The final phase of competition is the public Grand Finals concert on the Met stage, accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy, on Sunday, March 1
Winners will receive individual cash prizes of $20,000 and invaluable exposure in the opera world
Finals concert to be broadcast live on the Met’s website and SiriusXM
Following February 24th’s semi-final competition, nine young singers have advanced to the final round of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2020 National Council Auditions. In the public concert, finalists perform on the Met stage Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m., for an audience of judges, agents, industry leaders, and the general public (in the auditorium and live on the radio). The finalists, chosen by a panel of opera administrators from the Met and other companies, each perform two arias with the Met Orchestra conducted by Bertrand de Billy. Prize money will increase for the first time in 20 years, with the winners receiving individual cash prizes of $20,000 (previously $15,000), and the prestigious and potentially career-launching title of National Council Auditions Winner. The remaining finalists receive $10,000 (previously $7,500).
The concert will be hosted by soprano Lisette Oropesa, a 2005 National Council Auditions winner, and will also feature a performance by tenor Javier Camarena, while the judges deliberate.
The concert will be broadcast live on Metropolitan Opera Radio on SiriusXM Channel 75, and streamed live on the Met’s web site, www.metopera.org.
The 2020 finalists, the regions they represent in the competition, and their hometowns are:
Grammy Award-Winning Choir Performs New York Premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaragua Featuring Cellist Maya Beiser
On Wednesday, March 25 at 7:30 p.m. in Zankel Hall. Grammy Award-winning new music choir The Crossing, led by Donald Nally, performs the New York premiere of Michael Gordon’s Travel Guide to Nicaraguawith cutting-edge cellist Maya Beiser, a work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall as part of its 125 Commissions Project.
Travel Guide to Nicaragua is inspired by Gordon’s hazy memory of his first eight years of life living on the outskirts of Managua, Nicaragua with his Eastern European parents who had emigrated to the country. In writing this third substantial work for The Crossing, Gordon—one of the founding members of Bang on a Can—also reaches beyond his childhood memories, pondering the world of the Maya and Aztecs and drawing on the words of poet Rube´n Dari´o and Mark Twain, who visited the country in the mid-1860s.
There’s a pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m.: Conductor Donald Nally and composer Michael Gordon in conversation with John Schaefer, host of WNYC’s New Sounds and Soundcheck. Support for the 125 Commissions Project is provided by members of Carnegie Hall’s Composer Club.
Hailed as “America’s most astonishing choir” (The New York Times) and “ardently angelic,” (The Los Angeles Times), The Crossing is a Grammy-winning professional chamber choir conducted by Donald Nally and dedicated to new music. It is committed to working with creative teams to make and record new, substantial works for choir that explore and expand ways of writing for choir, singing in choir, and listening to music for choir. Many of its nearly 90 commissioned premieres address social, environmental, and political issues. With a commitment to recording its commissions, The Crossing has issued 19 releases, receiving two Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance (2018, 2019), and five Grammy nominations in three years. They have presented nearly 90 commissioned world premieres.
The Crossing collaborates with some of the world’s most accomplished ensembles and artists, including the New York Philharmonic, LA Phil, the American Composers Orchestra,Network for New Music, Lyric Fest, Piffaro, Tempesta di Mare Baroque Chamber Orchestra, the Annenberg Center, Beth Morrison Projects, The Rolling Stones, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), and more. The Crossing holds an annual residency at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana where they are working on an extensive, multi-year project with composer Michael Gordon and filmmaker Bill Morrison. Their concerts are broadcast regularly on WRTI 90.1FM, Philadelphia’s Classical andJazz Public Radio.
The Crossing’s recordings of Robert Convery and Benjamin Boyle’s Voyages (August 2019, Innova) and Kile Smith’s The Arc in the Sky (July 2019, Navona) were both nominated for 2020 Grammy Awards for Best Choral Performance. Lansing McLoskey‘s Zealot Canticles won the 2019 Grammy; The Crossing’s collaboration with PRISM, Gavin Bryars’ The Fifth Century (ECM, October 2016), won the 2018 Grammy Award; and Thomas Lloyd’s Bonhoeffer (Albany 2016) was nominated for the 2017 Grammy, all for Best Choral Performance. The Crossing, with Donald Nally, was the American Composers Forums’ 2017 Champion of New Music. The Crossing’s 2014 commission Sound from The Bench by Ted Hearne was named a 2018 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Learn more at www.crossingchoir.org.
Hailed for her “stirring emotional power” by The New York Times, Maya Beiser has been called a “cello rock star” by Rolling Stone, praised as “a force of nature” by The Boston Globe, and dubbed “the queen of Avant-garde cello” by The Washington Post.
Raised on a Kibbutz in the Galilee Mountains in Israel, by her Argentinean father and French mother, Beiser was discovered at the age of twelve by the late violinist Isaac Stern. Upon graduating from Yale University, she embarked on a rebellious career, passionately forging her artistic path through uncharted territories, expanding her art form and bringing a bold and unorthodox presence to contemporary classical music.
Beiser is a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, BAM, The Kennedy Center, BBC Proms, London’s Southbank Centre, Royal Albert Hall and the Barbican, Sydney Opera House, Barcelona’s L’auditori, Paris’ Theatre de La Ville, Stockholm’s Concert Hall, and in major venues and festivals across five continents.
Among the wide range of artists she has collaborated with are Philip Glass, Louis Andriessen, Erin Cressida-Wilson, Brian Eno, Shirin Neshat, Steve Reich, Lucinda Childs, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Mark Anthony Turnage, David Lang, Bill Morrison, and Wendy Whelan.
Beiser’s discography includes twelve solo albums, many of them topping the classical music charts. In the summer of 2019, she launched her own record label – Islandia Music records – and released delugEON, a concept album that deconstructs the classical canon. On January 10 2020, she released “Bowie Cello Symphonic: Blackstar” – a reimagination of David Bowie’s last album – topping the Classical Crossover charts and receiving rave reviews. Beiser is the featured soloist on many film soundtracks, including an extensive collaboration with James Newton Howard.
Maya Beiser is a United States Artists Distinguished Fellow in Music and was a Mellon Distinguished Visiting Artist at MIT. Her mainstage TED Talk has been watched by over one million people. (www.mayabeiser.com)
Over the past 30 years, Michael Gordon has produced a strikingly diverse body of work, ranging from large-scale pieces for high-energy ensembles and major orchestral commissions to works conceived specifically for the recording studio and kaleidoscopic works for groups of identical instruments. Transcending categorization, his music represents the collision of mysterious introspection and brutal directness.
This season, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players with Roomful of Teeth and Splinter Reeds premiere the concert-length In a Strange Land, the Strings of Autumn festival in Prague feature Gordon as composer-in-residence and perform Timber plus all of Gordon’s string quartets; and the percussion/piano/bass trio Bearthoven premieres a new work.
Travel leader also introduces Norway and Slovenia adventures, expands cycling and Grand Canyon collections
REI Co-op‘s adventure travel company has introduced its first active trips in Shenandoah National Park, along with new trips in Norway and Slovenia. The global leader in small group active travel also announced its first international backpacking trip in Patagonia and continued expansion of its Grand Canyon and cycling collections.
“We intentionally design every active adventure to connect with local communities in a meaningful way that only REI can offer,” said Mark Seidl, REI divisional vice president of Experiences. “By doing so, we want our guests to gain a broader perspective of the world and be transformed through the experience.”
On REI’s multisport trip, guests hike to Shenandoah’s highest point and through deep caverns with streams and anthodite formations, zipline through the treetops, and float down the South Fork of the Shenandoah River. Star-filled evenings at camp are complete with hearty meals to refuel guests. The company’s lodge-to-lodge itinerary hikes a section of the Appalachian Trail from the doorsteps of iconic lodges that boast unique histories. The company’s cycling weekend stays at charming inns and lodges, providing a welcome reward from vigorous daily rides of 40 to 60 miles along the spine of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Adding to REI’s postcard-perfect national parks adventures is its expansion in the Grand Canyon. The company recently added six itineraries for a total of 14 adventures Grand Canyon National Park that range from three to eight days of hiking, backpacking and cycling. With so many options, adventurers can confidently select a trip based on his/her available time, interests and ability.
Backpacking Patagonia – Where Nature Reigns Supreme Building on REI’s widely popular North America backpacking trips, the company is introducing its first international itinerary to explore the undiscovered heart of Patagonia’s remote and rugged beauty. On Backpacking Patagonia – Fitz Roy and Los Glaciares National Park, the eight-day adventure starts in the small outpost of El Chalten known as the region’s trekking capital. Guests hike through meadows and lenga forests, across moraines and glaciers, and up to breathtaking vistas. A trip highlight is a trek past iceberg-laden bays and over high passes to reach the unparalleled views of the second-largest non-polar ice mass in the world.
The co-op now offers seven itineraries in Patagonia ranging in length from seven to 13 days for hiking, cycling, kayaking and volunteer trail maintenance to protect the famous “W” trail.
New Europe trips: Norway and Slovenia Known as the “land of the midnight sun” because one-third of the country is in the Arctic Circle, REI is expanding its classic Norway offering with the launch of two more itineraries – Norway Lofoten Islands Hiking and Norway Fjords Cycling. The nine-day archipelago hiking trip offers unparalleled beauty as guests hike up glacier-carved mountains to the reward of epic views, kayak “little Hawaii,” and experience life in remote fishing communities. Highlights also include a cruise through one of the country’s steepest and narrowest fjords in search of Europe’s largest eagle, a visit to the outermost and wildest islands of Værøy, and plenty of opportunities for traditional cold-water swims.
On REI’s Slovenia Hiking – The Alps to the Adriatic trip guests venture into the quiet solitude of the Julian Alps and more. The rugged Julian Alps are just as awe-inspiring as their Swiss and French cousins, with a big difference: far fewer hikers. Over eight days, marvel at high limestone peaks and dense spruce forests; raft the Soča River and swim in its pools and waterfalls; take a private tour of the subterranean chambers of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Škocjan Caves; and discover the region’s wine, olive oil and local cuisine with visits to a prosciutto producer and local beekeeper farm. For such a small country, its beekeepers produce up to 2,500 tons of honey a year.
An Expanded Range of Sketchers Styles Feature Goodyear Rubber Technology Outsoles For Enhanced Grip, Stability And Durability
Global footwear powerhouse Skechers is building on the technology in its footwear through a new collaboration with The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Select styles across multiple categories for men, women and kids will utilize Goodyear rubber technology in custom Skechers outsoles that will deliver increased grip, stability and durability.
“This collaboration is an example of two trusted brands coming together to create a high-tech product that will truly benefit our consumer,” said Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers. “Through this effort, select products will feature Goodyear Performance Outsoles, offering that extra edge where it’s needed most—be it enhanced stability on a run, excellent grip over slippery surfaces in the workplace, or durability on the playground for long-lasting wear. We expect this will resonate with our customers who need these innovations in the comfortable Skechers footwear that they love.”
“Goodyear has always worked to create innovative products that provide consumers with high-performance tires, and now we’re using that same ingenuity to enable consumers to wear high-performance shoes,” said Christian Jurado, Goodyear’s global director of licensed products.
The shoes, featuring Goodyear Performance Outsoles, are designed for durability with long-lasting wear, excellent grip on a variety of surfaces and weather conditions and enhanced stability through exceptional traction. This is made possible with Goodyear-developed rubber technology that contains a special polymer including sustainable soybean oil—a renewable, bio-based material used in some of the company’s top-performing tires – available in the U.S. and Canada – the Assurance® WeatherReady®, Eagle® Exhilarate® and Eagle® Enforcer® All Weather® and the Assurance ComfortDrive®.