Baritone Efraín Solís advances to finals of Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions

Ghenady Meirson
Submitted: Mon, March 4, 2013 - 2:01pm EST
Russian Opera Workshop alum '11, baritone Efraín Solís is a finalist at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions 2013
Baritone Efraín Solís is the first Russian Opera Workshop alum to reach Metropolitan Opera National Council finals

This is where it gets interesting. Met Grand Finals concert is really not about winning the competition. It is about getting on industry radar.

Opera companies' bosses around the country are watching. How well a young singer does with the audience is huge. Yes, it is nice to win and pick up some money, but a bigger question is "what path will a singer's career take?"

Russian Opera Workshop is a summer program I launched in 2011. Efraín was thrilled about the opportunity to study Russian, and learn and perform the title role of Eugene Onegin by Tchaikovsky. Efraín's mentor and coach, Vladimir Chernov, himself a famous Onegin, encouraged him to apply for the summer program in Philadelphia.

Efraín put together fundraising concerts to raise money to attend the program without infringing on his family. This kind of personal drive and initiative is priceless for a career minded talent. It can't be bought.

Classical Singer Magazine did a wonderful article on Russian Opera Workshop, entitled From Russia with Love in which the author Olivia Giovetti interviewed Efraín on his experience with the program. Consistently, this young man shows thoughtfulness, poise and great desire to succeed.

I am happy to say that other artists I work with who advanced to the Met finals include bass-baritone Musa Ngqunqwana (AVA), soprano Sidney Mancasola (AVA) and bass-baritone Brandon Cedel (Curtis).

Some of the past competition winners between the premier Philadelphia schools include Elliott Madore (Curtis), Margaret Mezzacappa (AVA), Michelle Johnson (AVA), Angela Meade (AVA) and Michael Fabiano (AVA).

In collusion, I wish all participating artists an enjoyable concert on the Metropolitan Opera stage and keep their eyes on the grand prize -- a long lasting career.

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