Gayletha Nichols to Retire from Met National Council Auditions

New York 9/26/2017 3:00:00 PM

Santa Fe Opera appoints Nichols next Director of their Apprentice Program

Joshua Winograde adds National Council Auditions to his Met duties


New York, NY (September 26, 2017) Gayletha Nichols, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, will retire from her Met position this season after heading the program since 2000. Ms. Nichols has been appointed Director Designate of the Apprentice Program for Singers at Santa Fe Opera and will become Director of the Program in May 2018. Joshua Winograde, currently Met Associate Artistic Administrator, will succeed Nichols as Executive Director of the National Council Auditions, adding to his existing artistic duties. Melissa Wegner, currently Associate Director of the National Council Auditions, has been promoted to Deputy Director of the National Council Auditions.

The Met’s National Council Auditions, currently in its 65th year, is the nation’s largest audition for aspiring opera stars. Each season, some 1,600 candidates compete locally and regionally for a coveted spot in the finals held in the spring on the stage of the Met.

Peter Gelb, General Manager said, “Throughout her distinguished career, Gayletha has been responsible for discovering and nurturing some of the greatest young operatic talents, many of whom have gone on to major careers at the Met. She has been a much admired and loved colleague, who will always have a strong connection to this house.”

Gayletha Nichols said, “This has been an extraordinary time in my career. In addition to the joys of identifying a generation of singers for this amazing art form, I've been given the opportunity to know and work with a group of dedicated volunteers; the backbone of the Met National Council Auditions. These seasons at the Met have been professionally and personally gratifying for me.”

In announcing the appointments of Winograde and Wegner, Gelb said, “We have great confidence in Josh’s ability to successfully add the National Council Auditions to his portfolio and in Melissa’s capacity to take on a significantly expanded role.”

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