Our 2017 Judges

Speight Jenkins served as General Director of Seattle Opera from 1983 until 2014. In that position he produced two new productions of Wagner's Ring Cycle, six other Wagner operas, and in addition to the standard repertory, such pieces as Prokofiev's War and Peace (in its first complete U.S. production), and the world premiere of Daron Hagen'sAmelia. Previously he had served as an assistant editor of Opera News (1966-73), a music critic for the New York Post (1973-81) and host for the Metropolitan Opera's Live from the Met series (1981-82). He has received an honorary doctorate of humanities from Seattle University, an honorary doctorate of music from the University of Puget Sound and the New England Conservatory of Music. Upon his retirement the city of Seattle named a street adjacent to the opera house in his honor. In October 2014 he was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Republic of France.

Christopher Cano, a native of Southern Arizona, holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Arizona where his teachers included the late Ozan Marsh, Nicholas Zumbro, Dr. Paula Fan and Rex Woods. Mr. Cano was also a full-scholarship student in the Professional Studies Program of the Manhattan School of Music, where he was a student of renowned pianist, Warren Jones. A seasoned recitalist, orchestra soloist and collaborative pianist, Mr. Cano has performed throughout the US, Mexico, Israel, Europe and the Far East. Having maintained his private studio in New York City since 2002, Mr. Cano has prepared singers for appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, Teatro alla Scalla, Chicago Lyric Opera, and orchestral appearances with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic among others. Beginning with the 2017/18 season, Mr. Cano was appointed as the Head of Music and Director of the Marion Roose Pullin Opera Studio of Arizona Opera. 

 

Melissa Wegner is the Associate Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and a faculty member at Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute Program for Singers. Ms. Wegner has been a frequent guest at conservatories, universities and summer festivals speaking on the topics of auditioning, nance, and careers in the arts. In addition to the District and Region auditions of the Met’s National Council Auditions, she has also adjudicated the SAI Vocal Competition, the McCammon Voice Competition, and the Belvedere Competition. As a soprano, Ms. Wegner has performed opera, concerts and recitals in the United States and Europe. She joined New York City Opera as a Supertitles Associate and continues this work on a freelance basis with organizations including BAM, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Opera Orchestra of New York. Ms. Wegner is a member of Families of FANA WNY, which fundraises to support the orphanage in Colombia from which she was adopted. She is a Trustee of the Foundation Board of SUNY Potsdam, and founding member of the Alumni Board of Bard Conservatory’s Graduate Vocal ArtsProgram. Ms. Wegner holds degrees from Bard College, The Manhattan School of Music, and The Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. 

San Diego District MONC Auditions Official Accompanist


Suzanne Shick has a passion and expertise in Opera and Musical Theatre that have made her a highly sought-after accompanist and vocal coach by both professional and student singers. At SDSU, she accompanies numerous voice majors and is Music Director for Lyric Opera Theatre. Ms. Shick received her BM and MM degrees in Piano Performance from the University of Redlands with further studies at Mannes College of Music in New York City. She studied the art of accompanying with legendary coaches Ilana Mysior, John Dare and George Trovillo. The winner of numerous competitions, Suzanne has been a featured piano soloist with the La Jolla and SDSU Symphonies, among others. Since 1998 she has served as Organist at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, touring Europe twice with their choir. Ms. Shick has been the MONC San Diego District Official Accompanist since 2010.

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