The Metropolitan Opera in New York announced the winners of its annual National Council Auditions on Sunday, and among the honorees is a young singer who has strong ties to Los Angeles.
Soprano Janai Brugger is currently enrolled in L.A. Opera's Domingo-Thornton Young Artist Program and is set to play the role of Musetta in the company's production of Puccini's "La Bohème," opening May 12. The 29-year-old singer hails from Illinois and has appeared in productions at Palm Beach Opera and the Ravinia Festival.
Brugger also performed in L.A. Opera's recent productions of "The Marriage of Figaro" and "Rigoletto."
The Met's National Council Auditions is the leading opera competition in the country for young artists. The company said close to 1,500 singers between the ages of 20 and 30 participated in this year's auditions.
This year's roster of winners also includes Anthony Clark Evans, Matthew Grills, Margaret Mezzacappa and Andrey Nemzer.
Each winner receives a cash prize of $15,000. Past winners who have gone on to international fame include Jessye Norman, Renee Fleming, Deborah Voigt and Susan Graham.
-- David Ng
Photo: Janai Brugger, with Placido Domingo, performing at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 2011. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times