Great Performances at the Met “The Audition

Great Performances at the Met “The Audition

Sun, 01/24/2010 - 2:00pm

Pictured: The eleven finalists.

Credit: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Go behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Susan Froemke, Great Performances at the Met “The Audition,” airing Sunday, January 24 at 2 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11), looks at the intense pressures young opera singers face as they struggle to succeed in one of the most difficult professions in the performing arts.

The feature-length documentary takes viewers behind the scenes at the Metropolitan Opera’s National Council Auditions, where each year thousands of hopefuls compete for a cash prize, the chance to sing on the Met stage and the opportunity to launch a major operatic career. The film covers the dramatic week leading up to the finals of the 2007 auditions, focusing on three tenor contestants: Michael Fabiano, a fiery 22-year-old grappling with his inner demons; Alek Shrader, a 25-year-old who attempts to sing nine high Cs in the fiendishly difficult aria that made Pavarotti a star; and Ryan Smith, who at age 30 and with little formal training, is pursuing his dream of an operatic career. “The Audition” is both a suspenseful competition narrative and a revealing backstage look at what it takes to make it as an opera singer.

 

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