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News

20 Jan 2005

Cincinnatus Idyll

There was no scowling Simon Cowell, no one singing while holding a scooter and no William Hung. But Cincinnati’s own classical version of “American Idol” auditions took place Friday and Saturday at Music Hall. Budding singers and classically trained performers sang with all the fervor of “Idol” winner Fantasia in an attempt to land a spot in one or more of Cincinnati Opera’s four summer productions.

Idol-izing the Opera

The audition of a lifetime: Would-be chorus members sing for spots before judges at Music Hall

By Lauren Bishop
Enquirer staff writer

There was no scowling Simon Cowell, no one singing while holding a scooter and no William Hung.

But Cincinnati's own classical version of "American Idol" auditions took place Friday and Saturday at Music Hall. Budding singers and classically trained performers sang with all the fervor of "Idol" winner Fantasia in an attempt to land a spot in one or more of Cincinnati Opera's four summer productions.

The 46 people who signed up to sing Friday and Saturday, the third set of auditions the opera held, were trying out for 20 remaining chorus positions. Those spots mostly were in "Margaret Garner," a new opera that has a 32-person African-American chorus.

The hopefuls read over sheet music, paced and, in some cases, prayed before singing in front of the "judges" - chorus master Henri Venanzi and artistic administrator Marcus Küchle.

Waiting to audition Saturday, 29-year-old Lewanda Spaulding of Springfield Township studied color photos of past performances hanging on a wall.

[Click here for remainder of article.]

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