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Two local singers advance in Metropolitan Opera auditions

Two Western New York singers distinguished themselves in recent Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. They will go on to sing in the Great Lakes regional auditions, to be held Jan. 31 in the Detroit Opera House in Detroit, Mich.

The two local winners are Gillian Lynn Cotter, a soprano from Buffalo, and Kyle Van Schoonhoven, a tenor from Lockport. Cotter sang the role of Frugola in Nickel City Opera’s 2011 production of Puccini’s “Il Tabarro,” staged on the USS The Sullivans. The News praised her at the time as “creative, clear-voiced and funny.”

Other winners from the auditions held in Buffalo were tenor John Riesen of Livonia, Mich.; soprano Danike Loren of Saskatoon, Sask.; and Emily D’Angelo, a mezzo soprano from Toronto.

Encouragement Awards were given to three sopranos: Jessica Lane of Burlington, Ont.; Lindsay Brown of Waterloo; and Suzannah Waddington of Philadelphia.

The Buffalo/Toronto district auditions were held Dec. 12 at Nichols School’s Flickinger Performing Arts Center. The grand finals will take place in March on the Metropolitan Opera stage at Lincoln Center, in New York City.