Metropolitan Opera National Council Utah District Auditions
2019-20 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 well-respected artistic administrator, collaborative pianist and vocal coach, Michael Heaston has established himself as one of opera’s most important leaders, visionaries, and mentors. Artists he has developed currently enjoy major careers on the world’s most important stages. He has recently assumed dual posts: Professor of Opera/Director of Opera Studies at Rice University and Music Director of the Houston Grand Opera Studio. Prior to these appointments he was the Executive Director and Acting Artistic Director of the prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Development Program at The Metropolitan Opera. He was also the Director of the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and the American Opera Initiative and served as Advisor to the Artistic Director of the Washington National Opera at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Mr. Heaston assumed numerous roles of increasing responsibility at The Glimmerglass Festival over 11 seasons, completing his tenure in the position of Associate Artistic Director, in which he was integrally involved with all matters of season planning and casting. He also oversaw the direction of the Young Artists Program and all matters of musical administration. He spent six seasons at The Dallas Opera as Head of Music Staff and Assistant Conductor for more than 25 productions.
A sought-after adjudicator, he has been a frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and also served on the juries of the Marilyn Horne Song Competition at Music Academy of the West, Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition, Jensen Vocal Competition, Young Patronesses of the Opera Competition, Giargiari Bel Canto Competition at the Academy of Vocal Arts, NATSAA Competition Finals, McCammon Vocal Competition, DC Vocal Arts Art Song Competition and many others. Mr. Heaston is also in demand as a clinician, having served as an artist-in-residence and/or presented master classes at The Juilliard School, University of Michigan, Florida Grand Opera, Southern Methodist University, University of North Texas, Drake University, Banff Centre for the Performing Arts, Miami Summer Music Festival, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Abilene Christian University and Boston Conservatory at Berklee, to name a few. An active member of OPERA America, he serves on the steering committee of the Singer Training Forum and is a regular participant in the New Works Forum. He is also a member of the Artistic Advisory Board of The Glimmerglass Festival.
Morris Robinson is considered one the most interesting and sought after basses performing today.
Mr. Robinson regularly appears at the Metropolitan Opera, where he is a graduate of the Lindemann Young Artist Program. He debuted there in a production of Fidelio and has since appeared as Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte (both in the original production and in the children’s English version), Ferrando in Il Trovatore, the King in Aida, and in roles in Nabucco, Tannhäuser, and the new productions of Les Troyens and Salome. He has also appeared at the San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Dallas Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Theater of St. Louis, Teatro alla Scala, Volksoper Wien, Opera Australia, and the Aix-en-Provence Festival. His many roles include the title role in Porgy and Bess, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Osmin in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Ramfis in Aida, Zaccaria in Nabucco, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Commendatore in Don Giovanni, Grand Inquisitor in Don Carlos, Timur in Turandot, the Bonze in Madama Butterfly, Padre Guardiano in La Forza del Destino, Ferrando in Il Trovatore, and Fasolt in Das Rheingold.
Also a prolific concert singer, Mr. Robinson’s many concert engagements have included appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (where he was the 2015-2016 Artist in Residence), San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra, Houston Symphony, L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Met Chamber Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, New England String Ensemble, and at the BBC Proms and the Ravinia, Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Cincinnati May, Verbier, and Aspen Music Festivals. He also appeared in Carnegie Hall as part of Jessye Norman’s HONOR! Festival. In recital he has been presented by Spivey Hall in Atlanta, the Savannah Music Festival, the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Mr. Robinson’s solo album, Going Home, was released on the Decca label. He also appears as Joe in the DVD of the San Francisco Opera production of Show Boat, and in the DVDs of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Salome and the Aix-en-Provence Festival’s production of Mozart’s Zaide.
This season, Mr. Robinson returns to the Metropolitan Opera for The Magic Flute, makes his role debut as Phillip II in Don Carlo and sings Sarastro at the Dallas Opera, returns to the Atlanta Opera for Porgy and Bess, and returns to the Cincinnati Opera for Aida. He also makes his debut with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in performances of the Mahler Symphony No. 8 with its music director, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and sings the same piece with the Atlanta Symphony.
An Atlanta native, Mr. Robinson is a graduate of The Citadel and received his musical training from the Boston University Opera Institute. He was recently named Artistic Advisor to the Cincinnati Opera.
In 2008, Clare Burovac was appointed director of artistic operations at Portland Opera, where she oversees casting, the Portland Opera Resident Artist Program and all community engagement programs, including the company’s new ‘Opera a la Cart’ initiative which debuted in 2016. She also serves as the primary management liaison to both of Portland Opera’s artist unions: AGMA and the AFM. Under her leadership, Portland Opera has produced two world-premiere recordings on the Orange Mountain Music label: Orphée and Galileo Galilei, both by Philip Glass.
Prior to joining Portland Opera, Burovac spent 14 years at Seattle Opera, beginning in the stage management department, and taking on a variety of increasingly demanding positions, including production stage manager and production coordinator of the company’s world-renowned Ring cycle.
Burovac received her bachelor’s degree in violin performance, magna cum laude, from Bowling Green State University. As a violinist, she performed with the Toledo Symphony, Ohio Light Opera Orchestra and other groups in the Cleveland area. A recipient of an OPERA America Fellowship in Opera Production in 1993, she has been a guest stage manager for San Francisco Opera, LA Opera and The Glimmerglass Festival, among many others. She has served as a guest lecturer for Seattle Opera and The National Association of Teachers of Singing and is a frequent judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and other vocal competitions.