Metropolitan Opera National Council Utah District Auditions
2017-18 Utah District Judges
The auditions involve competitors singing for three judges who have been selected from an elite list of opera professionals (vocal coaches, career singers, opera composers, opera stage directors, heads of opera companies and artistic administrators) who are highly qualified to identify talent and to assist young singers with developing and refining their singing.
A shimmering soprano with enchanting stage presence, Heidi Grant Murphy is one of the outstanding vocal talents of her generation. A native of Bellingham, Wash., she began vocal studies while attending Western Washington and the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Her graduate studies were interrupted when she was named a winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and engaged by Maestro James Levine to participate in the Metropolitan Opera's Lindemann Young Artist Development Program. Today, she has established a reputation not only for her radiant musicianship and impeccable vocal technique but also for her warm personality and generosity of spirit.
Murphy has appeared with many of the world's finest opera companies and symphony orchestras, working with many of the world's most esteemed conductors. The 2009-10 season marked the twentieth anniversary of Murphy's Metropolitan Opera debut, which led to numerous roles there
Murphy began the 2011-12 season in Orff's Carmina Burana with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero at the Mann Center, a performance she will reprise at Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival. In late July, she visited the Sun Valley Summer Symphony festival for a recital of Debussy, Boulanger, and Chausson with her husband, pianist Kevin Murphy. Orchestral engagements see Murphy with the San Diego Symphony for Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, The Iris Orchestra for Mozart, Copland, and Mahler, and with the Atlanta Symphony and Maestro Robert Spano for Bach's St. Matthew Passion.
Murphy's latest recording, Lullabies & Nightsongs, based on the children's book illustrated by Maurice Sendak, was released in September 2009 on Koch International. With Maestro Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, she appears on a live recording of Mahler IV and a separate recording of Augusta Read Thomas's Gathering Paradise on New World. Her other recordings include Roberto Sierra's Missa Latina with baritone Nathaniel Webster and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on Naxos and an XM Satellite Radio compilation of Sondheim classics. For Koch records, Murphy has recorded Sueños de Amor, a disc of Latin love songs; The Gifts of Christmas; Times Like This; Dreamscape: Lullabies from around the world; and a recording of Sir John Tavener's To a Child Dancing in the Wind paired with Sir Harrison Birtwistle's Sappho Fragments.
The Delos label released her recording of Mahler's Symphonies No. 2 and 4 with Andrew Litton and the Dallas Symphony. Murphy's album on Arabesque Records, Clearings in the Sky, featuring Lili Boulanger and Rachmaninoff works, was praised by Gramophone Magazine. For the Deutsche Grammophon label, she has recorded Schumann's Das Paradies und die Peri with the Staatskapelle Dresden as well as Idomeneo (Ilia) and Le Nozze di Figaro (Barbarina), both conducted by James Levine. Additional recording projects include Vincent Youmans's Through the Years for PS Classics; Twilight and Innocence, a recital disc for Arabesque; Bach cantatas for Arabesque; Hansel and Gretel (Gretel) with Andreas Delfs and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; and the Grammy-nominated Sweeney Todd (Johanna) for the New York Philharmonic's private label.
She has been a featured guest on NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, A&E's Breakfast with the Arts, and BBC Radio 3.
Murphy currently resides in Bloomington, Ind., with her husband and their four children.
Ryan Taylor was named President and General Director of Minnesota Opera in May 2016, coming full circle to the company where he was a member of its Resident Artist Program in 2000.
Taylor previously served as General Director of Arizona Opera having begun his tenure at Arizona Opera in January 2012 as Director of Artistic Administration.
Taylor enjoyed a 10-year career as a baritone, performing over thirty operatic roles and numerous concerts and symphonies throughout the United States, Canada, Germany. From 2009-2013 he served concurrently as Artist Manager and Public Relations Director for ADA Artist Management in New York and as Manager of Community Development for the Wolf Trap Opera Company, the top residency training program in the field for emerging artists in the United States. He also held posts as General Director of the Berkshire Opera Company, Artistic Director of Singers Beyond Borders and Co-founder of the Southeastern Festival of Song. He has served as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the Igor Gorin Career Development award for the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona.
As a stage director and producer, Taylor has presented over sixty distinct programs of recital, concert, oratorio, ballet and opera. His producing partners have included the Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Boy Choir, Bar Harbor Music Festival, Barrington Stage Company, Bryan Symphony Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Dallas Museum of Art, Emily Dickinson Museum, Michael O’Neal Singers, New York Festival of Song, the Phillips Collection, Shakespeare Dallas, Trinity Artist Series of New Orleans, Tucson Desert Song Festival, and Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
As a consultant, guest lecturer and educator, Taylor has collaborated with OPERA America, the Lexington Philharmonic, Kentucky Opera, Emory University, Southern Methodist University, University of Texas-Dallas, Arizona State University, University of Louisville, Baylor University, Arizona Opera Studio Artist Program, Kent State University, Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, Georgia State University, Kentucky Opera Studio Artist Program, Fletcher Opera Institute at the North Carolina School of the Arts, University of Minnesota, Seagle Music Colony, TCU/Fort Worth Opera Institute, Wolf Trap Opera Company, University of Arizona and Wright State University.
A native of Atlanta, Taylor earned his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the South, and a Master’s degree from San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
The fourth General Director in Opera Colorado’s 35-year history, Greg Carpenter guides both the artistic and administrative operations of the company. His role as General & Artistic Director began in 2007, prior to which he served as Opera Colorado’s Director of Development from 2004 – 2007, overseeing all fundraising and Board of Directors activities. Prior to joining Opera Colorado, he worked for four years for the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. His work there included Special Projects Manager for the President of the National Symphony Orchestra from 2000 – 2001 and Manager of Development from 2001 – 2004. Carpenter’s extensive experience working in the arts also includes two years as the Arts and Event Services Manager for the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at the University of Maryland and Special Projects Coordinator for the University of Maryland School of Music.
From 1986 – 1998, Carpenter performed as a professional opera singer. His work as an opera singer included both lead and supporting roles at Glimmerglass Opera, Central City Opera, Sarasota Opera, Opera Theatre of Northern Virginia, Cleveland Opera and Lyric Opera Cleveland. Carpenter has served on the Board of Directors for OPERA America, the national service organization for the opera industry. For the 2008 National Performing Arts Convention held in Denver, he served as Chairman of the Fundraising Committee. In 2009 Carpenter received a Livingston Fellowship Award in Leadership from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation. He also regularly serves as a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has served as a judge for the Fritz and Lavinia Jensen Foundation Competition. Greg Carpenter received a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Wittenberg University, a Master of Music degree in vocal performance from Michigan State University and he completed post-graduate studies at the University of Maryland School of Music.