster



Metropolitan Opera National Council Arizona District Winners

Chris Carr, Tenor
Joseph Lattanzi, Baritone
Alyssa Martin, Mezzo-Soprano
Rehanna Thelwell, Contralto/Mezzo


2015 Cash Encouragement Awards

Shannon Cochran, Soprano Sedona Libero, Mezzo-Soprano
Sergio Manzo, Baritone Colette Roberts, Soprano


  Click HERE to  read the Newsletter for November, 2014

Backstage Following the 2014
Western Regional Finals in Los Angeles


Calvin Griffin, Bass-baritone; Dr. Judith Wolf; Arlyn Brewster; and Chris Carr, Baritone


Metropolitan Opera National Council Arizona District Winners

Calvin Griffin, Bass-Baritone
Recipient of the Julian Fielder Finalist Award

Chris Carr, Baritone
Recipient of the Nando Schellen Finalist Award


Both District Winners are Members of the Arizona Opera Pullin Young Artist Studio


2014 Cash Encouragement Awards

Clare Demer, Soprano
University of Arizona
Catherine Thornsley, Soprano
Northern Arizona University

Funding for the Encouragement Awards were given in honor of
Jonathan Clark, Nando Schellen, Harvey K. Smith




Eric Owens and Col.Kimberley Smith (Ret.) at the Western District Dinner in New York after the Auditions Final in March, 2013.

MONC is deeply grateful for the support given by Mr. Owens for the Met Auditions








Metropolitan Opera National Council Arizona District Winners

Humberto Borboa, Tenor


Andrea Flores, Soprano


Ashleigh Guida, Soprano


David Margulis, Tenor


Matthew Opitz, Baritone

Andrea Shokery, Soprano


2013 Cash Encouragement Awards

Monika Beauvais, Soprano Sergio Manzo Rehanna Thelwell, Contralto



Richard Paul Fink Wins the GRAMMY AWARD

Richard Paul Fink, a former Arizona District Metropolitan Opera National Council Winner, along with his fellow performers, won the 2011 Grammy Award in the Category of Best Opera Recording for their performances in Adams: Doctor Atomic.  (Conducted by Alan Gilbert & Produced by Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; Metropolitan Opera Chorus)




Amber Wagner

Amber Wagner

Amber Wagner

A true rising star, Amber Wagner (no relation to the composer) made her full-run, major role debut at Lyric. Wagner received raves when she was a last-minute substitute in the part for the opera's opening night last spring at Toronto's Canadian Opera Company. Lyric music director Andrew Davis conducted that production, as he is to at Lyric.

Wagner, 31, an alum of Lyric’s Ryan Opera Center, has been a standout since her first days in the training center. A winner of the 2007 Met National Council auditions, and numerous other awards, Wagner was featured in the 2009 hit documentary on the Met competition, “The Audition.” In her scheduled closing night performance as Elsa in Wagner’s “Lohengrin” at Lyric in March, the singer “achieved a total triumph,” the Sun-Times’ Laura Emerick wrote.

“Throughout the evening Wagner displayed the presence and command of an artist of twice her experience,” Emerick wrote. “Her voice poured forth rhapsodically in exquisitely phrased lines while she more than matched the intensity” of her “formidable” fellow cast members.

Wagner was the soprano soloist in the closing weekend performances of Verdi’s “Requiem” with Carlos Kalmar conducting at the Grant Park Music Festival Aug. 19-20.