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CCM Student Named Grand Finalist Winner of the Metropolitan Opera's 2013 National Council Auditions

Artist diploma candidate Thomas Richards, bass-baritone, was one of six young artists named the winners of the Met's prestigious and highly competitive National Council Auditions.

Date: 3/11/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Curt Whitacre
Phone: (513) 556-2683

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Artist Diploma student Thomas Richards, bass-baritone.
Artist Diploma student Thomas Richards, bass-baritone.

University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) Artist Diploma candidate Thomas Richards, bass-baritone, has been named a Grand Finals Winner of the Metropolitan Opera's 2013 National Council Auditions. A student of CCM Professor of Voice William McGraw, Richards was one of 10 singers competing in the Met's prestigious and highly competitive Grand Finals Concert this past Sunday, March 10. The finalists were accompanied by the Met Orchestra led by Marco Armiliato. Richards and five other young artists were named the winners of this year's National Council Auditions.

WQXR, New York's Classical Music Radio Station, will broadcast performances and interviews with all of this year's winners at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 11. Visit to listen online or watch a live video stream of the performances and interviews.

The Cincinnati Enquirer also published an interview with Richards on the eve of his Grand Finals-winning performance this weekend. You can read that interview online at

Local audiences can next see Richards in CCM's Mainstage Series production of Mozart's The Magic Flute, running April 4-7 in UC's Corbett Auditorium.

About the Metropolitan Opera's National Council Auditions
Now in its 129th season, the Metropolitan Opera is a vibrant home for the most creative and talented artists, including singers, conductors, composers, orchestra musicians, stage directors, designers, visual artists, choreographers and dancers from around the world. Known as the venue for the world’s greatest voices, the Met holds National Council Auditions throughout the United States and Canada each year. The goal of the National Council Auditions is to discover promising young singers, give singers from around the country a chance to be heard by the major opera companies of the U.S. and Canada, and find potential participants for the Lindemann Young Artist Development program, an opera training program sponsored by the Met. There are three rounds of competition in total, consisting of district, regional, and national rounds of competition. Grand Finalist Winners receive $15,000 each, and many go on to successful careers as opera stars. The process of this rigorous and stressful competition was documented in The Audition, a film following the finalists of the 2007 Auditions.

The Met's National Council Auditions are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year. For more than six decades, this competition for exceptionally talented singers from across the country has helped launch the careers of some of opera's greatest stars, including Stephanie Blythe, Renée Fleming, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson, Ben Heppner, Patricia Racette and Deborah Voigt—as well as, more recently, Lawrence Brownlee and Angela Meade.

View a full list of this year's National Council Auditions Grand Finals Winners at