PLNU Alumni Win Met Awards
For the second year in a row, soprano Christen Blair Horne (12) has won a major opera competition, capturing the Metropolitan Opera National Council (MONC) Audition for the Western Region, San Diego District, held Saturday, Oct. 13, at the Crill Perfomance Hall on the campus of Point Loma Nazarene University. Joining Horne on the winners' podium was mezzo-soprano Alexandra Rodrick (11), who won the Robert Faulk Encouragement Award. Winners of the district auditions advance to the Western Region Finals on Sunday, November 4, at The Colburn School in Los Angeles.
This is the fifth consecutive year PLNU students or recent alumni have won awards from the MONC. Horne’s achivement marks the fourth first-place finish for PLNU and Rodrick’s is the twelfth encouragement awards in the past six years
“This is an outstanding achievement for an undergraduate university,” said PLNU associate professor of music, Dr. John Craig Johnson, who taught and mentored both Horne and Rodrick.
Last spring, Horne took first place in the prestigious Virginia Hawke Scholarship Competition before graduating with honors from PLNU with a Bachelor of Arts degree in music. She contines to study with Johnson. This spring she will debut with the San Diego Opera as an American Guild of Musical Artists member in the chorus of Samson et Dalila and Assassinio nella cattedrale, and she will appear with Point Loma Opera Theatre on November 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 as "Valencienne" in the student-led company's production of Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow).
Rodrick earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in music and ministry from PLNU in 2011. Rodrick was most recently seen with Wolf Trap Opera in productions of Rake's Progress and Don Giovanni. She was one of two mezzo-sopranos chosen to be a member of the highly selective Wolf Trap Studio Artists, working with leading directors, coaches, and teachers in the field of opera. She is now a graduate student on full-tuition scholarship to Bob Cole Conservatory of Music, California State University, Long Beach, studying with internationally renowned soprano and teacher Shigemi Matsumoto.
Since 1954, MONC has been holding auditions to discover and help support upcoming opera singers.