Performing for the Metropolitan Opera is a dream come true for any vocalist. And on Nov. 16, Anna Steenerson ’03 took one more step in turning that dream into a reality.
On that day, the Mauldin, S.C. native and 18 other vocalists from throughout the state gathered in Columbia (S.C.) to audition for the Metropolitan National Opera Council. At the end of the day, Anna was among only three participants chosen to advance to the regional auditions in Atlanta next spring. Only one person will be selected as winner at the regional and go on to compete in the National Semi-Finals in New York in March. The Met uses the auditions program to discover new talent and to search for possible participants in the Lindemann Young Artist Development Program.
As she stood center stage, Anna was well aware that the ears trained upon her voice belonged to judges who were accustomed to hearing the best. “One judge, has had a wonderful career in singing and teaching, and has sung with the NYC Opera,” says Anna. “Another judge casts for the Washington Opera, and the third is a world renown accompanist and vocal coach.”
Because an audition for The Met can be a tremendous career opportunity, nervous butterflies would have been natural. And while she made have been just a bit anxious, Anna recalled advice from her voice teacher at Converse College, Dr. Beverly Hay. “She simply told me to ‘sing like I was going to win.'”
Anna, a soprano, first sang the aria, “Quel guardio, il cavaliere” by Donizetti, which ends on high E-flat. “I chose the piece with the help of Dr. Hay,” said Anna. She knows it well and has performed it often. The judges selected the second piece, “Qui la voce” by Bellini. “It’s the newest and hardest thing I’ve ever attempted,” Anna says.
Rhoda Paschal, Director for the S.C. District of the Metropolitan National Council Auditions, could not have been more pleased with the group’s selection of Anna. “Anna will make be an absolutely delightful representative of the state,” said Rhoda said. “She is so gifted and has obviously been well-taught.”