December 10, 2002
Whitworth Student Wins Metropolitan Opera District Audition
Whitworth senior vocal-performance major Jonelyn Langenstein won the district audition of the New York Metropolitan Opera, held recently at Spokane Falls Community College.
Langenstein, who was also named "most talented young singer," received a cash incentive award and will advance to regional auditions at the University of Washington in March 2003. If she is selected to represent the Northwestern Region, she will travel to New York for voice coaching and will have the opportunity to perform on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera.
"I knew my chances of winning the district audition were slim, so I was thrilled to receive such a positive response," Langenstein says. "I just want to do my best in Seattle; I don't expect to win regionals, but it will be a good experience singing for a large audience."
The district audition drew singers from an area that includes Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Nine participants prepared five arias in a variety of languages and styles. Each entry required vocalists to perform in at least three languages in the standard operatic repertoire. Langenstein's repertoire included pieces by Verdi, Meyerbeer, Mozart, Puccini and Floyd.
Langenstein, who is 21 years old, was the youngest vocalist to advance in the competition. The two other singers who will advance with Langenstein are 30 and 25 years old.
"At Jonelyn's age, a win is not likely; however, once in a while someone like Jonelyn makes it all the way," says Marjory Halvorson, Whitworth voice instructor. "Advancing to the next level of competition is a complement to her work that should garner some attention and certainly will allow a larger audience to hear her sing."
Next March in Seattle, Langenstein will compete with district winners of the Northwestern Met region that includes Alaska, Western Washington, Western Oregon and Western Canada. Only one singer will advance from this competition to New York.
The Metropolitan Opera auditions serve to find the most talented singers for possible invitation to the Met in New York. Some of the finalists become members of the Lindamann Center of the Metropolitan Opera, while the top four winners appear on national television. Approximately half of the national finalists will be invited for a second week in New York and will present a concert on the main stage of the Met; that performance will be broadcast on National Public Radio.
In her senior year at Whitworth, Langenstein's primary focus has been on her future operatic career. Her immediate goal after graduation is to work with a new voice instructor at a top-notch graduate school.
"It is thrilling to know that a young singer with just three years of vocal training can have this kind of success," says Halvorson. "In my opinion, Jonelyn has everything it takes for a career in opera."
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or firstname.lastname@example.org.