Ryan Speedo Green, an ensemble member of Opera Colorado's Young Artists, won the Rocky Mountain regional competition of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions on Saturday, January 29, and advances to the national semi-final competition in New York City in early March.
The competition took place at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in Denver and featured eleven singers competing for the chance to compete on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera. The National Council Auditions have helped to discover many major opera talents over the past 56 years. Approximately 100 former participants in the auditions appear on the Metropolitan Opera's roster every season. Nearly half of those are former national winners. Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Frederica von Stade, Thomas Hampson, Deborah Voigt and many other opera luminaries were once winners of the Met Auditions.
"Ryan's performance brought about an electricity in the audience that was thrilling to feel," said Stephen Dilts, chairman of the Rocky Mountain regional auditions and a member of the Opera Colorado Board of Directors.
"Ryan is a tremendous young talent," said Cherity Koepke, Director of the Opera Colorado Young Artist and Opera Colorado's Director of Education and Community Programs. "Ryan's singing captivated me in the first three notes of his audition for the Young Artists last year. I am happy that others recognize his talent and potential. He possesses a dynamic voice with a rich timbre."
Christie Hageman, also an Opera Colorado Young Artist, placed third in Saturday's competition. "I am very proud of all five of our Young Artists," Koepke continued. "They are all exceptional, highly dedicated artists who are passionate about their careers. I feel that we have a strong residency program and that Ryan and Christie's top three finishes at the competition speaks to the caliber of the artists we bring into our program and the quality of the program itself."
"I was speechless when they announced the results and I am still at a loss for words," Mr. Green said. "I auditioned to get feedback about my voice. I never expected to win. I did feel really strong going on stage thanks to all the work I did with Cherity and with Steven Aguilo-Arbues, Opera Colorado's coach and accompanist. The chance to perform for so many schools and community groups this year has really helped me with these arias."