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Salley Wins Third at Metropolitan Opera Regional
Jessica Salley, a graduate student at Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music, placed third in the 2009 Metropolitan Opera National Council Midwest Region Auditions. The Jan. 24 event was held in Tulsa’s Cascia Hall. Salley, from the studio of Professor Florence Birdwell, was one of 10 district winners competing in the Midwest Region. Judges were Patricia Wise, Darren K Woods, and Peter Russell. She was awarded $900 for her performance of "Volta la terrea" from Un Ballo in Maschera by Verdi and "No word from Tom... I go, I go to him" from The Rake's Progress by Stravinsky. Gail Hintz was official accompanist. Salley advanced to the regional competition by winning the 2008 Tulsa District Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions in October. The mission of the Metropolitan Opera National Council's Auditions program is to discover talented opera singers, assist their development, and discover new talent for the Metropolitan Opera. Winners are potential participants in the Young Artist Development Program of the Metropolitan Opera Association. Met young artist winner receive one year of specialized coaching and vocal teaching. Oklahoma City University has a history of success in the Met Opera auditions. Former OCU district and regional winners who went on to star on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera include international stars Sarah Coburn, Kristin Chenoweth, Leona Mitchell and Marquita Lister.