Tenor Juan José de Leon ’10 bested nine singers in the Great Lakes Region finals January 12 in Buffalo, New York, to advance in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions. He will sing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera during the national semi-finals in March.
De Leon, who earned a Master of Music in Performance-Voice from Meadows School of the Arts, is a second-year resident artist with the Pittsburgh Opera.
Among the judges of the regional finals was Jonathan Pell, artistic director of The Dallas Opera. Writing about the competition for his blog, Pell applauded the rising star: “Juan has continued to develop and grow as an artist, and we all can be very proud of the vocal progress he has made. I think he has an excellent chance to go on to be one of the winners in New York, and I know that all of his friends in Dallas wish him the best in the next round of this prestigious competition.”
This is not the first time de Leon’s talent has captured the attention of judges in the national opera talent search. While a student of SMU Professor of Voice Virginia Dupuy, de Leon won the Gulf Coast Region district competition in 2009. According to The Metropolitan Opera, the annual competition is designed “to discover promising young opera singers and assist in the development of their careers.”
In addition, De Leon was a winner of the Dallas Opera Guild Vocal Competition in 2010 and made his Dallas Opera debut in 2011 in Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette.
As a Meadows graduate student, de Leon participated in the Dallas Opera/SMU Emerging Artists Program, presenting the “Opera in a Box: Follow Your Dreams” touring arts program to schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.