||Gerald Dolter Associate Professor of Music, Voice
Director, Texas Tech University Music Theatre
THE METROPOLITAN OPERA NATIONAL COUNCIL AUDITIONS:
A PERSONAL TESTIMONIAL
Opera, its performance and its proliferation has been the driving force in my personal and professional life for the past 34 years. I grew up in Dubuque, Iowa, at the time a virtual cultural desert. Years ago, when I was studying there to be a physician, my collegiate, academic advisor asked me: "Gerald, is there anything you can do besides be a doctor?" I answered: "Of course there are other things I can do. But there is ONE thing I cannot live without–singing." To which the advisor replied: "Good! THEN BE A SINGER!"
Eventually, I majored in music and became a National Winner in the Met National Council Auditions.
The Met Auditions made possible for me the following professional accomplishments:
- I am a tenured professor of music in a major university
- I have performed nearly 85 operatic roles in many European and American opera houses
- I was the leading baritone of the Bremen Opera in Germany for six seasons
- I was the first American to win the Premio Galeffi at the International Verdi Competition
- I won the duet prize at the International Competition at Ghent, Belgium
- I acquired management first with Columbia Artists and later with ICM Artists
- I have appeared at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center
- I have trained many singers who now appear on professional stages
- I have started and developed two collegiate opera programs
- I have started a professional, young artist development program with the Cedar Rapids Opera
- I have revived an opera program at the MasterWorks Festival in northern Indiana
- I have created and now manage a musical theatre production company in Lubbock, TX In its second year, this company generated more than $60,000 in artistic scholarships
- I have instituted a second young artist development program for the above production company
- I have directed and produced more than 50 productions for various companies and schools
- I have produced one world premiere music drama and have plans for another
- I am now often called upon to judge Met Auditions to find the next great singers
In retrospect, I now consider the Met Auditions to be the defining moment in my singing career, and more generally, my career in the performing arts. My life changed completely as a result of the event. Even though I have not appeared in a role on the Met stage, The Met Auditions opened doors for me, when I could not open them myself. The Met staff became professional advisors. The Met credential gave professional emphasis to my creative ideas and opinions.
The Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions shapes careers to be sure, But in my case, these auditions have shaped a life which is, in turn, doing its part to shape the art form for generations to come,
and has influenced hundreds, perhaps thousands of other lives.
The Met National Council Auditions have value that cannot be ascertained, because they play such an important role in the determination of the humanities current and future. Mine is just one example of how influential the auditions are, year in and year out. Without these auditions, the number of deserving singers
discovered annually would fall. The resulting drop off in the number of potential artists would be unthinkable.
On a more personal level, without the Met Auditions this testimonial would certainly not exist! The Met Auditions allowed and shaped my eventual contributions to the performing arts. I will ever be indebted to the Met for the opportunities, and I will do whatever I can to allow the Met Auditions to continue. They are most worthy of our attention and support!