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Audition for the Met Saturday

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The fate of a few young opera hopefuls will be decided in the next few weeks, as singers try their luck in the upcoming Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions.

The preliminary auditions for the Utah District will be held Saturday, Jan. 26, at noon, and the final local auditions will be held Saturday, Feb. 2, at 7:30 p.m., both in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square. Following the final auditions, a reception will be held in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, where the winners will be announced.

The auditions are open to the public, and free tickets may be obtained online at www.lds.org or by calling 240-0080. Tickets for Saturday evening's finals round includes admission to the reception.

Utah District director Granger Peck said that approximately 25 highly accomplished singers will be participating in the preliminary round. Of the 25, only seven will be selected for the finals round.

Three of those seven will then be chosen to compete in the Rocky Mountain Region finals in Denver, and from there, only one will be selected to go on to the national finals.

The prize for winning the national competition, said Peck, will be cash. "They used to give them an apprenticeship there at the (Metropolitan Opera), but they found that didn't always work out for business reasons for all parties concerned." Peck did say, however, that the Metropolitan Opera does occasionally offer apprenticeships to the winners — but it's not guaranteed.

When Utahn Lindsay Killian won the national competition in 1999, her prize money totaled around $25,000, Peck said. He added that Killian is now continuing her career in New York and that several opportunities with various opera companies have opened up for her.

E-mail: rcline@desnews.com