Hannah Chapman, a senior vocal performance major at Ouachita Baptist University, was named one of the five district winners at the recent Metropolitan Opera auditions. The competition was held at Stella Boyle Smith Auditorium on the campus of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and featured 23 singers ranging from 22 to 30 years of age. Chapman was the youngest at age 22.
Chapman, a native of Forney, Texas, was accompanied by Phyllis Walker and is trained by Dr. Glenda Secrest, OBU associate professor of music.
“Because she was such a young soprano among more experienced contestants, her chances of placing were slim,” Secrest said. “It really means quite a bit that she did so well.”
Chapman competed against other participants from Arkansas and throughout the U.S. The judges for the event were Laura Canning, director of the Houston Grand Opera; Carol I. Crawford, former director of the Tulsa Opera and executive producer of Patience and Sarah, a film version of the opera by Kimper; and Robin Thompson, consultant with New York City Opera.
For her audition, Chapman presented the arias “Il est doux, il est bon” from Hérodiade by Jules Massenet and “Meine Lippen, si küssen so heiss” from Giuditta by Franz Lehar.
“I was not expecting to win anything,” Chapman said. “I felt incredibly encouraged and loved.”
“It was one of those moments when what you’ve taught all comes together,” Secrest said. “I really couldn’t be more proud.”
Chapman is planning to graduate from Ouachita in May and pursue music further in graduate school.
By Jeffery Harmon