March 17, 2010
Every year, hundreds of opera hopefuls from around the country participate in an American Idol-esque search for the next generation of classical singing talent. In a series of auditions, more than 1,800 singers are winnowed down to 22 semi-finalists who come to New York for a change to sing on the storied stage of the Metropolitan Opera in the National Council Grand Finals.
I'm not a big opera fan but I happened to catch a compelling PBS doc called "The Audition" on Channel 13 this week. It follows these semi-finalists through the end stage of the 2007 process and the crowing of 5 winners in front of an audience at the Met. It was like American Idol except these 20-something performers are a little plumper than the typical Idol contestant...oh yeah, and they got pipes. Seriously! It makes Idol look like the kareoke competition it's become this season.
Anyway, this doc was part of PBS's Great Performances and there is a preview available on their website. It's pledge time so I'm sure it will be re-airing a few more times....check your local listings.